Thursday, January 24, 2013

Board frustrated by lack of progress at tonight's meeting

Meeting #66 Update

The Board entered tonight's session with a sincere sense of urgency to move the process forward, but we were disappointed by the NFT's apparent disregard for the situation and unpreparedness to tackle the important issues.

The parties met for more than three hours, however, there were no face-to-face talks as the mediator chose to conduct separate discussions. The Board conveyed to the mediator its desire to address the most significant issues separating the two sides, such as Past Practice, but when the mediator returned to the room after meeting with the NFT, he could only share the more trivial issues that union leaders were willing to discuss.

Recognizing our frustration, the mediator urged the Board not to pull its offer but rather encouraged us to agree to further sessions. After some consideration, the Board agreed to another meeting on February 6th, and again on February 13th, if necessary.

We remain convinced that the Board's final offer is in the best interests of the teachers and our students, and we hope the union leaders will allow the membership an opportunity exercise its right to vote on a settlement. However, if NFT negotiators continue to drag out talks without progress such as we saw this evening, then regrettably the teachers may never get that chance.

We feel for the Neshaminy community, its children and our teachers. And the Board continues to demonstrate its good faith by agreeing to further discussions with the NFT. We now look to union leaders to reestablish their commitment to ending this impasse.