Buffalo teachers await new contract after 11 years

Jun 1, 2015

Both sides in the long-running contract fight between the Buffalo Teachers Federation and the school board are continuing to talk about getting a contract. The last pact expired 11 years ago.

BTF President Phil Rumore outlined teachers' grievances last week during a picket outside the home of school board member Carl Paladino.
Credit Mike Desmond/wbfo news

Now, the board has hired heavyweight bargainer and management lawyer Terry O'Neil to lead negotiations.

BTF President Phil Rumore says there is a fact-finder's report as the basis for talks.

"The dollar amount the teachers would have to pay toward their health care instead of a percentage. He also put a bunch of money into the upper end of the salary schedule where the teachers are hurting," Rumore said. 

"As you know, we're about $20,000 behind all of the other units around here and also the Big Five city school districts. We didn't get some of the things we wanted. We wanted smaller class sizes. The board wanted a longer day and a longer school year."

Members of the current school board majority says they want this or that but say what they really want is the management prerogatives bargained away to the BTF years ago, items like control of the length of the school day and the length of the school year and say they will go to the mat to get what they want.