|Posted on June 15, 2010 at 3:06 PM|
PASTOR BOARD MEETING COMMENT (June 15, 2010 abbreviated): After watching the WTC action by Ms. Boyd and NSD teachers I was struck with the following question: Who is running the NSD school district, the school board, the administration, taxpayers, parents? Sadly, my conclusion is that it is clearly the Neshaminy Federation Of Teachers Union!
It is time for the school board to do their jobs and take this district back for our students, parents and taxpayers once and for all. Enough is Enough!
|Posted on June 2, 2010 at 8:05 AM||comments (2)|
Follow up to June 1st Board Meeting
View Pastor's remarks at Board Meeting below
PASTOR COMMENTS: What can I say about last night's school board meeting there is so much. First I had a lot of pride in our parents and students who showed up in large numbers to speak about the impact of WTC on their kids and that they are demanding teachers pay for healthcare like everyone else in the district. THANK YOU PARENTS PLEASE GET UP TO SPEED ON THE FACTS AND KEEP COMING AS MUCH AS YOU CAN, IT MAKES A DIFFERENCE-REALLY! Second I was appalled, disappointed, disgusted, angry, but certainly not surprised at the lead union bully Ms. Boyd's walk out action of her and 300 or so teachers. A predictable if not trite union tactic to show their solidarity and that no matter what they will not back down, will not concede, will not take less in the next contract, will not listen any criticism or public comments, and will not negotiate until they get Free Healthcare guaranteed. Remember folks Ms. Boyd will not negotiate yet since she hasn't yet called a strike. I know Mr. Webb and the board, especially after all the community supported the board last night will not yield on the healthcare contribution. The board is like steel now. Thank you Ms. Boyd for everything you do to strengthen our resolve to fight for taxpayers and students as well as support the board. Holding our kids hostage to your greed is simply a brilliant move and I am sure it will get you the support you want.
Does anyone else get the distinct impression now that Ms. Boyd may be the problem here? I am wondering when we see the cracks in this union's solidarity. After all the union dues the membership pays - $38k per month, their union leader has not gotten them a raise in 2 years and they are rapidly becoming the bad guys to the public and parents in this movie. May not be too far away...imagine a strike to demand 7% raises and Free Healthcare even in retirement in today's economy? I can't wait to hear Boyd explain that the highest compensated teachers in PA want more when the district is running $22M in deficits. I think then we go to the national media coverage of "Unions gone wild in Middletown Twp PA" since it will be so ridiculous that teachers would make these demands of a struggling community. I can't wait to see Ms. Boyd running away from Anderson Cooper next!
Tonight I want to talk again about the Neshaminy Federation of Teachers.
Tax increases over two decades have resulted in our teachers being among the highest paid in the state and enjoying one of the richest contracts in the country. When you include salary, additional pay, longevity pay, free Rolls Royce healthcare costing taxpayers $26,700 per teacher per year and then add to the the significant retirement perks only NSD teachers have including a $28k retirement bonus and full free Rolls Royce healthcare in retirement for their family I would argue anyone that they are now the highest compensated teachers in Pennsylvania.
Do they know our local unemployment rate is steady at 9 percent, up from 3.7 percent in 2008, and Bucks foreclosures are triple what they were two years ago? Do they understand taxpayer anger is at an all-time high at local, state and federal levels?
For two years many of us have been expressing our outrage regarding the expired Neshaminy teachers contract and, more importantly, the demands teachers continue to make for a new contract. This display, now with the work to contract action, and I am sure a pending strike is pure greed, at the expense of taxpayers suffering through the worst economy since the Great Depression. Unfortunately they have taken this battle into OUR public classrooms and they are using our kids as pawns. In this flawed fight they are holding parents and students hostage for a losing cause. Taxpayers in our district will not tolerate any contract that does not include a significant concessions including healthcare contributions. Everyone pays for healthcare now this is not 1980 Ms Boyd and NFT.
The excessive salary and benefits of past contracts for both NSD unions, the Support Staff but in particular the teachers union, have put us in a $22 million deficit in the last 2 years. The NSD school budget is 75% plus of union labor costs.
Can the teachers union really ask our community to pay more so they can continue exorbitant benefits and raises that are non-existent in other professions and jobs in the private sector? Are they willing to be the cause of lost jobs, outsourcing and extreme cutbacks in important educational programs for all of our children.
So in these painful economic times for parents and taxpayers they need to ask a few important questions as we look at what the Neshaminy federation of teachers is demanding in the new contract after 2 years of delaying the settlement and after the WTC action.
Have you received a raise?
Teachers are demanding salary increases of 6-7 percent with steps per year.
Do you pay for healthcare as an employee or as a small bus owner?
Teachers don't and never have. Teachers are demanding continued free Rolls Royce healthcare coverage. Every district in Bucks teachers pay except here.
Do you have the best healthcare plan offered?
Teachers do! They have a Rolls Royce plan. Along with a premium prescription drug plan costing taxpayers an extra $1 million per year just so teachers can get low priced premium drugs.
Have you lost healthcare?
Teachers can't and have paid retiree healthcare for their whole family after only 10 years of service.
Have you lost your job?
Teachers cannot be laid off for financial conditions or when tenured fired for performance or striking.
Have you lost your defined benefit pension plan or have no pension at all?
Teachers have a rare taxpayer-funded defined benefit plan that pays out millions more then they contribute or get in market appreciation over their careers. Plus a supplemental 403(b) account they can put what they don’t have to pay for healthcare in.
Are you getting bailed out for your decreased 401(k) value?
Teachers' pension is guaranteed and supplemented by taxpayers no matter what happens with market returns. That will cost NSD $1.5 million extra in 2010 and skyrocket to 30% tax increases in 2112.
Do you get a bonus to retire?
Teachers get $28K are demanding a $30,000 bonus to retire whenever they want.
Do you get a raise if you do not perform?
Of course you don't, but teachers do! And their pay is not dependent at all on student performance or test scores.
Two years ago prior to the expiration of the teachers contract the board made a very generous offer that was quite fair given the times and the excessive nature of the past contract. They offered a 3% raise and only a 15,16,17 phased healthcare premium payment as well as retirement changes so our teachers would be on par with other teachers in Bucks.
This offer was flatly rejected 2 years ago by the union leader who insists that paying for healthcare is not on the table. Right after that the country fell into the worst recession since the great depression. This has impacted our district even more-so. I can tell you for a fact that the contract offer the board made in 2008 is no longer affordable in our budget since revenue is down and ACT limits prevent taxing to cover it. The money is just not there!
Now I hear many people say lets compromise and get this settled. The community needs to know that a compromise in this case would be a win for the union and please know that for the union to win it would mean everyone else, students, taxpayers and parents will lose. It will lead to continued tax increases, to major reductions in very popular programs, which we have heard first hand for weeks from parents and student pleading to save their programs; and certainly to outsourcing of Support Staff workers and maybe even our alternative school.
Ironically, to secure their demands, the teachers union leadership will throw some teachers over the side due to program elimination. We have already seen this demonstrated when the Support staff union already voted to accept a fact finder report which recommended outsourcing transportation so it shows you the union leadership really doesn’t care about full employment and certainly about our younger teachers not getting raises and who will be the first to get laid off when programs are cut.
Fair compensation in line with current private sector offerings is acceptable to all of us but communities should no longer have to subsidize excessive packages that teachers demand through their powerful unions and literally lead to affluence. Private worker which comprise 90% of Middletown residents can no longer afford to fund a better lifestyle and retirement that we get for public workers totally paid and subsidized with our hard earned tax dollars.
Many of us remember when private sector workers enjoyed annual raises, free healthcare and company-funded defined benefit retirement plans. In those days taxpayers could afford to pay for underpaid public workers. That is no longer the reality of the American worker. Simply put, we are all stretched to take care of our own families and our own retirements. We no longer have the money to provide a lifestyle to public workers that private sector workers no longer can afford. The union will now need to give back like the rest of us have.
|Posted on May 25, 2010 at 9:54 AM|
On the May 19th Board Meeting
PASTOR COMMENTS: "Several NESPA employees got up and spoke directly from the heart on how the NESPA leadership abandoned them and "threw them under the bus" as they said when accepting the Fact Finder report. Did anyone else notice how few NESPA members showed up and even fewer wore the Black shirt? Did anyone else notice how NESPA members applauded any anti teacher union comments? Did anyone notice no bus drivers sat with the NESPA union leader? The board in an 8-0 vote shot down the NESPA Fact Finder report since is was a VERY BAD DEAL FOR TAXPAYERS. Thank you Board.
The NESPA UNION employees also referenced the greed and selfishness of Louise Boyd and the Neshaminy Federation of teachers who abandon them. Several students and parents complained about teachers now working to contract and and made passionate pleas to not cut programs. What they forgot was the only reason the board had to cut programs was due to the huge deficits caused by excessive Teacher's healthcare costs in their FREE Rolls Royce plan we pay for even without a contract. My comments take place near the end of the meeting in the second public comment published below. See my Hats Off to Mike Morris who told the district squarely to blame the teachers for outsourcing and program cuts
1. Now that the NFT is threatening further action... likely a strike... when will we finally see the board vote to support banning teacher’s strikes like 37 other states have done.
2. There is a consistent call from a regular speaker seemingly begging for a 2.9% act 1 tax increase. There is also a former School director who says it is impossible not to raise taxes-he should know he voted for every admin budget he saw while here. Do not listen to this foolishness. For way too many years boards have blindly approved administration budgets. Stop the madness. You have the tools and power to balance our budget without yet another tax increase. Ignore the union leader’s continued attempts to intimidate you and taxpayers. Do the right thing! Your constituents are students and taxpayers, in that order. Zero increase should be your goal not paying union workers more.
3. Now let’s talk about the NFT. Last meetings display was offensive to the board, taxpayers and students. We saw first hand a public union entitlement mentality. Ms. Boyd made it clear to all of us and the press she is only interested in FREE healthcare before continuing to negotiate. Greed rules. Here's a bit of news... This community will not tolerate a contract settlement the doesn’t include the NFT paying for healthcare. You 9 are charged with representing that view. So the NFT can strike and work without a contract as long as they want. I believe most Taxpayers are quite comfortable with that. We support the board 100%. Also next election we will have new members that will continue to reinforce this board’s great work.
4. One thing we need to be aware of, and Mr. K referred to it at last meeting, is Union Intimidation. Especially as things continue to heat up. The unions are afraid of the community getting facts and truth. Intimidation takes place in many ways in the spirit of their so called solidarity. Unions have a long storied history of intimidation. If you think that the shirts, the walk ins, the back to school nights protest and letters that union leaders write in the newspaper are not acts of organized union intimidation you are mistaken. I have a lot more to say about UNION intimidation but I will save that for later. For Neshaminy SD it has unfortunately become the statewide poster child for unions gone wild.
5. I want call out the continued great work of Mr O’Connor on this board and on his website. It is vey important we continue to educate and inform the community about how the lack of concessions by district union employees is causing the potential degradation of our school districts educational quality. Particularly the Teachers union.
6. Finally along those lines I would like to ask the board members and the public to go to www. Neshaminytaxpayers.com for the truth about NESPA and NFT and to support the board. Thank you.