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Ritchie Webb: NFT 'Made a Terrible Mistake'

Neshaminy School Board President Ritchie Webb said that the teachers union made a "terrible mistake" by not voting on the board's latest contract offer.

In their Wednesday night meeting, members of the Neshaminy Federation of Teachers did not vote to accept the Neshaminy School Board's latest contract offer.

This action, school board President Ritchie Webb said, the NFT "may have made a terrible mistake in judgement."

"While trying to hold onto the past, they are gambling with their future," he stated.

According to a NFT press release issued Wednesday night, union members accepted the negotiation team's recommendation to not take action on the school board's offer, "with an overwhelmingly majority of those at the meeting rejecting a motion calling for a formal vote on the school district’s offer." 

Accepting the school board's "final offer" would eliminate several contract provisions "that are key to educational quality in the Neshaminy School District," the union stated in its press release.

By offering the contract proposal based on Council Rock's contract, the school board "made a bold, unprecedented move to end five years of labor unrest," Webb said.

"Unfortunately for the students and tax payers of Neshaminy, the NFT not only wants the Council Rock money, but also wants to keep the old Neshaminy contract language that has been so detrimental to this district. Our negotiations continue to be hampered by issues such as equal say, past practice and language regarding class size that is illegal," he stated.

Webb and other school board members have stated that they will not accept a new contract that includes equal say and past practice.

"The board offered the monetary provisions and non-monetary language that are in the Council Rock contract. If this is good enough for Council Rock, then it should be good enough for Neshaminy," Webb said.

"The NFT continues to say they want a contract that is good for our children. I hope an NFT member can rationalize for me how actions like working-to-contract, strikes, picketing back-to-school nights, etc., attain that goal. Such extreme behavior exists solely to protect the status quo, and has never benefitted our students," he stated.

Webb posted the board's offer in its entirety on the board's negotiation blog for review.

"I am confident that when the public reviews the Board's offer in its entirety, they will agree that it is more than fair," Webb stated.

Diana Lane Fodor January 04, 2013 at 05:54 PM
It is time to say to those current teachers who feel the contract is unfair... "This is the contract that will be executed going forward. We thank you for your time with Neshaminy, and understand your wish to terminate your employment. We wish you the best in your future endeavors." Let the hiring begin! New teachers who actually WANT TO TEACH!
Amber February 08, 2013 at 03:01 PM
Amen to that!
JAG Longdrycreek Ranch February 08, 2013 at 04:20 PM
Obviously, the teacher's union has no desire to review the offer or to alter their demands. After 5 years, it is apparent that is time for the district to conclude that a new faculty is required. Teaching is most important than the Union demands. My guess is the Union instructs the teachers to teach to the old contract, not the new. Consequently, the Union teachers are violating their trust and call of professional conduct. The school board has not alternative other than to thank them and being, though the administration, the hiring of new faculty.

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