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VIDEO: NSB President Urges NFT's Permission to Join Consortium

School Board President Ritchie Webb urged for the NFT to give the district permission to join a regional insurance consortium.

At the last school board meeting, the Neshaminy School Board approved the school district joining regional insurance consortium comprised of area school districts.

In order for the district to join the consortium, school board President Ritchie Webb requested each of the district's labor groups to give the board permission to join.

According to Webb, he received permission from each of the district's labor groups prior to last week's deadline with the exception of the Neshaminy Federation of Teachers. He clarified that the union did not turn the board down, but they did not respond.

Though the deadline was last week, Webb said that Neshaminy was granted an extension to join the consortium until the end of this week.

"So now I turn directly to the leaders of our teachers’ union, and I ask you once again to please consider allowing your NFT members, to join this consortium," Webb said at Tuesday's school board meeting.

"Failure to join this consortium will hurt so many people both in and out of this district." Webb said, noting that the district's increased number of its large labor force "will add significant buying power to the consortium." This, he said, would help the district "achieve true savings" in current and future health care costs.

According to Webb, joining this consortium would benefit both district employees and students. Lower health care premiums would benefit employees that contribute toward their health care in that they would see a reduction in what is taken out of their pay checks. For the district as a whole, reduced costs would mean savings for its bottom line, "which ultimately could spare student programs from being cut and employees from being laid off," Webb said.

However, Webb said that in order to maximize the district's savings opportunity, the board needs all of the labor groups to comply.

"If we fail in this opportunity, and if a single program is cut or a single employee is terminated, the community will look back upon this moment with deep regret.  Please do not let this be yet another instance that an unfortunate decision hurt our district," Webb said.

The school board unanimously approved Webb's motion to set the deadline for the NFT's response to join the consortium for Friday, April 13 at 4 p.m.

As of Tuesday at 9 p.m., NFT spokesperson Bob Schiers told Patch that the union is currently working through the consortium issue.

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