Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Union PR campaign doesn't change Neshaminy's reality

Here are some excerpts from Ritchie Webb's guest opinion appearing in today's Courier Times . . .

After more than two years of failed strategies, the Neshaminy Federation of Teachers recently sought to improve its image with the help of a public relations expert. The NFT changed the conversation away from contractual issues and told the public its only priority was the good of our children's education, and that it wanted civility with the school board as we worked toward a middle ground in the ongoing impasse. But as was demonstrated by last Tuesday's negotiation meeting, there is no middle ground with the NFT. There never was.

The board's negotiation team headed into Tuesday's talks expecting to discuss health care, and we fully anticipated the NFT was open to the idea. After all, union President Louise Boyd told the editors of this very newspaper in a face-to-face meeting that the union was now willing to discuss health care. It took only about 20 minutes for us to learn that the NFT had no intentions of talking about this issue, and the negotiation session quickly fell apart.

Though this most recent development is disappointing, it is not surprising as NFT leadership has a history of saying one thing but doing another. Case in point is the NFT's insistence that it wants civility in our negotiations, yet dealing with them has been anything but civil when you consider the work-to-contract action perpetrated against our students. And let's not forget the full page advertisement from the NFT in which union President Louise Boyd said Neshaminy school boards have been lying for 35 years without offering a single shred of proof. Yes, there is civility at its finest.

To read the rest of Mr. Webb's letter, click here.

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