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Public School Teachers Set To Strike In Neshaminy

By Oren Lieberman

LANGHORNE, Pa (CBS) — The dark windows at Maple Point Middle school in Langhorne are normal for the weekend, but they will be that way to start the week after the teachers declared a strike on Friday.

“We have no been given no other choice,” said Louise Boyd, the president of the Neshaminy Federation of Teachers, the union that represents 654 teachers. “I’d much prefer being in my classroom to being out on the picket line.”

After 38 negotiating sessions, the teachers’ union and the board were unable to come to an agreement, so the teachers had boxes of hand warmers and strike signs ready to go for Monday morning.  They are expected to picket outside of district schools.

“They have no willingness whatsoever to be creative and collaborative and find an end to this,” Boyd said of the Neshaminy School Board.

But the board says the teachers refuse to come down from their demands that are too costly for the district and the taxpayers.

“The key to settling this impasse is not to put our children’s education at stake, but to understand the economic times in which we live,” said Board President Ritchie Webb.

“This is teachers holding children hostage to extort more money,” said Larry Pastor, who lives in the district and has been fighting the teachers’ union for years.

Pastor says the last union contract bankrupted the school district and forced schools to cancel programs.

“What we have here is the highest paid teachers in the state and mediocre performing schools,” said Pastor.

For the district, the teacher’s contract is a financial issue that affects students. But to parents like Stephen Pirritano, who has two kids in the district, it is all about the students.

“When it gets to the point where it’s the union or the education of our children, we’re going to stand behind the education for our children,” said Pirritano.

Both sides say they are ready to negotiate and blame the other for the breakdown in communication. Meanwhile, parents say the real cost will be to students’ education.

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  • RP

    Almost half the teachers in NSD make $96,000 a year. This for a job where you start with 10 weeks of vacation. Pay $0 for healthcare and retire on pensions, after 35 years, in approx $84,000 a year for life. Virtually no one in the private sector with similar education has a package worth that much. Yes, I know CEO’s do, but you are not a CEO. You are a teacher. The level of responsibility is not even close

  • Victoria P

    The Newtown Athletic Club is offering childcare during the Neshaminy strike. For more information please call 215-968-0600 x 112.

  • Stigall Show Log 1.9.12 « CBS Philly

    […]  6:12 School teachers in Neshaminy are set to go on strike this morning. […]

  • Dee

    Cindi, surely you must be a teacher.. or also known as an educator? shall we talk about the nursing / healthcare profession? Salaries much less. hours much longer.. and the physical and emotional work and experiences far more taxing.. give me a break…

    • Chuck

      You speak as if you know this with certainty. I would never tell a garbage man that my job is harder than his. Why? Because I truly don’t know. Until you try and manage 25-30 14 year olds that may bring in guns, are high on drugs, and shout every expletive you know at you (and there is very little you can do about it), don’t act as if someone else’s job has a greater emotional and physical toll. That makes you VERY ignorant. And by the way….those things happen every day.

  • Janie

    You always hear the teacher’s or the board’s point of view. There is one more. The student’s. I was an 8th grader during the strike of 1980. I was both horrified and heartbroken to see my teachers standing on a picket line. I thought they cared about me. My education. I was forced into a reality I was not ready to face. Depression at 12 years old.
    Thanks guys. Let’s see how many more kids you can ruin.

  • laughing right back at you

    All of you act like you know exactly whatbis going on, when you truly understand nothing. You don’t know that these teachers are satisfied with their current pay, you you don’t know that they are currently satisfied with their healthcare. You act as if this job is so easy and easily forget that these are educated people that should get a good salary. You don’t know what these people have worked through over the past 4 years. What you see are people looking for a raise, and you couldn’t be more wrong. I love hearing, so many people are out of work, as if we are in some depression. The employers, are feeble minded fools who unfortunately, are responsible for millions of dollars of taxpayer money. That’s the problem. It’s also a problem when society allows employers to take advantage of their employees. So YES! Good for them. Good for the few people in this society to stand up for themselves.

  • Laughable

    My guess is Cindi is a teacher. We need to rid the public sector of Unions, that is the first step! If you really look at what Gov. Walker did in Wisc, it truly is what we need to do for ALL government workers.

    • Grumpy2

      Walker is gone soon, and he knows it. Bigger mistake than Santorum was in PA!

    • grumpy

      Yea, that’s one big reason why Walker is being recalled !

  • JustTheFacts

    Cindi, in 2006-2007, Neshaminy SD had the 2nd highest average salary (to Council Rock) at an average of $81,816 and it is now speculated that the salary is at $79,000 so either way they are above the average income of the Neshaminy tax payers which is at $63,000 not to mention the full benefits the teachers receive. We can forget about test scores (which aren’t favorable for teachers) and forget about teachers working 9 months or having to grade papers and just look at this from a current economic standpoint. These teachers have jobs which is more than you can say about many in today’s society. Their pay was frozen at around that $80,000 salary just like federal workers saw their pay frozen two years ago. Obama is trying to end that pay freeze with a 0.5% increase so that would equate to $400 for a government employee earning $80,000. But teachers are going for a lot more than .5% and want retroactive pay as well, something government workers don’t even bother asking about. And their solution to everything is to raise taxes when many of the teachers including head of the union does not live in the school district. So tell me how they are being treated like second rate citizens?

    • truth hurts

      Maybe you have gone to school and provided yourself with a better job. Perhaps the Neshaminy taxpayers can act like those in Chester-Upland (wait, they already are)….now there’s a good school district. That’s what happens when you are apathetic toward education and teachers. Why don’t you look and see where the highest paid teachers in the world exist, and why people are flocking to this city to give their children the best possible education and paying for it too. It’s not surprising that it is Shanghai, China. Shocked? You shouldn’t be. That is the thinking that is putting them in the lead as the world’s top producing country.

  • Laughable

    Cindi: You must be joking. PA has some of the highest paid teachers. Top rate is almost $100k at most suburb districts, plus benefits, sick time and PENSIONS. Where they get to retire on $70k+ per year for the rest of their lives. All for working 9 months a year and some pretty good hours. They need to disban the PA Teachers UNION… it is killing the taxpayers in this area!

    • Dee

      Amen.. least we not forget.. part time employment.. NOT full time hours!! They may tell you that they work much more than the school day.. I know for a fact that is not correct.. besides working part time throughout calendar year.. their days are less than the average worker. they have become greedy.. and less about education dedication… amazing their demands. when other occupations do NOT experience this type of pay increase.. and if we remember.. unions demanded that their pensions be funded with the losses that not only they experienced but everyone did… IT MUST END>>> outrageous… Just a bunch of entitled people…

      • Chuck

        You have no idea how long there days are. There day does not end at the door. You are a VERY ignorant individual. Please stop your myopic points of view. You couldn’t be more wrong.

  • Philly

    Hire all the teachers from Philly that will be out of jobs come june

    • Dee

      Great idea!

  • grumpy

    4 years? No mediator? I don’t blame the union on this one!

  • Cindi

    I admire them and hope they can get a fair settlement. The teachers of this country are treated like second class citizens with no overtime, low pay and unbelievable demands placed upon them. We as a society should compensate them.

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