Friday, March 12, 2010

Ok, Metro School Board, do you represent SEIU or taxpayers?

My best guess is the Metro Nashville School Board will fold under the pressure, scrap the privatization plans and stick it to the taxpayers to the tune of $5 million.

Two years ago, the SEIU successfully pushed an ordinance through Metro Council that effectively outlaws private contractors. I assume this ordinance didn't apply to the school board.

Much of the crowd assembled outside an hour before, staging a rally — complete with megaphones, drums and chants — with help from the local Service Employees International Union, which represents custodians who work at Metro Nashville Public Schools.

Supporters of the protest wore stickers that read: “Privatization: A Race to the Bottom.”

At issue is Director of Schools Jesse Register’s proposed $633.3 million budget, which seeks to ease the district’s projected $35 million shortfall by outsourcing custodial work, currently carried out by more than 600 Metro school employees, to a private company. The move would save an estimated $5 million.