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Amid Contract Faceoff, Neshaminy Teachers Vote To Authorize Another Strike

(Neshaminy High School, in file photo.)

(Neshaminy High School, in file photo.)

Tim Jimenez Tim Jimenez
Tim Jimenez is a general assignment reporter at KYW Newsradio...
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By Tim Jimenez

LANGHORNE, Pa. (CBS) — In January, Neshaminy school district teachers went on strike for eight days.  Now, still working without a contract for their fourth year, they voted to authorize a second strike of the school year if necessary.

Last week, an arbitrator issued her recommendations. This week, the school board rejected it 9-0 but the teachers accepted — with reservations.

So, the finger-pointing continues over what the teachers can get and what the district can afford.

Teachers’ union president Louise Boyd says the board never wanted to meet in the middle.

“The district does not want anything except what they put on the table four years ago.  They have given no one any reason to believe that they’re even trying to end this,” she tells KYW Newsradio.

School board president Ritchie Webb says the teachers are asking for too much in this economy, given a state law limiting the taxing the district can do.

“To pass something we can’t afford, only to end up cutting our children’s programs, is something that we refuse to do,” he says.

Even though the union authorized a second strike if necessary, Boyd says one is not imminent. Webb says a strike this time of year would be especially disruptive.

No talks are scheduled, although both sides expressed interest in getting back to the bargaining table.

State law would limit the length of a strike because the 180-day school year can’t end later than June 30th. The union needs to give 48 hours’ notice before hitting the picket lines.

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