Monday, August 29, 2011

NFT offers revised verbal proposal

Meeting #34 began at 6:45pm and lasted 2-1/2 hours. At the request of the state mediator, Board President Ritchie Webb and NSB attorney Chuck Sweet met with union leader Louise Boyd and NFT attorney Tom Jennings to review the findings of the AFT’s Washington, DC-based Research and Information Director. As this portion of the meeting ended, Mr. Webb reviewed the data with the rest of the NSB negotiating team while the representatives from the NFT took a 50 minute caucus before returning with a revised verbal proposal.

Mr. Webb requested the revised proposal be put into writing so that the information could be shared with the rest of the school board. The NFT indicated they would submit a written proposal sometime this week.

As has been Board practice throughout these negotiations, details of the NFT revised proposal will be shared with the public once it has been formalized in writing, and after the details have been vetted by the Board. Until that time, the Board will not comment on the contents of the latest counter offer.

Both sides agreed to meet again on Wednesday, September 7th at 6pm.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Talks remain civil 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.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Talks yield some progress

Meeting #32 lasted for 2 hours, 20 minutes, and although there were no major breakthroughs, Board President Ritchie Webb referred to the meeting as "positive."

The NFT did not offer a counter proposal at tonight’s meeting, so the Board’s negotiation team asked to review its last proposal of July 18th with an emphasis on the costs of the proposal and the savings that would be necessary to approach an agreement. Mr. Webb stressed that we do not want a contract we cannot afford.

The mediator indicated the NFT wanted to be placed on the salary steps they would have received in accordance with their previous proposal. The NFT believed the cost of this move would be $1.2 million. This differed significantly from the Board's estimate which placed the costs in excess of $4.8 million for the 2011-2012 school year. Further review of this topic is needed.

It is important to note that this was not a new proposal but rather a review of the Board’s previous offer.

Both sides agreed more meetings were warranted, and the next session has been scheduled for this Monday, August 15th.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Proposal update

Below is a salary schedule that Mr. Webb sent to the mediator, Mr. Cairns earlier today. This is a supplement to the July 18, 2011 proposal to the NFT which details the salary matrix through 2014. Although the Negotiation Team advised the NFT that the proposed salary increase was 1% across-the-board, the Board only provided the salary schedule numbers for the first year of the proposal and wanted to verify the last two years before issuing them.

The next negotiation session will take place on Thursday, August 11th.

Board Proposal 71811 - First Year 2011-12 Salary Schedule v2