Thursday, July 22, 2010

Contract update: Board proposes cost savings to Rx

The following update was just posted to the Board's Negotiation Website . . .

The Board’s Negotiating Committee and the NFT met last night for approximately two hours. Most, if not all, of the conversation centered on health care costs. The Board presented a cost savings proposal of self insuring our prescription plans, which our broker estimates will reduce our current costs $1.3 million next year, with similar savings in subsequent years. This would be an immediate savings with no impact on our employees. The Board cannot change this plan without NFT consent as any change would violate status quo.

The Negotiation Team did bring up the topic of employee contributions towards health care premiums, but there was little reaction or comment from the NFT in this regard.

The NFT offered no counter proposals last night.

Another negotiation meeting has been set for August 12th.


The positive news about this report is that the Board has identified potential savings to health care costs which won't have any negative impact on our employees.

On the not-so-positive side is the continued luke-warm reaction by the NFT towards employee health care contributions. I'm also baffled that the NFT had no counter offer last night. Considering that they cancelled the last meeting so that they had "more time to prepare", just what exactly did they need more time to prepare for?

Hopefully the August 12th session will bring more progress.
.

17 comments:

Ground Zero said...

It's a start! If they are meeting again, that's a good sign!

I Must Be Living in Jersey said...

Where is the "good sign" GZ? The nft cancelled the last meeting saying they needed to prepare, then they come to the rescheduled meeting with nothing? They really put that extra time to good use didn't they?
Maybe you think this is good because they had a meeting and they are having another one, but there was no progress. They still won't admit they should be paying for health insurance.
If it wasn't for the board coming up with a savings idea for prescriptions, the whole meeting would have been a waste of time.

acs said...

GZ, What are you talking about? There is no good sign here at all. These are show meetings for Boyd. They have no intentions of conceding and 2 meetings later we know this for sure now. Time to start charter schools and get rid of the NFT

JS said...

I personally think you won't see ANY movement from the teachers until the spring.

Here's the reason. The NFT knows (if they don't they are ignorant and don't deserve to be teacher Neshaminy students anyway) that they will end up paying something towards benefits. They also know that they won't get any retro pay from the 09-10 school year.

That means it only makes financial sense for them to drag this process out until the spring and sign a new deal at the end of the 2010-2011 school year. They will get their retro pay back to now, but not have to pay retro medical contributions.

The only way (as I see it) to get the NFT to make any real contributions to the process until then is for the Board to say 1 of 2 things.

1. You will not get any retro pay prior to the date the new deal is signed.

2. In order to get retro pay for that current school year you will have to also pay the calculated costs of medical contributions as well.

If either of those things don't happen then the NFT would be idiotic to sign before April. Note: I am not condoning them not signing, it just doesn't make financial sense for them to do so until then.

The other issue is the large number of Under 65 retired teachers who could care less if this dragged out until after they were all 65+. It means they wouldn't have to pay medical contributions. They will (and have been) put pressure on the senior teachers to not sign for as long as possible.

Regardless of the NFT's work to contract actions, possible strikes, etc. I doubt this will be signed any time in the coming months.

Levittowner said...

Great NFT..just waiting to strike are we?!

Levittowner said...

NFT seems to be just going through the motions and I be they are just waiting to strike at the start of school.

Go ahead! The community stands behind this board.

SuzetteLiptrot said...

Thank you for keeping us up to date William. As a parent I hate being kept in the dark regarding what is going on between the NFT and the School Board. I do hope for an end to the WTC (not likely). It is not fair to the kids. As far as the School Board goes... please do not back down. Everyone contributes towards healthcare. It is not too much to ask for the teachers to pay something for their benefits.

abc123 said...

Still playing to the media aren't we William? I thought you were taking the summer off.

Ground Zero said...

It's a good sign because they are meeting again. The fact that they agreed to meet again shows that there was some dialogue,even though it is not detailed in the press. Let's root for success in our district-not more conflict!

Jake said...

Ground Zero I could not agree with you any less. What good are talks with no progress especially when the key issue of teachers paying for insurance won't be acknowledged by the nft? Its obvious that the hard work Louise Boyle is talking about means they want to find a way that they won't pay for benefits ever. They can have 20 more meetings and she isn't going to give in on that issue. We will be no closer to a new contract in 20 meetings than we are now.

Ground Zero said...

Time will tell. 3 meetings in two months is better than no meetings in over a year. All it takes is one idea, one suggestion, or one compromise to get the talks moving. I know there is so much negativity surrounding the contract issues, but I still hope for an outcome everyone can live with so we can get back to focusing on education!

acs said...

The meetings mean nothing until the NFT delivers a counter proposal containing concessions on health care and the ridiculous retirement benefits these teachers gets. We will see what happens on August 12. I bet Boyd uses the $1.3M self insurance savings as a negotiations chit. That is why they didn't agree to save taxpayers money immediately.
I really hope this board does not move an inch on the offer and NO RETRO PAY. This group should never be rewarded for what they have done to this district.
I hear people say that good teachers are leaving no...LET THEM LEAVE.... please show them the door. We have paid dearly for these So-Called good teachers and look where NSD ranks.
Let's make room for the good teachers that want work and will accept our terms. There are plenty that can't get jobs in NSD because the reality is that this is the nirvana of teacher compensation and NO one really will ever leave....they work the least, get paid the most...retire like a king ....a dream come true...all paid for by the mass of struggling taxpayers.
William do not let this board give in this is one fight really worth fighting and winning no matter how long it takes.

William O'Connor said...

The following comment submitted by Really Now? was edited for content.

Please realize that we were not in the 2 hour negotiation. The NFT hasn't said what was talked about - we get Richie Webb's and Larry Pastor's version only - and Webb is a politician - they are believable I guess right? Why is it that this community gets behind a partisan school board member?

William O'Connor said...

Really Now: Mr. Webb was accompanied by several other Board members, so it isn't just his perspective. You may choose to doubt this account of the meeting, but the Board has been open and honest about contract negotiations. If you don't believe this, then please have someone else present in the meeting produce a counter offer made by the NFT, or have them issue a statement that they are open to the issue of paying for benefits.

We're waiting . . .

acs said...

If Webb is lying to the public on the SB blog and with the press for 2 years then Boyd should get her lawyer to charge him formally. As Really says he is an oath taking elected public official and can be impeached and thrown out if he is proven to lie to voters once elected. I don't hear that Boyd and the NFT are saying formally he or other board members or even LP is lying about anything. It is all a joke so in the end Boyd can say whatever happens was her plan all along. When your position is SO incredibly weak it is not a bad strategy to keep saying the other side is not "representing" your position properly. If the NFT is now willing to concede then it is due to public pressure and a strong patient board. However I do not believe they will concede on a thing and WTC all of next year. I think the board should give them one last chance to take their last offer if they do not make a counter on Aug 12. Then withdraw it.

SuzetteLiptrot said...

I would like to know if the "Work to Contract" issue is being discussed at all during these meetings? It is extremely unfair to be using the children as playing cards. I wish we could do away with Teacher's Unions all together. Hire new teachers who will accept what you offer. We ALL pay for our healthcare...this is 2010! Sorry William...I am just so frustrated. When will this ever end?

KClarinet said...

For those of us who have no experience with such things, what exactly does it mean to "self insure" the prescription plan (or any other insurance plan)? Who actually provides the funds that pay the claims (in this case the cost of prescriptions beyond the insured member's co-pay)? If it would literally be self-funded by the district, how could Neshaminy on its own do this from its operating budget?