Thursday, August 20, 2009

Negotiations Update

The Board and Neshaminy Federation of Teachers (NFT) met at a negotiating session on Aug 19, 2009 with a newly appointed State mediator. No progress was made on any outstanding issues.

The Board’s offer – major components of which include an average 3% salary increase for returning staff, enrollment in the Blue Cross Personal Choice 20-30-70 medical plan with employee contributions, and elimination of the retirement incentive – remains intact despite the fact that we are in the midst of the worst economic downturn in 75 years, rising unemployment, and unprecedented pressures on Neshaminy's budget which must fall within Act 1 guidelines.

The NFT’s proposal remains unchanged, calling for retroactive 6-7% annual salary increases, one of the most expensive medical and prescription drug plans in Southeastern Pennsylvania with zero employee contributions, and expanded retirement provisions that include a $30,000 cash payment plus free health care until age 65.

Already one of the highest paid staffs in the entire State, the Union’s proposal would raise the average salary from under $80,000 to over $93,000. Over three years, the estimated salary difference in the two proposals is well over $16 million.

After accounting for existing retirees, the difference in health care costs to the District between the two proposals is about $4 million this year and expected to grow.

No further talks are scheduled at this time.