Friday, June 17, 2011

Courier Eds off base on thumbs down

The Courier Times Editorial staff gave the Neshaminy School Board a thumbs down in today's paper by saying . . .

To the Neshaminy school board for canceling Thursday’s negotiating session with the teachers union.

Negotiators met Monday for the first time since February. At that meeting, the union formally presented its latest proposal. Regardless of whether board members believe the proposal is still too costly, which they do, there would have been no harm in continuing to talk. Instead, members want time to meet with their newly formed citizens advisory committee before meeting again. They tentatively agreed to meet the third week of July.

We don’t doubt that the union’s latest offer won’t yield the kind of savings the board wants and taxpayers need. But the union did compromise on a key demand — continued free health benefits. Granted, what they said they’d contribute isn’t nearly enough. But it’s a starting point.
That said, commendations to the board for getting citizens involved in the process, and, prior to that, for keeping the public fully informed.

Most of what the Courier said this morning was actually complimentary of the Board, but they were mistaken in placing sole responsibility for cancellation of Thursday's meeting on us.

During Monday's negotiation session, the NFT made it very clear that they felt the Board was wasting their time by not presenting a counter proposal, and that there was no reason to meet Thursday if the Board could not provide an offer. The mediator agreed, and so did the Board since we are committed to meeting with our Citizens Committee before drafting a counter. That is why our Monday evening press release stated that both parties mutually agreed to cancel Thursday's session.

We appreciate the coverage and fair reporting given by the Courier Times throughout this impasse, but they should issue a retraction on today's thumbs down.

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