Thursday, April 17, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Neshaminy teachers stage rally; strike to continue

About 400 members and supporters showed solidarity on Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

Neshaminy teachers stage rally; strike to continue

Neshaminy teachers will continue their strike this week but will return to classrooms Friday, union President Louise Boyd said at a “We are not alone” rally Monday at Core Creek Park.

About 400 members and supporters of the Neshaminy Federation of Teachers heard speeches of encouragement by their leaders past and present and representatives of other unions, including the American Federation of Teachers, the Pennsylvania State Education Association, AFCSME and the Teamsters.

Martin Luther King would be proud of us,” said Chuck White of Teamsters Local 830. “He gave his life fighting for sanitation workers in Memphis 44 years ago.”

Retired teacher John Rock said the NFT “probably will have to conduct another strike” this school year and more next year to end the 3½-year impasse.

“We’re facing a [school] board that’s trying to crush us,” retired NFT president George Schaubhut  said.   

Standing on a Teamsters flatbed truck, Boyd told the crowd that the five-day strike would resume Tuesday. After the one-hour rally, she said teachers would return to work Friday, to conform to a state requirement to provide 180 days of school.

The teachers have been working without a raise under an expired contract that the district says it can no longer afford.     

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Chris Palmer covers Bucks County for the Philadelphia Inquirer. His previous work has appeared in the New York Times and on several Times blogs, including City Room, the Local East Village and SchoolBook (which has since been taken over by WNYC). Contact him at cpalmer@phillynews.com, 610 313 8212 or on Twitter, @cs_palmer.

Ben Finley covers Bucks County for The Philadelphia Inquirer. He previously worked for The Associated Press, FactCheck.org and the Bucks County Courier Times, where he won more than a dozen journalism awards from organizations including the Education Writers Association, the Society for Features Journalism and the Pennsylvania Bar Association. He grew up in Columbus, Ohio and graduated with honors from The Ohio State University with a degree in journalism. Contact him at bfinley@phillynews.com, 610-313-8118 or on Twitter, @Ben_Finley.

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