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