MNPS Rights Five Year Wrong


MNPS Rights a Five Year Wrong

Elected officials should learn from MNPS’ failed experiment.

On December 4, Metro Nashville Public Schools announced a new pay plan for bus drivers in response to the massive shortage of drivers.  With over 140 open positions, the situation was officially a crisis.  It is important to know how this happened.   

In 2010, MNPS Director of Schools, Jesse Register’s proposed budget cut the hours of school bus driver’s from eight hours per day to seven hours in an effort to save $2.5 million annually.

Not considered in the math was how many drivers would quit because of the lower wages.  When the plan was introduced, MNPS budgeted for 595 bus drivers.  In 2015, that number was reduced to 560, despite a higher number of students.

In reality though, there were only 417 active drivers, meaning most drivers had to cover multiple routes, causing students to be late for school, or to have be at their stops excessively early.  This year, MNPS paid a consulting firm $500,000 to help address the shortage created by their budget cuts.

The untold story of this crisis was the five years that loyal MNPS school bus drivers lived on lower wages.  Drivers are told when they are hired that they are vital part of the school system.  They are the first face the children see in the morning, and the last face they see at the end of the day.  They have not been treated as vital for the past five years.

While the new pay plan is a positive development, it does not change the fact that drivers and their families payed the price for this failed experiment.  In 2010, Mary Eady explained, “What they're saying is cut us an hour a day, but that also takes our overtime.  You don't work 40 hours, you don't get overtime, so they're taking more than just one hour a day.  We got families, too.”

The shortage of drivers was reported on in 2011, and again 2013.  Yet nothing was done until it was a full blown crisis.

Elected officials should learn from this failed experiment to value the vital service of employees like the bus drivers so others will not suffer in the future.


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Central Labor Council of Nashville and Middle Tennessee posted about Metro School Bus Drivers Follow Up on Central Labor Council of Nashville and Middle Tennessee's Facebook page 2015-12-17 11:32:10 -0600
MNPS Rights Five Year Wrong