Security officers serving the Metro Nashville Public School (MNPS) system have been subject to a toxic work environment, according to the 14 complaints submitted to the human resources and employee relations departments.
“The morale itself has been low. We had grievance upon grievance just sitting there. Not being answered. Nobody reached out. Nobody followed up,” Security Officer James Franklin Spencer III told WKRN.
An additional complaint from officers within the department revolves around unequal pay for members who have tenure. Recently, in 2017, a pay step policy was implemented for new employees; however, officers who had been with the department did not see a pay increase.
“There shouldn’t be a person like myself with the ten-year tenure and a person coming in, you know, new to the district, and getting paid at a higher compensation rate. Morally, it shouldn’t be that way,” Spencer continued.
After detailing numerous reports and receiving no response from MNPS, the officers took their complaints to the school board hoping for fair results.
One MNPS School Board member has sought to correct the issues within the department and stand up for the security officers. Fran Bush proposed a motion at a board meeting to approve an external investigation into the department based on the complaints. However, other members of the board did not support the move. The motion failed.
“The MNPS security department, they’re very broken, they’re very broken because this is their director of schools. This is who they protect,” said Bush.
Because the motion for an external investigation did not gain support from the board, Officer Spencer pledged that security officers would continue to file complaints. He hopes that they will eventually be resolved.
The Director of Schools Dr. Adrienne Battle disputed the claims made by the officers. According to her, the HR department spent a large amount of time addressing all complaints filed.
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Cooper Moran is a reporter for the Star News Network. Follow Cooper on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Metro Nashville School Board of Education” by Metro Nashville School Board of Education.