School board prepares for union negotiations

Jun 11, 2015

Buffalo's school board is setting the ground rules for what it wants from negotiations with the union representing city teachers.

The Buffalo school board has voted to change the status of nine district employees.
Credit Mike Desmond/wbfo news

The board returned from an 80-minute executive session Wednesday night to establish guidelines for upcoming negotiations with the Buffalo Teachers Federation and weaken the job status of the district's cabinet.

The bargaining rules specify plans to eliminate or modify economic provisions in the BTF contract that are inconsistent with the marketplace.

The board also voted to put nine cabinet members on "at-will" employment status. Shifting the positions to at will means the individuals could be fired by a new superintendent for no more than three months pay.

"The staff is not leaving because they don't like working here. They don't like working for the majority. That's why they're leaving," said board member Sharon Belton Cottman, who voted against the provision. 

"We ran Interim Superintendent Don Ogilvie out. I shouldn't say we, they (the board majority) ran him out of the district. You've also ran our chief financial officer. You've run our chief academic officer. This is the dismantling of the Buffalo public schools."

Board President Jim Sampson denies that, saying the nine people whose contracts were not renewed still have their jobs and their benefits.