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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.

The school board

“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.

Lori Ferrara Wentzel June 05, 2012 at 07:35 PM
I think we can all agree that the last contract should never have happened it was not fiscally responsible. This one needs to be teachers pay a chunk of their health care premiums knowing their contributions will go up when the premiums go up and retirement needs to be decreased. All of this would be keeping with what is going on for the majority in our country today.
Colleen S June 05, 2012 at 08:11 PM
PART ONE: Has anyone read the Courier Times today? There were several good articles about the strike, The Learning Center and The Instructional Opportunity Period. Also the Courier's editoral section called "The View" used their space to comment on the NSD as it pertains to the school board NOT having the tools it needs to develop the lean budgets that hard times demand and us taxpayers can afford. The Courier firmly believes that, "Mandating balanced school budgets without giving school boards the authority to trim staff makes no sense ....whatsoever. This comment stems from Pennsylvania schools being banned from laying off teachers. Teachers can be furloughed; which means they can't be laid off for economic reasons. In other words, because a school district needs to cut expenses teachers can only be laid off if educational programs are cut." So the school boards are forced to cut programs in order to lay off teachers. So we are always going to hurt the kids it seems as long as our state legistature does nothing to change/modify how the school boards get their budgets balanced. So cudos to our local State Rep. FRANK FARRY (a Neshaminy HS graduate) for co-sponsoring House Bill 1369 that would effectively outlaw teacher strikes in Penna.
Colleen S June 05, 2012 at 08:32 PM
PART 2: The Bill is in committee waiting action. Also there is an "Open Letter" on page A6 of the Courier to the parents and the taxpayers of the NSB laying out the is-what-it-is as to exactly what is at issue. I threw up in my mouth a little after I read it. These teachers (in my humble little opinion) are out of their f-ing minds! The NSB must hold firm as I know the taxpayers want and need them to. Taxpayers will not be made to feel hostage to anyone or any organization basically disguised as thugs belonging to a gang disguised as the NFT.
Valerie Schubert June 05, 2012 at 11:57 PM
I wasn't referring to you!.. sorry for the misunderstanding! I was definitely addressing my comment to Feodor Tiorlenko.
My2cents June 06, 2012 at 02:02 PM
I am a graduate from Neshaminy High School, and my heart goes out to the children and parents being impacted by the ongoing issues surrounding the contract dispute. I no longer live in the township, but have been following this, and the NFT demands seem so out of line with what their counterparts get in other area districts.

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