MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - The union representing Memphis city school teachers wants to teach the Unified School Board a lesson in ABC's, with ABC standing for Another Big Controversy. Fearing premium spikes or cuts to their insurance coverage, the teachers could file yet another lawsuit in the city-county school merger case.
There was a Unified School Board meeting planned for Thursday night, but it was canceled. When they get together again, they will be talking about teachers and benefits. They'd better bring some snacks, because it's going to be a long night.
"The board has decided to adopt one of the TPC recommendations: the alternative compensation plan. They will not reward teachers for experience or degrees coming into the profession, and we think that's wholly inadequate," stated Keith Williams, President of the Memphis Education Association.
There's a point to all of what Williams is saying, a very important point as to why he's angry over another plan which deals with the insurance benefits.
"We believe if our insurance rates will increase by seven percent, we have certainly been diminished."
He just said the big word. Think it over while he talks about why this whole county commission fight that forces city school teachers to live in Shelby County bothers him. It's a case of following the rules, but not getting the entire package.
"If we're county employees we should get their benefits, their insurance, their living wage - they have that."
The key word is diminished. The law says school mergers are legal as long as they don't diminish the benefits and earnings of school teachers. So now you know why Keith Williams seems pretty sure about this prediction.
"I expect that there will be several pieces of litigation filed before this is all done."