After nearly four years without a new contract, 650 Neshaminy School District teachers and staff members are on strike today. It’s the Neshaminy teachers’ second strike this school year following an eight-day walkout in January.
Major sticking points in the contract negotiation are raises and health care, said Louise Boyd, president of the Neshaminy Federation of Teachers.
“It’s very disappointing that this particular graduating class has known nothing else except this messy impasse,” said Boyd. “This is all they’ve known since ninth grade and they’re going to graduate under this same cloud.”
Ritchie Webb is the President of the Neshaminy School Board. He said the District doesn’t have the money to meet the teachers’ demands.
“We’re the only District around that has fully-paid health benefits and retirement. That’s $4.5 million dollars out of our budget prior to the start of the budget. Which no other District has those expenses.”
Neshaminy Federation of Teachers President Louise Boyd, who’s also a Biology teacher at Neshaminy High School, doesn’t buy the claim that the District doesn’t have the money.
Despite having an independent arbitrator recommend a compromise contract, the district and teachers have not been able to work out a deal.
According to information posted on the school’s website, seniors will be exempt from final exams they miss because of the strike, but they’ll still get to walk in the graduation ceremony June 13. Final grade calculation will take place after graduation, based on four marking period grades.
The district did not return calls for comment.