Thursday, September 9, 2010

NFT Prez: Board using "stall tactics"

A few days ago I received a call from a teacher who was concerned that the Board would not seriously consider the NFT's recent counter proposal. I assured this teacher that we were committed to a thorough review of the financial impact of the offer before making a decision. They responded with "that's all any of us can ask of you."

Apparently that's not true. Enter NFT President Louise Boyd.

Yesterday Ms. Boyd issued a statement to the Courier Times in which she accused the Board of stalling the negotiations throughout the past 2+ years. She appears to be frustrated that the Board didn't begin evaluating the merits of the NFT's verbal offer of August 25th instead of waiting for the written offer which wouldn't be delivered until another 9 days had passed. Apparently the NFT leader isn't interested in a thorough analysis of the offer. After all, it only took the NFT 2+ years to come up with this proposal. Certainly the Board should just accept it, quickly and quietly.

There is a certain irony to Boyd's anxiety over the perceived delay in a Board response. Remember it was the NFT who insisted that the Board should not be copied on any information they obtained from our insurance provider. Now, in order to consider the NFT proposal, we must reach out to the insurance company to verify information we could have (should have?) already had in hand. Or perhaps Ms. Boyd thinks we should trust their numbers without verification.

I'm also bothered by the seemingly minor point of when the Board received the NFT's written offer. Boyd insisted to the Courier reporter that the email was delivered on Thursday, September 2nd. The truth is this email wasn't received by the Board's attorney until the afternoon of Friday, September 3rd, and we provided the Courier with the email date/time stamp to prove it. For anyone who has followed the statements of alleged teachers (they always use fake names to hide their identity so it's impossible to know if they are really teachers) on the various blogs and Facebook pages, they see the outrageous claims and accusations made against the Board. Yet time and time again when confronted with the facts, these people change the subject and move on to another unsubstantiated rumor.

I understand and empathize with those of you out there who are anxious to see this contract impasse resolved. The Board is well aware of the pressure and impact this situation puts upon you and your children. Please understand that with decreasing revenues and increasing educational demands, we must not, we dare not, miss this opportunity to restructure the single highest cost driver to our operating budget. Borrowing a now-popular phrase, the Board must do the hard work to ensure that this district has a sustainable economic model that will enable Neshaminy to maintain academic excellence. If we fail on this opportunity now, we will be failing our students for many, many years to come.

“One of the great disadvantages of hurry is that it takes such a long time.” - G K Chesterton



I Must Be Living in Jersey said...

It has taken the nft over 2 years to make an offer but it is the board who is stalling? Is that what you’re saying Louise? The board is right to have waited for the written proposal. If they didn't they would risk the nft saying they misunderstood the verbal offer. You guys can't even agree on the date it was emailed. I said I would wait to see the offer before passing judgement on the nft offer but now I'm wondering. Why is Louise trying to ram this offer down the board's throat all of a sudden? Is it possible she fears what an in depth analysis of the offer will show? I don't care if the board has had the nft offer for 2 days or 2 weeks. We all want this contract over with but it must be done right, not done quickly.

acs said...

Bravo William! Defend the truth for taxpayers and students! This district is under assault by a self-interested win at all cost union. They have made it a war.

Jack said...

Sorry, must have dozed off for a while. When exactly did the Board put a revised contract offer in writing before the NFT? Restating the same offer is not much of a negotiating position. There is enough blame for all parties on the stalling. However, once there is movement on either side I'd push ahead and see if there is common ground to move ahead.

And yes I am aware that verbal contract is not binding but, at a negotiating session the starting point is always verbal...unless someone says"Ok, we'll take your offer as is". Surely someone was taking notes and paying attention to the NFT "verbal".