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NFT 'Frustrated' Over Board's Rejection of Arbitration Report

The Neshaminy Federation of Teachers was "hopeful" that the school board would announce its acceptance of the non-binding arbitration award.

The Neshaminy Federation of Teachers is "frustrated" by the Tuesday evening.

According to a NFT-issued press release, the union was apparently hopeful coming into the school board meeting last night that the board would accept the report, but instead witnessed "a vindictive , who ridiculed the arbitrator, the arbitration process, state officials, and the NFT before calling for a board vote that resulted in a 9-0 unanimous rejection of the arbitration award."

In , Webb stated that the school board agreeing to the terms of the arbitrator's findings would cause the 2012-2013 budget deficit to "easily exceed $20 million."

The NFT was scheduled to meet Wednesday night to vote to accept or reject the arbitrator's report, however, since the board has already rejected it, voting is "a moot point now as both parties must agree to the findings or the award is null and void."

“I’m rarely lost for words,” NFT president Louise Boyd said in the press release, “but I was nearly speechless when I heard Webb’s rant about the arbitrator, the arbitration process, state officials, and teachers. It was flat out embarrassing. He blamed just about everyone on the planet for the mess they’ve created in this district – except themselves. In effect, he called into question the integrity of the arbitrator, accused the state of disempowering the school board, and blamed the NFT for all of its financial problems.”

Boyd said that the arbitrator's findings were very "middle ground" with neither side coming out a clear winner. However, Webb stated Tuesday evening that the only real "victories" for the district were the expanded work day to 7.5 hours, and a work year of 190.5 days and that "the arbitrator overlooked the needs of our district and instead appeased the NFT" by rejecting the district's proposal for mandatory drug testing, eliminating the equal say clause, or writing letters of recommendations for the students.

“The district won and lost on a lot of points and so did the NFT,” Boyd said. “But to listen to Mr. Webb’s rant last night, one would think that the arbitrator gave the teachers everything we’ve asked for, which is not the case by any stretch."

Boyd also said that Webb's "rant" was the "perfect example" of the district's "take-it-or-leave-it" approach.

"Not even an impartial third party arbitrator can get them to see there are numerous ways to resolve this issue. I guess the ‘Neshaminy Nine’ are committed to a scorched earth policy. Tragically, they’re again moving our whole district a step backwards,” Boyd said.

In the arbitrator's report, NFT Vice President Anne Schmidt said that there are "big concessions" for the union and that the NFT approached the arbitration process "prepared to make tough decisions for the sake of closure and moving forward."

“The board, on the other hand, outright dismissed nearly everything that wasn’t exactly what they wanted. They clearly did not take this process seriously and just don’t seem that interested in finding an end to this impasse,” Schmidt said.

Tuesday night, Webb said that he doesn't have an answer to the question about how long the impasse with the NFT will last, but that the school board "will not give into unaffordable contract demands that will inevitably lead to even more program cuts."

The PDF version of the arbitrator's report is attached under the photo.

sick of this May 10, 2012 at 02:31 AM
eww, I vomited in my mouth....Put the Kids first for Gods sake!!
YetAnother May 10, 2012 at 02:47 AM
Elizabeth, the taxpayers of Neshaminy SD would take any of the surrounding districts CBA's as compared to the current NFT agreement. That is the problem. The NFT is without a contract b/c their expired agreement is BETTER than any surrounding district. The NFT is a greedy bunch who want, no, who demand more. Yet, all indicaitons are extreme medicority across the ranks not to mention drunks, repetitive thieves, and reconginized bullies. There are some seriousl character flaws in the rank and file.
Charles McCarthy May 10, 2012 at 12:59 PM
Get a committee of 5 taxpayers to solve this. It would take a weekend.
Elizabeth May 10, 2012 at 01:11 PM
YetAnother, it is my understanding that the arbitrator takes into account surrounding districts and the finances available in the school district. Millions of dollars have been saved every year that the school board does not settle. It is quite possible that the current expired NFT agreement is better than other districts, however the current arbritation settlement is fairly similar to others schools and should be settled upon ASAP. I am not here to judge the possible character flaws of some, as this is subjective. I would rather focus on the facts
feasterville resident May 10, 2012 at 03:03 PM
Louise Boyd and her cohorts have moved the whole district a step backward not the school board. We are in serious debt financially and educational wise. Our district ranking has fallen below average compared to other districts. Ms. Boyd should according to her description of the school board proposal "take-it-or-leave-it". Compensations should be merited by performance. Our Children are suffering. People wake-up. No drug testing, no letters of recommendation, etc..... is this what we want for our children? Why not place HELP WANTED DEDICATED TEACHERS? It is not unfair to ask the teachers to contribute 30%for healthcare, keep a hold on raises for now, drug test, letters of recommendation. Our economy warrants these adjustments, not only for the teachers but for the majority of taxpayers in Neshaminy School District. Louise et al, leave if you are that unhappy. You have stated in the past what horrible terrible conditions you have worked in over the last few years. Our children can't leave, they depend on dedicated teachers who show integrity, attend parent/teacher meetings, correspond with parents, etc..... Bit the bullet just like the majority of us have until better times occur.

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