Wednesday, July 20, 2011

One man's trash is another man's fiscal restraint

A piece of trash. That's how NFT negotiator Jeff Dunkley referred to the latest Board offer during last night's public meeting. Louise Boyd called it an insult, and on the NFT Facebook page urged "all media to conduct an independent analysis of of the two proposals." Be careful what you ask for.

The Courier Times editorial staff did assess the situation, and they heavily favored the Board's position in this morning's opinion, Neshaminy's new offer: Lessons learned. According to the Courier Times, "If the U.S. Congress handled its affairs in the manner of the Neshaminy school board, debt wouldn’t be an issue." After pointing out some of the more expensive, unaffordable aspects of the current CBA, the editor's conclude "Taxpayers should be pleased that the current board has learned a very expensive lesson."

It's all about perspective. As the NFT sees it, they are being asked to give up a significant amount of the benefits and prestige they achieved in previous contracts. From their point of view, this latest Board offer is so bad that it deserves to be called names. Then there is the public reaction, where people working in the private sector are struggling financially and feel little sympathy for our certified staff's desire to maintain expensive, almost unprecedented benefits that the district cannot afford to pay. And caught in the middle is the Board who strives to find a way to maintain the educational programs for Neshaminy's students.

The NFT is circling its wagons as they insist they are unified as one, and threaten the Board with picketing at their homes and businesses, and issue an ominous warning that they will respond "at an appropriate time and in an appropriate fashion." The Board hasn't flinched and we remain committed to the principles that we began with over 3 years ago. And the public is scratching their heads in disbelief as they see teachers holding up signs that say "negotiate" while their union leaders walked out of Monday's session failing to do just that.

It's unfortunate for our students that there doesn't seem to be an end in sight to this impasse. I think everyone would agree that they deserve better than this. We need to do something to kick start these negotiations and make them more productive. The second thing we should do is allow videotaping and reporting of the sessions.

The first thing we should do is agree that nobody should abandon talks by storming out of the room.


1 comment:

calfonso97 said...

For 2010, PSSA scores rank Neshaminy #203 among 500 school districts in PA.
Over the last 10 years, average PSSA scores rank Neshaminy #269 among 500 school districts in PA.
Neshaminy teachers are Compensated (Salary & Benefits) #1 among 500 school districts in PA.
Why have Neshaminy taxpayers been paying for 10+ years TOP compensation in the state, while getting a LESS than Mediocre quality of education?
"NFT=Teachers and Teachers=NFT" - Louise Boyd, NFT President
Teacher GREED and CORRUPT past Boards have gotten us to where we are!!!