Sunday, August 22, 2010

NFT: No counter proposal yet, WTC to continue

The following statement was posted to the Board's Negotiation website earlier today . . .

The negotiation teams from both the Board and NFT met this past Wednesday night for 2-1/2 hours with continued focus on questions surrounding health care costs. The NFT made a special request that information they obtain from our insurance carrier not be shared with the Board, which had been the practice up until now. Although the Board negotiation team found this request to be unusual since shared information is one of the desired outcomes of negotiations, it agreed to the NFT request in an effort to facilitate the process.

The Board negotiation team did ask if the Work to Contract (WTC) action would be discontinued since negotiations are ongoing, and the NFT negotiator replied that WTC would continue into the new school year. The long-anticipated NFT counter proposal was not delivered as expected.

The Board is hopeful that a counter proposal will be brought forth at the next negotiation session set up for this coming Wednesday, August 25th.

Waiting another week for (hopefully) a counter proposal was the least frustrating part of this update for me. The request for withholding of information from the Board is insulting and unreasonable. Previously the NFT asked for permission to speak directly with our insurance carrier, which we agreed to. We even put that in writing so there could be no doubt of our willingness to share information openly. Now all of a sudden, the NFT wants information they obtain to be held back from the Board. Doesn't seem like "good faith" negotiations to me.

Even more frustrating is that despite the fact we agreed to the NFT's request for secrecy and that our negotiations continue, the WTC action will carry into the new school year. It's a shame that despite the encouragement from our parents for teachers to stop WTC, our children will continue to be pawns in the middle of this battle.

Hopefully next Wednesday's negotiation session will bring some real progress and a serious counter proposal from the NFT. Until then, feel free to chime in with your comments on the situation (remembering the blog rule about civility, please).


tiffany said...

Off topic, but is there kindergarten busing this year?

forthestudents said...

Just want to say every move you make Ms. Boyd and NFT you cause more parents and taxpayers to jump on the ship of "don't give into the unreasonable demands of the NFT". If I were being represented by THIS NFT leadership I would be rallying my colleagues to find a replacement and quick to better represent the majority of the membership. You have give more parents and taxpayers reason to become educated and that is what we have done. Why not accept the current contract and stop holding students, the board, parents, taxpayers hostage! The longer this goes unsettled, the more difficult it will be to bridge the great divide that has been created by the NFT.

Levittowner said...

I'm sitting here shaking my head. At this point, the WTC seems absolutely absolutely..did I write absolutely?!..nothing more than vindictiveness towards the very community teachers are supposed to be taking care of.
Shame Shame on all you don't stand up to your leadership..then you are standing WITH your leadership and AGAINST my children. This will be a very long and frustrating year. Those union shirts you wear are nothing but bully t-shirts to me at this point. there a way to stop them from wearing them on school grounds? Any way? Those shirts have gone way beyond jsut a way of "supporting" each other to just a taunting image in my mind.

William O'Connor said...

The following comment submitted by Chaz was edited for content.

Just how much more teacher greed and abuse of our children and our tax money will our Board and taxpayers take before we DEMAND from our legal counsel to IMMEDIATELY find a way for the Board to fire every teacher and administrator, interview and rehire the many excellent teachers and administrators who have their clean hands tied behind their backs by Ms. Boyd and the NFT? Other school districts across the nation have already done so, including our neighbors in NJ. We must do so NOW, even if it means ignoring Harrisburg lawmakers' bought-out laws. Let's bring this issue of NFT and its Harrisburg payoffs to the Court of Public Opinion through the Local, State and National Media. Folks, good-will negotiations WILL NOT work with these people. What else will it take for our overly-honorable Board to recognize THAT and start playing HARD BALL the taxpayers' way? I will NOT apologize if my message is 'inflammatory', but I am truly FED UP!!!

Clean House said...

I agree totally with Chaz.

The teachers mantra has always been, "it's about the kids", "the kid education should come first"......yada ,yada, yada. But these "professionals" DO NOT hesitate to continue the WTC strategy. Guess what "professionals" YOU ARE hurting the kids, YOU ARE putting your greed about their educational needs. No letters of recommendations for the seniors, a real classy move!!! What do you think the kid’s attitude is towards now? Do you think they respect you, when you are hurting them directly? Can you look them directly in the eye and say to them, “Look I really deserve to be making this kind of salary, with free medical benefits even though I am screwing up your school year”? “Oh and I am sorry if your folks are laid off and their property taxes are going to go through the roof in the next upcoming years because my pension is guaranteed no matter what the stock market does!”

I have always been an extremely pro union worker. I am a former steel worker and a shop steward while I worked for the Bucks County Court House. My parents grew up during the depression where they told me stories of people gathering at a street corner looking for work, where employers would yell out to the crowd, who will work for 25 cents an hour, who will for 20 cents, until they got the lowest price. THAT is why unions were born. These teachers are just absolutely out of touch with reality. No one is getting 3- 4 % annual raises these days in addition to step increases AND NO ONE is getting free medical benefits and a $30K retirement bonus in addition to FREE medical benefits to age 65.
NFT count your blessings that you have been getting these perks for as long as you have. There IS a growing sentiment in the Neshaminy community to treat you like the air traffic controllers. Those people found out they were expendable. You will too. Wise up, break ranks with Boyd and start negotiating in good faith. After you get canned like the air traffic controllers, then you will get a dose of reality. “You want fries with that sir?”

Real World said...

I agree about the shirts, are you kidding me, this is the mentality we are dealing with at NSD. I also agree that the teachers behavior is winning more and more support for their ultimate demise. I used to respect the teaching profession, now I hate them!

MAT said...

Will the teachers be at the orientations for elementary kids starting k and 1st grade? I'm assuming no, which is a shame, some parents may not even realize what's going on.

Izzy said...

I agree with the comments being made….How long can we be held hostage by the NFT? Apparently, they are ill prepared for the negotiation. Are they not taking this seriously? Did they think the School Board would cave into their demands and no real effort was needed on their behalf? Do the teachers truly understand the division they are creating between themselves and the community they serve? WTC into the new school year… Why don’t they just strike? You might not be able to fire them all but can’t you lock them out? Put them on the street ( yes, a major inconvenience for our students and their families) but then I bet they’ll be prepared to negotiate .

Please tell me that along with the major issues of the new contract (salary, health benefits ect…) that the board will include in the new contract all the responsibilities that ARE part of the job teachers are well compensated to do … Eliminate the possibility WTC in the future.

How many teachers that interview for new positions in our district were hired for the job by declaring that they see no need to use every resource available to communicate with students and parents? That they don’t need to provide a stimulating environment for the elementary students to learn in? That they will do nothing extra to ensure their students make excellent progress?

Please tell me that there is some way to force the teachers to run their team websites that students and parents rely on to keep on track and up to date.

Please tell me that its not acceptable for my child to explain to me that the next unit in social studies is going to be self -taught….read the text book and write a paper. That’s the way their class ended last year.

Please tell me that even though my child readily over heard the teachers discussing their plans to order multiple new NFT shirts for the new school year, so they can wear them everyday, that they will not be allowed to do so.

Please tell me the board and administration will not tolerate any public gathering of NFT members on our school grounds at anytime. Show our students that the rules need to be followed …even by the adults.

My children have been in the district for 11 years. Over the last two years, the over all experience from year to year has been miserable. Lack of concern, dedication, attention to detail, teachers talking about issues that should not be had in the class room… in general the atmosphere has changed greatly. How long is this going to continue ?

momof4 said...

I have listened to and observed the demeanor of many of these teachers and how they handle themselves before the Board. They are not professional (such as a request to keep it from the Board). It's as if elementary school children are bullying another child not to tell the teacher. I have reached the point where I DO NOT want some of these "teachers" teaching my children. Having seen this year's schedule for my children I'm glad none of my children have these teachers "teaching" them. Will the school really be surprised when they start getting letters from parents requesting their children not to have certain teachers. I am so disappointed in many of these supposed professionals concerning how they portray themselves before the public.

acs said...

According to the law you cannot enforce a no shirt rule for union teachers. How interesting I wonder what the admin would do if 1000 students showed up with anti-teacher union shirts on the first day of school?

forthestudents said...

Could not agree more with the sincere posts above. Now please come to tomorrow night's meeting and let your voices be heard. And be sure to thank our terrific school board for their concern for the kids, their desire to not raise taxes and to balance their budget! Like the t-shirt idea for the kids. Let's make suggestions and come up with the best! Here's mine . . . a picture of a chess pawn on a red T. Feel free to suggest yours. It will take forever to close the great divide that has been created by the NFT and the teachers in this district who go along with her shenanigans. Shameful!

Enough Already! said...

@Izzy- it's not in their contract so they aren't normally there. Even on a good year.

Anonymous said...

It sounds like a lot of people are very frustrated about this whole situation but I'm sorry to see almost no understanding or sympathy and zero support for the teachers of this district. While I also believe that the teacher's union could use better leadership I don't agree with the "greedy teachers" mentality. The job of a teacher has evolved into something more than just standing in a classroom teaching. We, as a community, ask our teachers (and I am not a teacher) to help guide our children through more than just an education. How many of your morals and social values did you learn from your school years? As parents we try to be the most important factor in our children's development but the fact is that our children learn from each other while at school and the supervisors during that time are the teachers. If we don't pay our teachers and compensate them for the work and time they spend with our children than we're going to end up with low quality teachers who are just punching a clock. You wouldn't get the lowest bidding babysitter to watch your children while they're young, why would you want the lowest bidding teacher to be in charge of their education?
Philip Katz
Langhorne, PA

William O'Connor said...

Note to "Philip" . . . in the comment you submitted, you included your full name and city of residence. Do you want me to omit that from the post?

Izzy said...

Philip ... The "greedy teacher mentality" is what you get when you allow the NFT to represent you the way they have. Have they negotiated in good faith??? Have they made their demands known ??(they have had two years to do so). They have made themselves look greedy and foolish ... Don't they understand the economy? Don't they see what's happening to the families in this community? Have they kept up to date on what the other surrounding districts teacher contracts look like ? Do they understand they are among the most highly compensated teachers in the country? The era of free health insurance is gone ....They need to deal with that reality and start moving forward in a professional manner. And WTC is not

Secondly, teachers are hired to teach, to manage our childrens educational needs .... As the parent, I ensure my childs social and moral growth. We don't want teachers that just punch the clock ... thats what we've been getting and it started long before WTC started. Teaching is an important should not be compared with some kind of glorified babysitting job... The PARENT is utimately responsible for the child... The NFT's entitlement attitude doesn't earn them sympathy from the community... Damn right there is no sympathy for the NFT.

acs said...

Well said Izzy. Not much more to add except the WTC was a good thing because it really opened the communities eyes to how low this union and its members will go in the name of personal greed to gouge taxpayers. It amazes me more and more every day. Just wait till we see the offer they made and if you think you are angry now you ain't seen nothing yet.

Marz said...

The Morning Promise recited every day my children attended Ferderbar Elementary:

Today I promise to RESPECT myself,
Today I promise to RESPECT others, near and far;
Today I promise to be a RESPONSIBLE student at Ferderbar.

I just find it interesting that they make the children recite this (or did) daily. Respect and responsibility. I think that should apply to everyone. Not just the students.