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