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).