October 21, 2016
By WNYLaborToday.com Editor-Publisher Tom Campbell
Buffalo, NY – Finally! After 12 years of fighting for a new contract – ending what the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) said was the longest contract stalemate in the history of Public-Sector Collective Bargaining in New York State, the Buffalo Teachers Federation (BTF) now has a new three-year agreement that calls for its 3,600-plus Membership to receive a 10% raise this year, as well as a one-time, back pay bonus of between $2,000 and $9,000 each.
BTF Members ratified the agreement just hours after the Buffalo School Board voted by a 7-to-2 margin to accept the contract on Monday (October 17th) afternoon. Board Members Carl Paladino – a former New York State Republican Gubernatorial Candidate, and Larry Quinn – an anti-BTF Board Member, were the only School Board Members to vote against the deal.
“It’s ‘been a long time coming.’ While it ‘doesn’t give’ our Membership ‘all they deserve, it goes a long way,’ and it has ‘started a (positive) dialogue’ (between the BTF and the School Board). While a lot of our Members ‘had a lot of questions and weren’t happy, well over ninety-percent voted in favor (of the contract)’ – but like in ‘any’ negotiations, ‘you don’t get all that you want. ‘I think we ‘exhausted’ the School Board’s reserves, but ‘we’ve made significant progress.’ For example, the Board wanted a two-year contract. We got a three-year deal,” said Rumore, who sent out an e-mail with specifics of the contract to BTF Members and said, in part: “It would not have happened without your continued solidarity.”
During an interview with WNYLaborToday.com today (Tuesday, October 18th), Rumore took time to praise School District Superintendent Kriner Cash, saying it was the “first time a superintendent was at the table and part of the negotiating team.”
“It ‘does make a difference’ when you have a ‘CEO’ at the table, to ‘talk to – one-on-one.’ It ‘made a difference,’” Rumore told Your On-Line Labor Newspaper. To read more click on the following link