Tuesday, May 3, 2011

NFT rejects meeting requests

Last week the Board learned that our recent requests for additional negotiations were rejected by the NFT for reasons not yet explained to us. Unfortunately the Board and the public have been kept in the dark about this.

We are making the public aware of this situation so that they may feel reassured that the Board is committed to ongoing dialogue with the leadership of the Teachers Union, and we will continue to make every effort to schedule further negotiations with them.

Below is an email from the Board’s attorney, Chuck Sweet, to the State-appointed mediator, John Cairns, stating our displeasure with this most recent development and also reasserting the Board’s position with respect to a new collective bargaining agreement.


From: [Chuck Sweet]
To: [John Cairns]
CC: [Ritchie Webb]
Date: Sun, 1 May 2011 21:38:19 -0400
Subject: NFT negotiations


I just learned on Friday, April 29, 2011 that you had, on six (6) occasions since my letter to you of March 3, 2011, offered in writing to Tom Jennings and NFT specific bargaining dates, beginning with March 17, 2011 and continuing with five (5) additional dates in April, 2011. The most recent of those dates was April 27, 2011. Unfortunately, you did not copy me on any one of those e-mail messages. You have also not communicated with me by telephone or e-mail since March 3, 2011. Also unfortunately, the NFT did not accept any one of the dates that you offered.

The NFT President, Louise Boyd, makes a great show of saying that she and the NFT are available at any time and any date to negotiate with the Neshaminy School Board. That is obviously not a true statement.

We have been bargaining continuously with the NFT since January, 2008. We are well into our fourth year of negotiations. The three (3) year proposal made by the Board to the NFT in January, 2008 will expire soon. It was always, by its terms, not retroactive to any date prior to its mutual acceptance and ratification by both parties. That has always been quite clear to the NFT and to the taxpayers. Any future offer from the Board to the NFT will only be for a prospective term, that would be defined in a new written offer.

I am available to you for communication, whether by e-mail, telephone, or otherwise.