Mayor Announces COLA Adjustment for Teachers

Wearing red, teachers at H.G. Hill Middle School pose with signs May 1, 2019. They want a raise six times more than the 3% Mayor David Briley has offered.

Extra 3% Will Go into Effect January 1, 2020 in Addition to 3% Raise All Teachers Should See Effective Now

By Staff Reports

NASHVILLE, TN — Mayor David Briley announced this week that all Metro Nashville Public School teachers and support staff will receive another 3% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) on January 1, 2020, in addition to the 3% COLA the Mayor made possible effective immediately. The result is that teachers and support staff will see a 6% pay increase over last year by the time this school year is over. 

The new raises surpass the teacher raises in the substitute budgets presented by council members last month, and it does so without raising taxes. In all, Mayor Briley is allocating more than $30 million in additional funds to Metro Schools this year – more than six times the increase MNPS received in last year’s budget. 

“I have been working on the MNPS budget with Dr. Battle and Dr. Gentry, trying to find the best possible way to get recurring dollars to teachers while not penalizing the 40% MNPS teachers who are “topped out” and while avoiding a property tax increase this year – something that would have hurt in-county teachers more than the proposed raises would have helped,” Mayor Briley said. “With this increase in place, we will continue our in-depth talks about comprehensive pay plan restructuring for teachers so the more than half of all teachers who are topped out of receiving meaningful increases will get them in future years.

This announcement is the latest of many from Briley’s administration that has shown strength regarding our school system. Last fall, Briley formed an Education Kitchen Cabinet to address the needs of our 21 priority schools. This spring, he made headlines for standing behind Schools Director Dr. Joseph during turmoil and calling out the politics-driven behavior of school board members. This new plan has the support of MNPS School Board Chair Dr. Sharon Gentry and MNPS Director Dr. Adrienne Battle. 

“Mayor Briley’s investment shows a deep commitment to our teachers and staff members, and we thank him for his leadership and support for public education,” Dr. Battle said. “We are only as successful as our amazing staff, and the Mayor’s actions show how he values them. Our goal is that these resources also ensure that we are able to maintain funding for other new strategic investments. MNPS is thankful to partner with the Mayor and Metro Council who are dedicated to the success of our students and staff.”

Briley, who is up for re-election on Aug. 1, declares that this is only the beginning of the work he’ll do to improve the culture and performance of our public schools. 

“I am grateful to Dr. Adrienne Battle, the MNPS Board, MDHA and the members of the TIF Study and Formulating Committee, whose hard work and support made this additional COLA possible,” Mayor Briley continued. “I plan to keep at it, and I know we have more great things to come for all students and teachers in our schools.”

Mayoral Candiate Cooper’s Response to Briley’s Management Problems

“The announcement of this sudden discovery of ways to free up funds for employee raises, simply and completely confirms what I’ve been saying all along, both on the Council and on this Campaign: Nashville has a management problem; it’s not an issue of revenue.

This why I have been consistently unwilling to burden taxpayers with increased property taxes during a time when we have record revenues. The message this announcement sends is that the Mayor can spend an entire year making excuses, only to discover money for employees the month before the election.

We can make this city work better, for everyone, by making a fundamental change in the way we manage the city. That change starts in the Mayor’s office.”

Mayoral Candiate Clemmons Response to Briley-
Mayor Briley’s Attempt to 
Appease Teacher’s Falls Flat

NASHVILLE, TN — State Representative John Ray Clemmons, candidate for mayor of Nashville, released the following statement regarding the Briley Administration’s most recent example of fiscal mismanagement: 

We have witnessed yet another hollow attempt at political preservation disguised as a good faith attempt to provide our teachers with much-needed raises. While I appreciate that our mayor finally acknowledges the detrimental impact his lack of leadership is having on our teachers, we should call this announcement of a fiscally questionable plan right before early voting starts what it really is – the last gasp by a mayor in a tailspin. MNPS leadership’s last-minute receipt of this plan demonstrates the lack of transparency and patchwork policy-making that has defined this administration since day one.

Briley has now had two budgets and multiple opportunities to make fundamental, fiscally responsible budgetary changes in Metro that could have directly benefited our schools and teachers for the benefit of students. Unfortunately, he repeatedly kicked the can down the road, costing our teachers a better quality of life and our students two years of fully funded educational opportunities. This mayor has lost the confidence of teachers, public school parents, and advocates across Nashville, and they will see right through his ploy to try and buy their votes with Metro’s credit card. 

These desperate acts by a desperate politician trying to get reelected will ultimately cost our city and taxpayers more money. We’ve seen numerous eleventh-hour policy proposals out of the mayor’s office over the last six months, designed to appease specific constituencies rather than create real, substantive change. Nashville deserves a mayor who will partner with all stakeholders, engage the community, and make the tough decisions necessary to move our city forward in a substantive manner.  Under no circumstances should teachers and Nashville residents be used as pawns for a failing reelection campaign.  

Rep. Clemmons is the parent of three children in public school and has received the endorsement of the Metropolitan Nashville Education Association. 

Learn more about John Ray’s campaign at johnrayclemmons.com. Facebook: @clemmonsformayor | Twitter: @clemmons4mayor | Instagram: @clemmonsformayor

 

 

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