Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Residents express views on contracts

From today's Courier Times . . .

Dozens packed the Neshaminy school board meeting Tuesday night to express concern over financial issues, the lack of a new teachers contract, and the district possibly closing an elementary school in the future and implementing full-day kindergarten.

"We all know that teachers are the most important part of running a school," said Stacy Kirsh, 33, a Middletown mother and Pennsbury teacher. "It is because of teachers all of us can read, write or compute math problems. It is time respect is shown to this very valuable group of professionals. In order to attract good teachers, we need to compensate them and treat well. It is time to meet with the teachers on a regular basis in good faith to settle this contract."

While Middletown resident and businessman Larry Pastor, 54, said he thinks Neshaminy teachers are dedicated, professional and deserve a fair wage, he called the educators' requests outrageous and said they're already overly compensated. Pastor added that he hopes the community speaks up because he believes that most taxpayers are behind the board. He also asked that the board conduct bargaining sessions publicly.

You can read the entire article by clicking here.


JS said...

I'm glad the Board is holding fast, though people seem to think that you have already privately caved, but we'll see sooner or later.

I still think that the Board should stress the fact that tremendous shortfalls have come to revenue so the district needs to cut costs. Even if the District cut everything that wasn't salary and benefits you would stand to only lower the total budget by 30-40 million. That would be with no copy paper, no gas for busses, no soap, no toilet paper. 80% of the total expenditures for the district are tied to salary and benefits, why shouldn't cuts be made there as well. Tell the teachers that you will gladly take the toilet paper out of the faculty bathrooms to save some money. Have them carpool a few kids to school each morning as well, that would save on gas for busses.

Did the issue of the teachers wearing their NFT shirts and buttons in school come up at the meeting?

JS said...

Mr. O'Connor I saw that you spoke up to a person on the Phillyburbs comments that they had their information wrong about the Board already backing down. Can you or Dr. Spitz (who I also know pokes his head in here from time to time) speak more to that?

I'm not saying I believe "Julio" and his "sources", but it would be a shame for things to swing this fast, particularly with the meeting that went on last night.

William O'Connor said...

JS, that person on the Courier blog is more willing to believe baseless rumor than any reassurance I can give him. No matter what the evidence says, there will always be grassy-knoll skeptics.

For the benefit of readers who don't view the Courier blog, a person posted a comment that they have it on "good authority" that the board has already "backed down" in the negotiations.

The latest and greatest info is exactly what we have posted on the board's negotiation website - the NFT has rejected our last proposal. Unfortunately that's where things stand at the moment. Hopefully both sides can return to the bargaining table in the true spirit of compromise.

I don't what else I can say.

Rebecca said...

Thank you for setting the record straight William. I too saw those comments on the Courier web and was concerned by the rumor. We all appreciate what you and the other board members are doing.