Led by Buffalo Teachers Federation President Phil Rumore, there were teacher pickets in front of the South Buffalo home of School Board member Carl Paladino on Tuesday. The developer reacted by ordering in pizza and pop for the picketers.
Rumore says it's a push to finally get a new teachers' contract, with 11 years since the last one and a fact-finding report on the table.
"As you know, we're about $20,000 (in salary adjustments) behind all the other units around here and also the 'big five' city school districts," Rumore said.
"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."
That idea has been sent to a joint committee.
Paladino continued his call for change. He says the union has to give the school district back some of its management prerogatives given up in past contracts and allow longer days and longer years.
"Important management prerogatives can't be addressed because Phil Rumore has to be paid for anything he does. Or he wants the teachers to be paid," Paladino said. "That's unfair."
Rumore was recently reelected as union president by a thin margin in a low turnout. The union president says his members are paid well below what teachers in surrounding suburban districts receive, partially a result of the pay freeze ordered years ago by the Control Board and upheld in the courts.
He says there will be more pickets at the homes of other school board members.