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Progress Made in Neshaminy Negotiations; Key Obstacles Remain

The Neshaminy School Board and Neshaminy Federation of Teachers made progress in Thursday night's negotiation session, but key obstacles remain.

Thursday night, the Neshaminy School Board and Neshaminy Federation of Teachers participated in "positive dialogue" and made "important strides toward resolution ofthe 5-year contract impasse."

However, school board President Ritchie Webb said that two important issues remain at large.

“The NFT proposal for special education class size adds $2 million to our annual operating budget. Not only is that unaffordable, we also believe that the NFT plan violates State guidelines thus making it an unviable program,” he stated.

The other issue, Webb said, involves contract language, specifically regarding equal say, status quo and past practices.

“The board remains committed to creating an environment that respects the work and professionalism of our teachers without hamstringing our administrators with prohibitive and counterproductive contract language.”

“If our principals are to be held accountable for results, then there can be no doubt as to who holds ultimate decision-making authority within a school building. The board will never agree to contract language that in any way hinders the authority of our administrators,” Webb elaborated.

Both sides will meet again Monday, Nov. 26.

Between now and then, the NFT is expected to review the school board’s objection to their special education plan, as well as reconsider their insistence of maintaining contract language that supports equal voice, status quo, and past practices.

Redskinsmom November 10, 2012 at 08:48 PM
Tony, You are sooooo wrong about the equal say issue. The equal say issue prohibits any principal or school administrator to EVER change ANYTHING in ANY SCHOOL without a long drawn out procedure of meetings, written proposals and voting...even if it's only about helping at a PTO evening function or class parties or assemblies or decorating hallway bulletin boards...the NFT now has the right to say NO--- "if it wasn't done in the past" then they don't EVER have to change the status quo. It's absolutely unbelievable as to how hand tied any principal or school administrator is at this time. SOMEONE has to be the ultimate decision maker and in ANY business this is the way it has to be in order to keep order and have things run efficiently. Equal voice is ABSOLUTELY intended to supersede the authority of the principal. It may sound like a mute point to you, but NO OTHER DISTRICT or business ANYWHERE has equal voice. You have to live it to believe how terrible it is for our children, students and community!! Think about it...
former teacher November 10, 2012 at 10:42 PM
Tony, if equal say is just a 'mole hill' you have to wonder why the NFT is fighting so hard to retain this. Think about it. They have given up on retiree health care and retro pay just to name a few things they held onto for almost 5 years. But they still won't let go of the equal day. Not a big deal? Think again.
Betty November 11, 2012 at 07:42 AM
Someone should look at the elementary math program that NFT initiated in the lower grades. A SHAME OON THE TEACHERS that it is being used. Equal say does prohibit our children from learning. How can a few teachers make decisions that will jeopardize our children's educational rights.
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