Port Chester teachers, who have been without a contract since June 30, 2011, say they understand the tough financial problems faced by their district and are ready to commit to a fair contract.
However, the Port Chester Teachers Association also said today that leaks about contract negotions have been harmful and misleading.
"The Port Chester TA is acutely aware of the financial difficulties faced by virtually all the school districts in New York State, and particularly those here in Port Chester," said Port Chester Teachers Assciation President Linda O'Connor. "Throughout the process of negotiations, we have stood ready to commit to a contract that makes sense for all parties concerned: one that not only alleviates the financial strains of the district, but that also compensates the hard-working employees of the district as well, so that the children of Port Chester may continue to receive the excellent education to which they are entitled. We remain committed to the process of bargaining in good faith, and we remain ready to commit to a fair contract."
O'Connor said negotiations can only succeed when both sides are committed to respecting the very process of bargaining a contract in good faith. She said teachers have been disappointed by a recent series of leaks about negotiations and sugged those leaks are jeopardizing any new deal that might be possible.
"It is certainly tempting to respond to such tactics by clarifying the misinformation that is currently permeating the press, and engaging in our own process of leaking information that is confidential and that should be confined to the negotiating table," O'Connor said. "The association will nevertheless continue to bargain in good faith, respecting the confidentiality of the process, and will hope that the district chooses the same path, going forward."