Wednesday, January 25, 2012

January 26th session cancelled

Mr. Cairns, Labor Mediator, Bureau of Mediation, PA Department of Labor and Industry, requested / recommended that we postpone our January 26, 2012 meeting. Instead he requested a mediated off-site, off record discussion on the process of Act 88 final best offer arbitration with one attorney from each party. The NFT and the District agreed to the postponement in order to move the Act 88 arbitration process forward.

Your school board wants to reassure the community that this next meeting is only to establish a process for moving forward through the state-mandated, non binding arbitration. We are still committed to transparency in keeping the public informed of our progress in negotiations. Please stay Tuned for further updates.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Board not interested in meeting for the sake of meeting

In reaction to a recent NFT press release which accuses the District of refusing to work towards a contract settlement, School Board President Ritchie Webb issued the following response:

  Dear Ms. Boyd:

  I have reviewed a copy of the press release issued by the NFT yesterday.  Let me start by noting that there is much that you state in that release with which we disagree concerning the facts.  There will be time to address those discrepancies in the future if necessary.  The main purpose of this letter is to focus on negotiations.  

  The District is pleased to hear, finally, that the NFT is prepared to “explore any and all ways to reach a fair contract” and that you are not “fussy” about how we get to a fair agreement. While those public statements are nice to hear, they are easy to make.  The proof will be in the actions the NFT takes.  So, the District’s bargaining team is prepared to meet on January 26, 2012 starting at 6:30 PM for a bargaining session.

  It is the District’s expectation that the NFT will start this session by presenting a complete written, comprehensive proposal that addresses all remaining open issues.  Such a proposal could (depending on its content) show the NFT’s sincere desire to address the District’s concerns and provide a basis for the Board, in conjunction with the Mediator, to consider meeting in some form of accelerated negotiation schedule.  The Board’s negotiation team, however, is not interested in meeting just for the sake of meeting.

  As both parties prepare to commence mandatory, nonbinding arbitration as is called for by Act 88, I take this opportunity to emphasize that these bargaining sessions can only be productive if the NFT shows a true, sincere effort to address the District’s needs.

  We look forward to your proposal on the 26th.


Ritchie Webb
Neshaminy Board of School Directors

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Webb comments on NFT failure to return to classrooms

A Letter to the Neshaminy Community

I'm sure you know by now that the NFT will not report to work on Tuesday, January 16th. I am greatly disappointed, but not surprised since the NFT leadership has shown no regard for the rule of law in the past. Why would we expect them now to honor Act 88, which requires the NFT to return to teaching?

Act 88 requires the NFT to allow 10 days for the Neshaminy School Board to respond to their request for binding arbitration; the act also requires that during that time no strike may occur. Once again, this rogue NFT leadership has shown total disregard for the law and our community, and they are poor examples for our children.

The NFT claims they did not propose binding arbitration, yet their spokesperson, Bob Schiers, clearly stated that the NFT requested arbitration in his interview, January 13, 2012, as printed by the Philadelphia Inquirer. In this article Mr. Schiers says that this is the first time the NFT has ever made such a proposal.

Even that statement by Mr. Schiers’ is inaccurate as is evident from another article dated October 28, 1993, in the Philadelphia Inquirer. That article quotes representatives of the Neshaminy Federation of Teachers stating they wanted the school board to consider binding the results of a usually nonbinding arbitration process, known as fact-finding and follow its recommendations.

Obviously, this attempt at binding arbitration is an NFT ploy designed to mislead the public and the board, knowing full well that past experiences with arbitrators tend to favor the union.

Once again I will repeat the board’s willingness to negotiate as often as the Bureau of Mediation can schedule meetings. However, only after the teachers return to work.

I want to thank the Neshaminy community for its overwhelming support. I appreciate the hardship you are enduring while the teachers are on strike.

Thank you!

Ritchie Webb
Neshaminy School Board President

Friday, January 6, 2012

Teachers declare strike

The Nesaminy Federation of Teachers (NFT) announced today that our teachers will be striking effective Monday, January 9th.

Please visit the school district website at for important updates.

We urge every member of our community to contact NFT Headquarters at 215-547-2001 and demand that teachers immediately end this job action aimed at our children, and return to the bargaining table ready to negotiate an affordable contract.