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Neshaminy Negotiations Falter, No Compromise In Sight

Negotiations between the district and Neshaminy Federation of Teachers fell apart Wednesday night.

An end to the Neshaminy School District labor dispute does not appear any closer after Wednesday night's negotiation session, according to statements from the teacher's union and school board.

"In a very disappointing turn of events, the School Board suddenly announced its intention to cease any further bargaining regarding the unresolved issues," a statement from the Neshaminy Federation of Teachers read.

The school board's offer is based on the Council Rock School District contract. The contract, which was signed by Council Rock teachers in 2012, is the basis for Neshaminy's salary and working conditions proposal for teaching staff. The proposed contract eliminates provisions including equal say and past practice - two items that school board members have previously vowed to eliminate from a new teachers contract.

"The board restated its belief that the NFT should allow their membership to vote on the Council Rock salary proposal with Council Rock working conditions. The NFT position is that their membership has already spoken and have refused to vote on the Council Rock proposal," a statement released to the media by the school board read.

The school board has previously called the Council Rock contract the "final offer" in the five-year labor battle.

At Wednesday negotiations, the NFT reported a board representative said the union should "take it or leave it" when discussing the Council Rock proposal.

"With only approximately thirty issues of varying complexity and significance still separating the parties, and the Federation having already addressed all of the Board’s previously-identified 'big issues,' the Federation made clear its desire and intent to continue bargaining in order to achieve a final settlement," the NFT said.

After the 20 minute negotiation session ended, the NFT said they plan to file a Unfair Labor Practice suit with the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board.

"The Federation believes that this sudden refusal to bargain in good faith is unlawful," the statement read.

The NFT also stated that issues of "use of interschool mail to critical issues such as class size, grade changes, school safety, and past practice" remain sticking points.

The board and NFT plan to meet again next Wednesday evening.

Related:

  • Ritchie Webb: NFT 'Made a Terrible Mistake'
  • NFT Does Not Vote on 'Final Offer;' Urges Board to Continue Talks
  • Letter to the Editor: Parent Breaks Down NFT List of 'Unacceptable Issues'
  • Ritchie Webb Urges NFT Leaders to Allow Vote on 'Final Offer'
  • Neshaminy Teachers to Vote on School Board's 'Final Offer'
former teacher February 07, 2013 at 06:52 PM
"..the School Board suddenly announced its intention to cease any further bargaining regarding the unresolved issues,..." There is nothing sudden about it. And 'bargaining' ceased in late December when some ambigous language was cleared up by the board. There is nothing left to discuss. The community has presented its final offer. I understand the NFT doesn't like it and wants to 'negotiate' some more. But their 'liking' it has no relevance. Do the teachers want this deal or not? Apparently not. It is kind of ironic that Louise Boyd objected to the Board's request that the NFT leadership let the teachers vote. She characterized this as an assault on the democratic process. Then she had teachers 'vote' not to vote'. Apparently teachers were told at the last NFT meeting that there would be no vote and it was only an informational meeting. Of the 600+ teachers, only 400 or so attended. Then there was a voice 'vote' to decide if there would be an official vote. According to the NFT leadership, the NAYS were louder than the YEAS. Next up is the NFT filing an ULP where they will claim the NSB isn't bargaining 'in good faith'. Good luck with that one, Louise. Offering a deal that equals the best paid teachers in the county if not the state is hardly 'bad faith'.

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