Buffalo Teachers Federation president Phil Rumore is calling the city school district’s Teacher Transfer Process an "utter disaster". WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley says he's been calling on the district to fix the process since a year ago last June.
“Utter disaster from day one,” stated Rumore from the BTF headquarters Monday morning.
Rumore doling out some harsh remarks saying the teacher transfer process demonstrates “incompetence” and “falsehoods”, while violating the union's agreements with the district.
The BTF leader specifically points out an on-line portal used for teachers in the process violates their contract because it needs to be in writing.
“We told them you can’t do that because it’s supposed to be in writing and if a teacher applies by the portal and doesn’t do it in writing, another teacher can grieve it and they’ll have to re-do it, so we said ‘look it – what we’ll do is back up here, you made a mistake, we’ll work with you to correct it, give us a list of the names of the teachers that applied only on-line and we will write up something so let them reapply and everything will be fine’ – they still haven’t done that,” Rumore explained.
“I accepted any means that a teacher submitted a request – if they sent it via fax, if they sent it via email – if they hand-walked the document in and if they sent it via mail,” responded Jamie Warren, Human Resources Associate Superintendent. “The portal wasn’t a restriction, it was an enhancement to their ability to use an on-line system as opposed to mailing a letter or walking a letter here – so there was no effort to restrict their ability – it was to enhance their ability.
Warren told reporters it's an innovative system that now places teachers in classrooms before the school year, benefiting the children. Warren says they district will not “go backwards.”
“Going backwards to our kids not knowing who their teachers are when they leave at the end of the school year. Going backwards to our teachers not knowing their placement until August and September. Going backwards to not having access high-quality teachers for our kids. Going backwards to our students starting the school year with uncertified substitutes in our classroom – I don’t think that is the answer,” Warren responded.
Rumore noted hundreds of teachers have applied for transfers. Rumore said he's been calling on the district repeatedly since last June of 2017 to fix issues.
“If they don’t correct these things – what will happen is they’re going to have to redo all of these transfers at all of the schools and the ripple effect on this is going to be staggering,” Rumore claims.
Warren said she is willing to sit down and discuss the matter.
“The collective wisdom is always in the room. I would benefit from the opportunity to hear suggestions from the BTF about ways that we can improve it – I am receptive to ways we can improve the process, but I do not believe the answer is to go backward,” Warren remarked.