Monday, August 15, 2011

Talks continue but little progress reported

The 33rd session between the NSB and NFT earlier this evening lasted 2-1/2 hours. Board representative Ritchie Webb and attorney Chuck Sweet spent most of the evening in face-to-face discussions with NFT president Louise Boyd and their attorney, Tom Jennings. The state mediator was not present for tonight’s meeting due to a prior commitment.

Although there isn’t much progress to report, the dialogue between both parties remained civil and direct. Once again the NFT had no counter to the Board’s July 18th proposal. No concessions were made by either side this evening and no tentative agreements were reached, but Mr. Webb did confirm the top priorities including reiteration of the Board’s position that there would be no retroactive pay.

Conversation focused on health care, contributions, retirement perks, longevity, and other financial issues. The union acknowledged they are now using the assistance of an AFT (American Federation of Teachers) representative from their research and information service department to help analyze the numbers. The NFT also acknowledged that the step costs reported by the Board at last week’s meeting were more accurate than theirs, but further refinement is necessary.

Another meeting has been set for Augst 29th, which allows the Board time to gather information requested by NFT relative to contract costs. The state mediator will be available for this meeting.


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