The Neshaminy Federation of Teachers, ,.
In the press release the NFT issued following the meeting, union President Louise Boyd stated that the impending strike could have been averted if the school board would have agreed to negotiate throughout the weekend.
Neshaminy School Board President Ritchie Webb said Friday that while the union suggested meeting to negotiate this weekend, they did not specify that the union would not go on strike should the board agree to do so.
"At that point, their offer for weekend talks seemed more like an attempt at going through the motions than it did to offer any hope of progress," Webb said in a press release.
According to Webb, the key to resolving the contract impasse is thorough understanding and acceptance of the numbers in addition to a "dispassionate" discussion on what is affordable.
"Based on the behavior we witnessed last night with the NFT’s negotiation team, none of these elements are present," he stated.
In the negotiation meeting Thursday night, Webb claims that the school board responded to the mediator with "fact and civility," while the NFT responded with "insults, innuendo, and useless platitudes."
Webb also said that the union's attorney Tom Jennings, "went on a 15 minute rant where he raised his voice repeatedly, hurling accusations at the board" as well as accusing the school board of being more concerned with "fixing leaky roofs" instead of paying the teachers.
"It was very clear to me as well as the other board members that the NFT mindset we witnessed last night would still be present this weekend, and any discussions we had would be no more successful than the last 39 occasions," Webb said, adding that the NFT needs a "cooling off period so they can approach these negotiations more rationally and methodically."
Webb reiterated that the school board is willing to meet with the NFT to resolve this impasse "provided that they are willing to do the hard work of understanding the math."
"However, I have no interest in spending time with NFT representatives whose sole arguments are based on emotion, teacher entitlement, and voodoo economics," he said.