UPDATE: NFT Plans to Strike Again
NFT members are planning to go on strike Monday, June 4.
The Neshaminy Federation of Teachers President Louise Boyd has notified Neshaminy School District Superintendent Louis Muenker of the union's intent to call a second strike this school year beginning Monday, June 4.
The NFT's spokesperson Bob Schiers confirmed with Patch that the union has notified both the school district and the state's Department of Education of the intent to strike for a second time this year.
According to a NFT press release, the decision to go on strike again came after "careful review and consultation with its membership."
“I am outraged that teachers would cause potential disruption to our children’s school year and summer vacation. Once again the NFT has shown that whatever it is they are fighting for, it is not for the benefit of our children or their educational programs,” School Board President Ritchie Webb said in a press release.
According to that press release, a negotiation session between both parties is scheduled for May 31, however Webb noted that the school board will not negotiate with the union while it is actively engaged in a strike.
“We have two dates scheduled for talks, and we’re open to having more meetings. I cannot understand why the NFT would enact such a militant action aimed at our kids and their parents when we’ve agreed to continue good-faith negotiations,” Webb stated.
“We remain focused on the next negotiations session on May 31,” NFT President Louise Boyd said in the union press release. Boyd continued by saying that if the May 31 negotiation session produces "no movement from the district," that the union has determined that a strike is the best course of action to reach a contract.
"It’s shameful that the district has again led us to this point with its unwillingness to come to the table with a serious offer. Once again, they have failed the students and the taxpayers of Neshaminy. Teachers have compromised on dozens of issues including healthcare, totaling tens of millions of dollars in savings, but all the district has done is say no, including their disparaging, stonewalling reaction to the neutral arbitrator’s recommendations. We think this community deserves a better answer than 'no' after four years of bargaining,” Boyd stated.
As Neshaminy prepares for a second strike this year, Webb emphasized the need for Harrisburg to take action against the threat of labor actions that disrupt education.
“Our children’s education should be everyone’s priority, and our situation should serve as a wake-up call to Harrisburg that anti-strike legislation is urgently needed,” he said.
Graduation is scheduled for June 13 and the final day of school is scheduled for June 15, however a strike could compromise those dates. The state's Department of Education would determine how many days thy would be allowed to go on strike. They would only be able to go on strike so many days that students would complete 180 days of instruction by June 30.