Neshaminy Teachers Call on School District to Bring Spirit of Compromise to This Week's Contract Talks

Dec 01, 2010, 18:09 ET from The Neshaminy Federation of Teachers

LANGHORNE, Pa., Dec. 1, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Neshaminy teachers are poised for progress in Thursday's scheduled contract negotiating session with the school district. On the eve of those discussions, leaders of the Neshaminy Federation of Teachers today said they are anticipating that the district will bring new ideas to the table that will move the two sides toward compromise.

"Teachers have already offered two counter-proposals that have included significant compromises," said Louise Boyd, president of the NFT. "If school district officials are serious about reaching an agreement, the next proposal needs to come from them."

The proposals made so far by the district, Boyd said, have only served to move the parties farther apart. "Failing to engage in serious discussion does nothing to protect the high-quality education that our students deserve. Nearly two-and-one-half years after the expiration of our previous contract, it is long past time for the school district to make a real counter-proposal," she said.

"When we sit down to negotiate on Thursday, Neshaminy's teachers and the community at large can rightly expect the school district to have a new proposal that will move us closer together," Boyd said. "Compromise requires movement on both sides."

Since their original contract proposal in 2008, Neshaminy teachers have made two formal counter-proposals designed to find common ground on 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.

"Meanwhile, the revisions offered by the school district to its first proposal have largely moved the talks backwards and blocked progress," Boyd said. "Teachers are genuinely hopeful that the district's negotiating team will join with us in a good-faith effort to move our discussions ahead toward a new—and long overdue—agreement."

SOURCE The Neshaminy Federation of Teachers