Thursday, August 30, 2012

Board President disappointed by Union Leader’s “waste of time” comment

Reacting to last night’s NFT press release in which Union President Louise Boyd referred to yesterday’s negotiations as a “waste of the NFT's time,” Ritchie Webb issued this brief statement:

“Considering that more was accomplished last night than in the previous four years, I believe Ms. Boyd has done a great disservice to our negotiations by derailing some important progress both sides achieved.

The twelve items agreed to from the Arbitrator’s award included some significant concessions by the Board, and for the very first time since talks began in 2008, we have a partial, tentative agreement over some key issues.

After these items were agreed to, the Board then decided to offer a new Rx proposal that was even more generous than what the NFT had originally requested. This was followed by the NFT modifying its offer for employee health care contributions.

Admittedly these are baby steps in what will be a long journey to a resolution, but I am baffled why Ms. Boyd would downplay what happened. Are union leaders so intent on building the case for a strike that they won’t acknowledge positive developments to their own rank and file?

Given Ms. Boyd’s inappropriate behavior at Tuesday’s public board meeting, and now her refusal to acknowledge last night’s accomplishments, I have to wonder why she even bothers showing up for negotiations.

For the sake of our students, parents and taxpayers, I hope union officials show up for tonight’s meeting with a more positive, can-do approach.”