In their Wednesday night meeting, members of the Neshaminy Federation of Teachers did not vote to accept the Neshaminy School Board's latest contract offer.
This action, school board President Ritchie Webb said, the NFT "may have made a terrible mistake in judgement."
"While trying to hold onto the past, they are gambling with their future," he stated.
According to a NFT press release issued Wednesday night, union members accepted the negotiation team's recommendation to not take action on the school board's offer, "with an overwhelmingly majority of those at the meeting rejecting a motion calling for a formal vote on the school district’s offer."
Accepting the school board's "final offer" would eliminate several contract provisions "that are key to educational quality in the Neshaminy School District," the union stated in its press release.
By offering the contract proposal based on Council Rock's contract, the school board "made a bold, unprecedented move to end five years of labor unrest," Webb said.
"Unfortunately for the students and tax payers of Neshaminy, the NFT not only wants the Council Rock money, but also wants to keep the old Neshaminy contract language that has been so detrimental to this district. Our negotiations continue to be hampered by issues such as equal say, past practice and language regarding class size that is illegal," he stated.
Webb and other school board members have stated that they will not accept a new contract that includes equal say and past practice.
"The board offered the monetary provisions and non-monetary language that are in the Council Rock contract. If this is good enough for Council Rock, then it should be good enough for Neshaminy," Webb said.
"The NFT continues to say they want a contract that is good for our children. I hope an NFT member can rationalize for me how actions like working-to-contract, strikes, picketing back-to-school nights, etc., attain that goal. Such extreme behavior exists solely to protect the status quo, and has never benefitted our students," he stated.
Webb posted the board's offer in its entirety on the board's negotiation blog for review.
"I am confident that when the public reviews the Board's offer in its entirety, they will agree that it is more than fair," Webb stated.