NSB Presses for More Negotiations
The school board and NFT haven't negotiated new contract terms since before the strike in January.
Although the Neshaminy School Board was disappointed by the non-binding arbitration process, the school board contacted state-appointed mediator John Cairns to schedule further contract talks with the Neshaminy Federation of Teachers.
"There isn't a single board member who doesn't want to get this thing [a new contract] settled, but we have to keep our costs under control or else it will be the students who suffer," school board President Ritchie Webb said in a press release.
"We are willing to continue talks as long as the NFT is," Webb added.
In response to NFT President Louise Boyd's criticism that that the school board's recent rejection of the arbitrator's ruling was "vindictive," Webb said that "the entire board remains mystified why a supposedly neutral third party, who is an agent of the state, would issue a ruling that would force this district to exceed the state's Act 1 mandated inflationary limit; the process is broken."
Webb also said that he feels that teachers have taken the board's stance personally when it is all about the business of running a school district.
"I sympathize with their frustration, but union leaders have yet to show how the district can afford their contract demands," Webb stated.
When asked about a possible second teachers' strike this school year, Webb said, "I hope it doesn't come to that because ultimately it is the children who pay the price, but the board remains committed to fiscal responsibility and educational results, and we are bolstered by the unwavering support of our community."