1. Rachel Canelli's article on the end of WTC
2. Andy Vineberg's recap of yesterday's parent rally outside NFT headquarters
3. A Courier Times editorial encouraging nonbinding arbitration
4. A letter to the editor commenting on the NFT full-page ad
Further down below is a Fox 29 News report on yesterday's developments.
I am pleased that the teachers ended WTC but my appreciation falls short of saying "thank you." The WTC was an attack focused on children and should never have happened in the first place.
So why did the teachers agree to end WTC? My opinion is that too many teachers couldn't stand not doing the job they wanted to do. Most of our teachers value the relationship with their students dearly, and this working strike wasn't helping the students or the teachers. This stalemate will likely go on for a while, but at least now the teachers can look forward to their day without the constant disapproving looks and comments from angry parents.
In case you didn't notice in Canelli's article, the NFT has hired a PR firm. I've also heard that Louise Boyd and her PR person will be meeting with the Courier Times Editorial Board and with Fox 29 News sometime on Monday to begin sharing their perspectives on the contract impasse. I also believe you will start to see an increase in the number of pro-teacher comments appearing in the various blogs and Facebook pages as part of a public relations blitz.
Among Ms. Boyd's more telling comments was that the NFT was not willing to contribute 17% for health care premiums (the Board's last offer), immediately followed by her usual but-we-will not-negotiate-in-public disclaimer. If anyone thought that the ending of WTC was a sign that NFT leaders have come back down to earth, Ms. Boyd's statement suggests otherwise.
I'm sure after reading today's Courier Times editorial that the public will be asking for nonbinding arbitration. I know we should be open to any and all negotiation paths but I'm a little skeptical of the results of each side presenting its argument to a panel and awaiting their findings. Sounds an awful lot like the Fact Finding process which didn't yield any progress.
At least the good news for today is that our kids can look forward to a normal day in school tomorrow.