Union negotiators for Neshaminy teachers are a persistent bunch. They're also insensitive, if not completely arrogant.
On the biggest of all issues - health benefits - the union has not budged. Negotiators continue to insist on a total freebie; that is, not a penny from teachers toward the cost of health insurance. In other words, 100 percent of the cost of insurance would continue to be covered by taxpayers. That said, the union is offering to increase co-pays for a laundry list of medical services and prescription drugs. That's a little something - way too little!
As one board member said, "The (union) is seeking to keep their (what we have called a) Rolls Royce health care plan with no contribution toward the monthly premiums +"
The union's stubborn and insensitive insistence on free health insurance is a slap in the face of every taxpayer in the Neshaminy School District. So is the union's salary demand, which is retroactive to 2008.
The five-year deal proposes increases of 2.75 percent in each of the first two years, 3 percent in the third and fourth years, and 3.5 percent in the final year - with the same percentages applied to step increases.
Explained one school board member: "Remember that a 3 percent raise translates into much more than simply 3 percent because it is also applied to the salary steps. So while teachers at the lowest end of the salary scale would receive minimally 3 percent (as an example), there are teachers who would receive two to three times that much."
Incredible! And incredibly selfish.
The school board is holding a work session this evening but will welcome public comment on the nion's counter-proposal. Taxpayers should get in line early. .