Labor leaders voice support for MCS charter surrender - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Labor leaders voice support for MCS charter surrender

By Jamel Major - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Memphis labor leaders joined with a Shelby County commissioner Wednesday to voice their opinion about the Memphis City Schools charter surrender debate.

Shelby County Commissioner Steve Mulroy said Wednesday it's time to close the gap between Memphis City Schools and Shelby County Schools, so the two districts can join together as one.

Mulroy joined leaders from the AFL-CIO, Teamsters, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, and the Steelworkers to rally support for the Memphis City Schools Charter surrender referendum.

"I think this is a pro-union position that we're doing right now," Mulroy said. "What we're going to do to make things better for employees of both school systems, and is entirely consistent as a labor representative to say 'Yes' on the school merger."

While other labor unions have suggested school unification is not in the best interest of the community, supporters Wednesday said it is.

"We're very proud of the school system here," said David Dortch of Steelworkers. "We don't think it should be brought down.  We're here to build up things.  We need to make it better so everyone has a fair shake."

Some labor unions also say Memphis and Shelby County schools should not combine, because that won't address urban concerns.  But union leaders that gathered Wednesday disagreed.

"We don't need two departments; two educational systems," said Teamsters representative Henry Perry. " Bring them together, make them stronger and have fair taxation for all residents in Memphis and Shelby County."

The charter surrender referendum is scheduled for March 8.  Early voting ends Thursday.

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