Negotiations Grind to a Halt as District Refuses to Meet with Neshaminy Teachers

Dec 28, 2010, 20:50 ET from The Neshaminy Federation of Teachers

LANGHORNE, Pa., Dec. 28, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Negotiators for the Neshaminy Federation of Teachers are livid after showing up for a long scheduled 6pm negotiation session this evening only to be told by the State-appointed mediator that the District was cancelling the meeting because of a quote in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

"District officials duped us into attending a bargaining session that they knew full well was not going to take place," said NFT President, Louise Boyd.  "We showed up for a bargaining session but never even got to the table! This speaks clearly as to why we haven't had a contract for nearly three years." Boyd observed that "If this utter lack of simple courtesy is what the taxpayers and students of Neshaminy can expect from their elected officials, than I don't see how we ever can make progress at the bargaining table.  If we do not talk, we can never agree."

The District's senseless last minute refusal to even meet was particularly disappointing because it followed talks on December 9 in which both sides engaged in serious discussions of their respective proposals and the issues to be resolved.  

Neshaminy teachers are working under a contract that expired in July 2008.

Unlike the District that has only moved backward from its original position, Neshaminy teachers have made two formal counter-proposals and shifted their positions on several key issues, including, but not limited to:

  • Reducing the cost of the salary proposal, shifting from 4 percent annual raises throughout the term of the contract to a staggered schedule beginning at 2.75 percent.
  • Withdrawing a teacher scheduling proposal, limiting back-to-back-to-back classes.
  • Withdrawing a proposal to embed professional development programs into the job site.
  • Withdrawing a proposal to implement full-day kindergarten, which would be a significant cost saving for the district.
  • Withdrawing a proposal to require reductions in class sizes, saving certified personnel costs.
  • Withdrawing a proposal for co-teaching planning periods, saving certified personnel costs.
  • Withdrawing a proposal to hire additional certified technology teachers.
  • Withdrawing proposed increases in vision care benefits.
  • Proposing increases in employee copayments for nearly all medical services.

"We have demonstrated that we are ready and willing to negotiate on any and all issues, including healthcare," Boyd said. "If the school district decides to join us in the process of compromise, we are confident our talks will make real progress as we move forward."

SOURCE The Neshaminy Federation of Teachers