NSB Addresses Community Concerns About "Game Changing" Offer
Neshaminy School Board President Ritchie Webb addressed community concerns about the board's recent "game changing" offer to the Neshaminy Federation of Teachers.
Since offering the Neshaminy Federation of Teachers the Council Rock collective bargaining agreeement in its entirety as a framework for a new contract, board President Ritchie Webb said his inbox has been inundated with emails.
The emails Webb said he has received from Neshaminy parents and taxpayers have been supportive, but he has also received many questions about how the Council Rock contract could work in Neshaminy and if he has "gone off [his] rocker saying that our certified staff does not deserve to have a contract as generous as Council Rock’s."
However, Webb said that he hasn't received any emails telling him that the latest offer is "inadequate," the that teachers "deserve a better or more lucrative agreement than our neighboring district."
The public's reaction to date, Webb said in Tuesday's school board meeting, has made it clear that the board's offer is "considered fair, or more than fair."
Webb also said that the offer given to the NFT last week is "affordable, assuming they agree to the contract as is."
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The proposal, he said, offers salary increases to all of Neshaminy's teachers "no matter where they are in the salary matrix, but it also gives the district some much needed relief in the areas of employee healthcare contributions and retirement perks." The offer is also not "insulting" or "degrading" to the teachers, he noted.
For those community members that believe that the board's latest offer is too generous, Webb said that if the board has any chance of settling the nearly 5-year contract impasse, it has to offer the NFT something to induce them to make the concessions the board needs.
"I hope you will give this offer very serious consideration," Webb said to the union leaders, adding that he hopes they will allow the union members the opportunity to vote on the proposal.
In addition, Webb said to the union that the latest proposal is the "best offer" that the NFT could receive from the current or future school boards.
"You have two choices in front of you. You can choose to fight an unwinnable battle, or you can accept an offer that compensates you fairly, and then put an end this painful impasse," Webb said.
Both sides are slated to meet in another negotiation session tonight, Sept. 12 as well as Thursday, Sept. 13.
View Webb's full statement on the offer in the video above.