School board chair says union complaint against Register 'without merit'

Thursday, March 15, 2012 at 5:51pm

The Metro school board chair has rejected claims of the Service Employees International Union Local 205, which in January accused Director of Schools Jesse Register of unilaterally stripping rights of support staff employees.

“After careful consideration, I arrived at the conclusion that your complaint against the director of schools is without merit and should proceed no further,” board chair Gracie Porter wrote in a March 12 letter to SEIU Local 205 president Doug Collier.

Porter was referencing the 2-month-old complaint over Register’s recent decision to do away with the school district’s 12-year-old “memoranda of understanding” policy in dealing with the SEIU, which represents custodians and groundskeepers, and the United Steelworkers, comprised of school bus drivers.

Union leaders have called the MOU agreement a “meet and confer” policy. But Register, who they have roundly criticized, scrapped the nonbinding statute by adopting a new Support Staff Handbook, a move the district’s central office has claimed is authorized. Union representatives contend he overreached his power.

The Metro Council voted 29-5 in February to urge Register to comply with provisions outlined in the district’s labor negotiation policy, established in 2000, a document in which the MOU policy is written.

Nonetheless, Register indicated he would not retreat.

The best hope for SEIU, however, was for the school board — whose main job is to oversee the schools director — to demand Register change his stance.

Among other reasons, Porter, in her letter, said the school board doesn’t hold the authority to intervene in this way: “Tennessee law does not grant any authority for a school board to negotiate with any employee organization on behalf of support employees,” she wrote.

AttachmentSize
Gracie Porter letter to Doug Collier.pdf1.43 MB

8 Comments on this post:

By: govskeptic on 3/15/12 at 6:34

Thank you, Mrs. Porter, I couldn't agree with your reasoning more on this
issue!

By: LordInfamous on 3/16/12 at 5:25

Register ruined Chattanooga schools... Looks like the powers that be were looking for more of a union buster then a leader in education. He works for the board, but it's like they are afraid of him.

By: hattrick3 on 3/16/12 at 7:19

Good job Mrs Porter. I couldn't agree more.

By: pswindle on 3/16/12 at 9:21

School Board Chair to Register:

You have my back and I'll have yours. Good Buddy System.

By: jsabrown on 3/16/12 at 9:34

Wow. Gracie Porter asserts she's not allowed to consult with employees regarding their working conditions. That's rich.

By: 1kenthomas on 3/16/12 at 1:36

So, how does one get rid of Ms. Porter? Ballot box... jury box... ???

By: thinking12 on 3/16/12 at 8:19

Among other reasons, Porter, in her letter, said the school board doesn’t hold the authority to intervene in this way: “Tennessee law does not grant any authority for a school board to negotiate with any employee organization on behalf of support employees,” she wrote.

Soooooo if they don't have the have the authority in the first place how can the school board even consider rejecting this complaint????
And yet they do ......
" After careful consideration, I arrived at the conclusion that your complaint against the director of schools is without merit and should proceed no further"

Who does have the authority???????

"The Metro Council voted 29-5 in February to urge Register to comply with provisions outlined in the district’s labor negotiation policy, established in 2000, a document in which the MOU policy is written."

Is URGING not an indication of Metro Councils wishes-

Does any government agency work well and fairly in the real world for real people who have to live within their means and not just have the bottomless money well of taxes-taxes that are never enough to do the job the agency was hired to do. ie Mr. Register.

Do we have a rogue Director of Schools???

By: govskeptic on 3/17/12 at 8:42

Nashville has had several directors in the past that attempted to
let every council member and Union Chief help run the system
leading to total blunders in every direction. This council wants to
have imput in many departments and policies where they have no
authority. Public Unions nationwide have put a large number of
school systems and city finances in total paralyses and financial
ruin! Not a rogue director, but a rogue group wanting to satisfy only
their own personal and organizational wishes!