Memo To:   All Buffalo Teachers

From:         Philip Rumore, President, BTF

Date:          February 9, 2021


Subject:     Updates

Court Case
As of today, February 9, 2021 at 4:30, we have received no notification of a decision.

Incidents of COVID-19 Cases
We remain concerned with the number of COVID-19 cases reported in our schools, the delay in notifying parents and staff of cases and the accuracy of some reports (websites).


While observing privacy concerns, please report any known/suspected incidents of COVID-19 to your LRS and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Student Attendance
Dr. Darren Brown-Hall advised the District Re-opening Committee that 85% of the students scheduled to report, have reported.


We would like to verify that.


Please complete the attached survey (Click Here).

Possible Release Time for Vaccination Legislation
We were just notified that the State is finally considering legislation that would provide up to four (4) ours paid release time for employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccine (up to twice). We are pushing to have it retroactive.
We should hear soon.

Legal Action – Accommodations
NYSUT has assigned about four (4) attorneys to work on both individually rejected cases and the District’s overall callous treatment of teachers applying for accommodations.


They are nearing the end of reviewing the current cases and will be proceeding soon. They will also continue as needed.


District Request for Labor-Management Meeting
Nathaniel Kuzma for the District has suggested that there be Labor-Management meetings with individual unions. Our response to him, the Superintendent and other Union Presidents:


“In response to your February 7, 2021 correspondence to union presidents suggesting a Labor-Management meeting, it appears that you are suggesting a meeting with each union president.


Since the serious issues we face, are in large part common and often overlap different employees and employee bargaining units, we believe that said labor-management meetings should include all union presidents.
In this way, there can be a sharing of various important issues with the District and each other and an opportunity to discuss ways to address them together.


Please advise us if this is acceptable to the District and some possible dates and joint Labor-Management meetings.


We look forward to meeting together to address and continue to address the serious issues we all must address and resolve.

Tax Information
From NYSUT - The IRS just announced that eligible educators can deduct unreimbursed expenses for COVID-19 protective items to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the classroom under the $250 educators’ expense tax deduction. And don’t forget, if you itemize, you can deduct union dues from New York State taxable income.


BTF – Also check with your tax advisor.


Sick Days – Note From Doctor
As a result of a long standing arbitration, a policy/procedure requiring a physician’s “note” for the use of a sick day is a violation of the contract.


For example, a principal can not state that for every illness entered in AESOP by a teacher, a doctor’s note is requested and must be submitted.


The administrator has a right to request a doctor’s note for your absence when you take a sick day, not before as a policy.


What has/has not happened at a school does not override the arbitration.


Past practice exists when there is no clear contract language or there is not an arbitration decision on the issue.

Advise your LRS if this occurs.


In addition - Now with what is happening, you do this?


Please stay well. Take no chances.