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Neshaminy School Teachers Offer To End Strike In Exchange For Binding Arbitration

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(Neshaminy school teachers on strike.  File photo by Jim Melwert)

(Neshaminy school teachers on strike. File photo by Jim Melwert)

Michelle Durham Michelle Durham
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By Michelle Durham

DOYLESTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — The union that represents striking Neshaminy schoolteachers has offered to leave the picket line and return to the classroom right away if the school district agrees to certain conditions.

But school district officials say they are not sure if the school board will agree to those conditions.

“We are willing to end the strike immediately if they agree to 24/7 negotiations for the next seven days,” says
Louise Boyd, president of the Neshaminy Federation of Teachers.  “At the end of those seven days, what we would like is any unresolved issues be sent to binding arbitration.”

But Neshaminy superintendent of schools Dr. Louis Muenker does not believe the board will agree.

“The negotiations would continue on a set schedule agreed upon by both parties — but that’s usually the nonbinding variety,” he notes.

As for earlier newspaper accounts that the strike might last until February, Boyd says they are not accurate.  Under the terms of Act 88, which limits the number of days teachers can strike, the teachers would have to return to the classroom by January 19th.   The February date represents the latest date that teachers would need to return to work to assure completion of the school year by June 30th — and Muenker says parents  have to consider both scenarios a real possibility.

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