Upset over pay, nearly 1,500 Metro Nashville Public Schools employees called out sick for work Friday.
Friday’s “sick-out ” includes over 1,000 teachers and 400 staff members for a total of 1,431 at at least 18 schools.
“We are pleading with you to make sure the number one priority when it comes to the budget is getting more money into the hands of our teachers and support staff this year,” said Mayor David Briley, during his State of Metro speech, Tuesday.
The message was directed toward the school board, after Briley announced a 3 percent raise for teachers. It was received to applause.
Thursday, with hundreds of teachers threatening a sick day, Metro’s education committee chair, Steve Glover, offered a second opinion.
“It’s like we slapped them in the face, with what we gave them,” he said.
Glover called the offer an insult and a joke. Since teachers received no pay increase last year, according to Glover this doesn’t make up for it.
“That’s 1.5 percent over a two-year period which does not even keep up with inflation,” he said.
Metro teachers have repeatedly asked for a 10 percent raise, pleading to the school board in early March over dangerous working conditions in classrooms.
“When we have students who erupt in violent outbursts at the drop of a dime, we have to have the staffing that allows for instruction to continue while that student de-escalates outside of the classroom,” said one teacher.
Glover also suggested cutting non-essential services to come up with more money.