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MNPS teachers plan 'sick out' to protest pay increase

Posted at 10:37 PM, May 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-03 10:04:50-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Hundreds of Metro Nashville Public School teachers plan to be absent from school on Friday in protest of possible pay increases.

On Thursday night, MNPS estimated at least 360 teachers from at least 18 different schools had called out for the day.

Update: 1090 teachers absent Friday amid "sick outs"

MNPS gave NewsChannel 5 a list of schools with significant absences:

  • Andrew Jackson Elementary – 10 absences
  • Antioch High – 17 absences
  • Apollo Middle – 14 absences
  • Bellevue Middle – 22 absences
  • Cane Ridge High – 21 absences
  • Glencliff High – 10 absences
  • H.G. Hill Middle – 10 absences
  • Hillsboro High – 11 absences
  • Hunters Lane High – 11 absences
  • Maplewood High – 13 absences
  • McGavock High – 123 absences
  • J.T. Moore Middle – 14 absences
  • Overton High – 29 absences
  • Percy Priest Elementary – 10 absences
  • Tusculum Elementary – 11 absences
  • Whites Creek High – 13 absences
  • Whitsitt Elementary – 10 absences
  • Wright Middle – 14 absences

"I wish that they would just allocate the funds to give our teachers the raises they deserve. The cost of living has increased but our teachers haven't received a raise to account for that cost of living," McGavock High School Senior Amanda Taylor said while speaking on behalf of her teachers. Teachers said they didn't want to go on the record for fear of retaliation.

For teachers the sick-out all comes down to simple math. The school board asked for an additional $76 million in funding, enough to give teachers a 10% pay raise. In his proposed budget, Mayor David Briley only gave the district an additional $28 million - a difference of $48 million.

Thursday night, the district sent an email to parents about the "sick-out":

"We want to make you aware that there may be higher than average staff absences tomorrow. Central office leadership is monitoring the situation closely. Metro schools will be open on Friday May 3 and central office staff will be assisting by covering classes and helping with campus supervision."

Newschannel 5 reached out to Mayor David Briley for comment on the protests, he did not return our request as of Thursday night.