*** Updated at 2:50pm ***
Click here to read the official School Board response
It was Back To School night at Neshaminy’s middle schools yesterday, and parents were greeted by picketing teachers who ventured onto school grounds to hand out literature explaining their position in the ongoing contract negotiations.
The lit piece (click on the image to enlarge it) was called a free 60-second course on how to negotiate a “fair” contract and it told a story of how the district isn’t negotiating fairly while the NFT helplessly waits for us to come around in our thinking.
Of course I find this piece of literature to be just a tad one-sided, so I’ve prepared a supplemental tutorial entitled Sounds fair to me . . .
We are in a jobless recovery with record unemployment, but the NFT is demanding what amounts to an annual average 6% - 7% raise. We offered them in excess of 3%. Sounds fair to me.
We are in the midst of a national debate on health care as millions of Americans have no insurance at all. Those who have insurance through their employer contribute minimally 25% - 35% or more to the monthly costs, but the NFT insists that teachers contribute nothing towards their top tier coverage. We asked for contributions of 15% - 17%. Sounds fair to me.
As taxpayers are about to be burdened (again) with funding the shortfall in the State workers pension plan (which covers the teachers), the NFT says that isn’t enough and believes each teacher is entitled to retirement perks like a $30,000 payout and free health insurance until Medicare kicks in. We think that’s excessive and have said there should be no extra retirement perks at all. Sounds fair to me.
The NFT complains that this is a “teachers lose on all points” negotiation, but what about the last two contracts where the taxpayers lost on all points? Sounds fair to me.
Unfortunately for the teachers, the NFT isn’t interpreting public reaction correctly. They confuse the public’s desire for settlement of this dispute as partial support for their demands, and apparently they think picketing on school grounds will put more pressure on the Board to back down. That kind of thinking is as out of touch with reality as is the continued demand for free benefits, and that’s what the NFT doesn’t seem to get.