The following email from Ritchie Webb to Louise Boyd, sent on Monday, August 13, 2012, extends the Board's offer for more frequent negotiations to the NFT with the provision that NFT attorney Tom Jennings be present at future sessions in his role as lead negotiator. This email was submitted to Judge Baldi during Tuesday's hearing (8/14/2012) to demonstrate the Board's willingness to continue negotiations in good faith.
Dear Ms. Boyd:
As you are very well aware there has been an extraordinary amount of energy expended by the NFT, including multiple court filings seeking more bargaining. The idea of “more is better” is sometimes correct. The District does not necessarily believe that to be the case in these negotiations because a settlement could take place quickly if the NFT had a sincere desire to address the District concerns. However, in order to give NFT a major opportunity to deliver a settlement the District advises you as follows. Our Board and Negotiation Team has agreed to allow Mr. Sweet, it’s chief negotiator, effective immediately, to make himself available for every day, all day bargaining . The remainder of the Neshaminy Board negotiation team in this intensive bargaining process is committed to attending as many bargaining sessions as possible within the constraints placed on each of its members by jobs and other commitments.
You are assured that Mr. Sweet continues to have authority, subject to a final public vote by the Board, to reach a tentative agreement on behalf of the District. Mr. Sweet will be in constant contact with the District negotiating team, updating it on the progress of negotiations much as we do now, when a member is absent due to work, commitments or illness.
The only condition the District places on starting this process is that the NFT commit to Mr. Jennings’ participation for the entire length of each bargaining session. With due respect to Mr. Gelman, who has replaced Mr. Jennings at numerous sessions, Mr. Jennings has been the chief negotiator for the NFT throughout the entire negotiations. As we enter this critical phase of bargaining, the District believes his committed presence at all sessions is crucial to the success of the process.
The District has decided to accept the NFT’s request for intensive bargaining because it is attempting to create the best environment it can for a successful resolution to these negotiations. The District can only assume, since the NFT is clamouring for these intensive bargaining sessions that it has proposals to make to address the District’s needs in these negotiations.
Please confirm the NFT’s commitment to this process with the single condition noted above and have Mr. Jennings contact Mr. Sweet as soon as possible so that dates for bargaining can be scheduled immediately. While it would be the District’s preference to have the Mediator in attendance at each session, Mr. Sweet is prepared to meet without the Mediator in the event he is not available.