NFT Ends Work-to-Contract, Authorizes Possible Strike
The leaders of Neshaminy Federation of Teachers have declared the end of work-to-contract. The leaders have been authorized to call another strike.
The Neshaminy Federation of Teachers has lifted the work-to-contract job action.
According to a NFT press release, the union leaders decided Wednesday evening to lift the action, which has been in place since the beginning of this school year.
"The leadership and our members have concluded that the ‘work-to-contract’ action is not an essential part of our strategy as we seek to reset the bargaining process now that both sides have spoken on the arbitration report," NFT President Louise Boyd said in the press release.
The NFT leaders were also authorized by union members to call another strike this school year “when and under the circumstances the committee decides are appropriate,” as stated in the press release.
Boyd and union leaders stated in the press release that there has been no decision yet on whether to go on strike, which they are allowed to do under state law.
Should the teachers go on strike for a second time this year, 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.
The teachers went on strike for eight days in January, which prompted the state-mandated non-binding arbitration process.
Although the school board already voted to reject the arbitrator's report, the NFT held a vote Wednesday evening, in which members "overwhelmingly endorsed their leaders’ recommendation to accept with reservations the contract findings issued last week by a state arbitrator."
“We had hoped the school board would give careful review and good-faith consideration to the arbitrator’s report. Their refusal to do that and their knee-jerk rejection of the arbitration process was a disappointment to Neshaminy’s teachers,” Boyd said.
“But our message to the board and the community is that this was a missed opportunity to find solutions to the dispute that has divided us,” she stated.
Prior to the school board rejecting the arbitrator's findings, school board President Ritchie Webb said that if the board agreed to the terms of the report, the district's 2012-2013 budget deficit would "easily exceed $20 million."