Memo To:   All Buffalo Teachers

From:         Philip Rumore, President, BTF

Date:          January 5, 2021


Subject:     Superintendent Letter Dated (Incorrectly) December 22, 2020

As we embark together on a new and challenging year, I wanted to thank you for all that you are and have been doing for our students, staff and community… and especially for your solidarity and support.

Our objective remains – providing for safe and healthful conditions in which our students can learn, teachers can teach, and all the staff work safely together.

We have always and will always work together to overcome all challenges and obstacles.

Why? Because we are Buffalo teachers who never give up.


Reopening Safe and Healthful Conditions
Attached (Click Here), please find a copy of the email that was sent to your Delegates and Building Committee members.

We will be sending problems/concerns to the District to have them corrected. If they are not, we will take appropriate legal action.

No names will be used.

Our objective is to ensure the District is put on notice of the problems/concerns so that they can be corrected and our schools are safe.

We will survey the schools/sites again once any teachers return.


As you may have read, the Federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) has expired (December 31, 2020).

We will be working with our State and National affiliates to have the new administration in Washington, DC renew it.

We are working with NYSUT to provide an updated chart of all available accommodations (State and Federal).

There are still other accommodation options available which will be included in the chart.

If you are either denied or have your accommodation ended, please email your Labor Relations Specialist (Click Here) and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Please provide a copy of the denial or ending of an accommodation.

NYSUT is already in court challenging a court decision favoring a school district’s denials.

We will obviously also be challenging such callous and unsafe decisions.


School Reopening Plans
Please take the time to review your school’s Phase-In Plans (Click Here) and any details you receive/received.

Forward any issues to your LRS.


District Voluntary COVID Testing Document
The District is developing a voluntary COVID testing document that will allow teachers to volunteer to be tested.

One relevant part that we have seen states, “I understand that the District can not require staff and students to be tested.”

Once it is received, we will send a copy to NYSUT Legal to ensure that it is appropriate and conforms to the law.

We are checking on whether the District’s position that being vaccinated is also voluntary.


Instructional Directive of Administrators
We are receiving copies of directives from building administrators detailing how and when teachers should be teaching. Please advise us of any such “robotic” and detrimental directives.

Perhaps they should provide a demonstration and allow the teacher to evaluate them on how well the students are learning.


Simultaneous Virtual/In Person Instruction
Just how this can provide for a meaningful education is the question.

Once again, we should have administrators demonstrate this for a full day.

We will be checking with other school districts to see what has/hasn’t resulted.