May 10, 2016
WNYLaborToday.com Editor-Publisher Tom Campbell
Buffalo, NY – Now that the dust has settled after an extremely high-profile Buffalo School Board Election, it is abundantly clear the role Organized Labor played, which ultimately worked to shift power to a new majority that was backed by the Buffalo Teachers Federation (BTF), the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) Union and the Western New York AFL-CIO Area Labor Federation (WNYALF).
However, and despite what some in the Buffalo community may be saying or at the very least thinking, NYSUT Regional Staff Director Mike Deely tells WNYLaborToday.com that the coalition-led effort that also included a host of community leaders, parents, students and Teachers was not aimed at just “taking people out.” Rather, he said, it was the result of some school board members failing to “discuss the issues” with those “who are most concerned about the future of Buffalo’s Public School System.”
“We ‘did not do this’ to ‘take anyone out,’” Deely told Your On-Line Labor Newspaper. “We’re Unionists who ‘want to talk and settle issues,’ but when you say ‘no’ that’s what you get – and the community said ‘no.’”
Those candidates backed and endorsed by the BTF, NYSUT and the WNYALF almost swept this year’s races and replaced the core of the current majority. Many in the local Labor Community now believe this new majority will be more open to sitting down at the table with the Teachers’ Union and finally making a concrete move to negotiate a new contract for Buffalo’s Teachers, who – unbelievably – have been without one for nearly 12 years now.
“We’ve ‘got a lot of work to do now,’” BTF President Phil Rumore (pictured below on the right, holding a microphone, at a school board election celebration in Downtown Buffalo – NYSUT’s Deely (in glasses) is standing in the background) told WNYLaborToday.com. “We need to meet with the board and find ‘common ground.’ We’re hopeful there will be ‘open lines of communication’ and that we ‘all can work together.’” To read more click on the following link