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Arbitration Report Addresses Retro Pay, Retirement, Insurance Contributions

The arbitrator's report addresses a number of topics that the union and school board have been unable to agree on in negotiations.

The Neshaminy School Board and Neshaminy Federation of Teachers received the state-appointed arbitrator's findings and the school board has now released the details of that report to the public.

The report, which was provided to Patch by former school board member William O'Connor, addresses retroactive pay, raises, the length of the school day, the length of the school year, health care contributions, retirement and more.

In accordance with state law, both parties  following the .

If both the union and school board agree to the terms of the arbitrator's findings, it would become the new contract and would be effective from July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2015.

Teachers would not receive salary increases for 2008, 2009 and 2010. They would receive a 1 percent raise for 2011; a 1.5 percent increase for 2012; a 2 percent increase for 2013; and a 2.25 percent increase for 2014.

In addition, union members would be placed on the step and credit level "appropriate to their actual service/credits as of June 30, 2012 or the date of mutual ratification" of the agreement, whichever date is later. Then, each year thereafter during the term of the contract, teachers would move up a step and/or move up to the appropriate credit level.

Union members would receive 50 percent of accrued back pay from salary schedule increases, missed steps and/or credit adjustments from July 1, 2008 through June 30, 2012. The payment of this accrued back pay will be made to any teacher on the payroll on the date that the agreement is mutually ratified -- date of that the agreement is mutually ratified is whenever both sides agree to a contract. The payments will be made in 12 equal payments between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2015.

The arbitrator accepted the union's proposal to adopt a modified health care plan, which was proposed in the union's previous contract offer. Employee health care contributions would be 10 percent in 2012, 11 percent in 2013, and 12 percent in 2014.

The arbitrator accepted the school district's proposal to shorten the time for filing a grievance from 60 working days to 20 working days.

The arbitrator also accepted the school district's proposal to change the teachers' normal work hours from 7 hours to 7.5 hours per day. In addition, the arbitrator accepted the school district's proposal to change the teachers' normal work year from 188.5 days to 190.5 days.

Teachers will have to have served 15 years to receive health care coverage in retirement. They will have to have served 20 years for the incentive payment and health care coverage in retirement.

Also, that incentive payment would be $20,000 after 20 years of service, with an additional $1,000 for each additional year of service up to $25,000.

Retired employees and their spouses, current and future, will be subject to the same health care contribution rates as current employees.

The arbitrator rejected the school district's proposal on mandatory drug testing, background checks for current employees, and reporting of arrest and conviction within 72 hours.

Both parties have until May 12 to reject or accept the report. If they both accept the report, it would become the new contract for teachers. If either side rejects the report, negotiations will resume.

If both sides are unable to reach a settlement, the teachers can call another strike this school year. The number of days teachers would be able to legally go on strike would be determined by the state's Department of Education, but teachers would only be able to go on strike for a limited number of days to ensure that students would complete 180 days of instruction by June 30.

The PDF of the arbitrator's report is attached to this article under the photo.

Charles May 09, 2012 at 12:15 PM
Sorry to disagree with you, Joseph, but if I did to my prior employers what these avaricious vultures have done to our children I would not only find myself with no salary increase... I would find myself with no salary, period! I would have been fired 4 years ago! NO reinstatement to any "step they are entitled" under any circumstances. They made their own beds and on April 26, 2012 all 650 of them sanctioned teacher abuse of innocent children and sentenced them to another 4 years of the same abuse. There is NOTHING to negotiate!!! In fact, the current offer is unaffordable and MUST be immediately withdrawn and replaced with a much more taxpayer-friendly one, including nothing less than 30% healthcare contribution.and all other 50+ School Board requirements.
Elizabeth May 09, 2012 at 01:12 PM
It is so disappointing how little education is valued today. To call educators, "avaricious vultures" is disgusting. There was an unbiased group of arbitrators that decided this as "fair". Also, everyone mentions the cost of the proposed plan but forgets about the savings. By having the teachers contribute now towards their health insurance and by not paying out raises, they are saving millions of dollars as well. I definately agree with jennifer's comment regarding drug testing and background checks, but as far as the bad mouthing of teachers, I think it needs to stop
Brian May 09, 2012 at 02:54 PM
When Neshaminy has enough money in the hopper to pay for all of the building repairs that are necessary (for the safety of our children), and enough money to re-institute programs that have been cut, and enough to continue to fund the PSERS nightmare that our government is doing nothing about, and when we put solid technology in to our schools so our children are working with and learning with current technology then and only then should we look at what money is left and offer some of it to the teachers. I think the world of teachers, they help mold our children in to well rounded individuals. They help to inspire our children to strive for the next step in their lives. Teachers are incredibly important and deserve our respect, but they also need to ground themselves and look at the current economic climate in not just our district, but our state, our country, and the world in general. The world is in a financial horror show right now and there is uncertainty at every level. So I will continue support the NSB as they attempt to stave off a financial downfall that would ruin Neshaminy for a very long time. I love teachers, but I support the NSB!
feasterville resident May 09, 2012 at 05:13 PM
Taxpayers can not shoulder another increase in school taxes. Everyone must share in this downward economy. We all have had to cut back. We have all had to contribute to healthcare. 30% would seem reasonable. Pay increases have not occurred throughout the workforce for several years. We are retained by our employers through performance, not a lack-luster try. Lets make Neshaminy a top rated district again. My mother and daughter are teachers. The majority of the teachers are great but the NFT Union elected officials have given a black-eye to the profession. Bit the bullet, for now, as we all have done. We need to have a somewhat balanced budget. Revenues from school taxes will probably decrease with the pending foreclosures that are prevailing. People are losing their homes, do you think they will pay their school and property taxes? Tightening of the belt needs to be done now and the next few years.
Neshaminy District Citizen May 09, 2012 at 11:51 PM
Budget aside, most large companies these days have implemented drug testing policies and if you don't submit you lose your job - why would people working with our children think it appropriate that they should not have drug testing, criminal background checks or have an obligation to report criminal charges to the district after they become employed? People working with kids, even at Church are required to have criminal background checks periodically!

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