Memo To:   All Buffalo Teachers

From:         Philip Rumore, President, BTF

Date:          March 3, 2021

Subject:     Updates March 3, 2021

School Health and Safety Concerns
Thank you to the thirteen (13) schools that have, in a short time, returned the post February Recess, BTF Health and Safety Assessment. They will be forwarded (without names) to the District to be corrected.


Since there are many new Delegates and Building Committee members, if you did not receive the link to complete the Assessment for your school, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and one will be sent to you.


We will be prepared to use this information when we are in court on March 9, 2021 and in our arbitrations.


Obviously, your information and the actions we have taken, especially in court, are resulting in some of the critical safety actions taken in many of our schools. Many still remain to be corrected.


While we shouldn’t have to use the courts, grievance procedures, and media to correct serious health and safety conditions, we will continue, with your assistance, to take all possible actions to ensure that our schools are and remain safe for all.

We and our State and National Affiliates continue to work to ensure that teachers and indeed everyone in our schools have access to the vaccine. It is not enough just to place us as essential, teachers and staff must have access to the vaccine.


Movement on that is expected to come from the President soon.


We hoped to have the vaccine available in schools, but that has not as yet occurred.


Now that the vaccine is becoming more readily available, we will continue to work on all levels to make it available and the factor in the reopening of our schools.


We know that not all staff are willing to accept the vaccine; however, we believe most will.


We will be corresponding with the Superintendent and Board to delay any additional reopening plans until at least after the spring recess. (Click Here)


Stay Tuned.

Our Labor Relations Specialists, Jenna, Matt and Rob, continue to work with NYSUT attorneys to overturn the many callous rejections by the District.


Apparently, their actions and our letter to the Superintendent and Board have resulted in additional accommodations.


That is not enough. We will continue to fight for every teacher denied an accommodation.
Please, if you have not already, advise your Labor Relations Specialist if your request for an accommodation is rejected. (Click Here)

Once the additional funding that we fought for is received by the District, we will resume negotiations.


Obviously, resuming negotiations during the pandemic and when the District had scarce funding, would have been foolish and would have played into the District’s hand.


Imagine what a New York State mediator’s and a Fact Finder’s report and recommendations would have been if we would have been and were now in negotiations.


They would have undermined us and put the District in the driver’s seat.


Once the funding is here, we will again mobilize and secure a new contract – one that reflects your importance and which not just matches surrounding contracts but is much better.


With all that you have and continue to encounter, you deserve nothing less. Yes, other districts have had challenges; however, not as many as Buffalo teachers.


Your continued support will ensure that new, excellent contract. Let there be no doubt.

State Legislation/Actions

  • Legislation has passed and been sent to the Governor what would provide for a four (4) hour “vaccine leave” (leave to become vaccinated) with pay. Once signed, the details will be sent out, e.g. retroactive?, start date, etc.
  • We continue to work with NYSUT and our Regents to have the Regents Exams canceled for this year.
    We (NYSUT) continue to oppose the reduction of social distancing in schools from six (6) feet to three (3) feet.
  • Vaccination Data Collection will now be done by the local Health Department.
  • We and NYSUT are also working to secure a State early retirement incentive.

School Distancing
Please advise us if your administrator(s) have readjusted the room capacity. We are checking to see if what some are saying, e.g. the posted capacity does not include adults. A teacher, teaching assistant(s) co-teachers, student teachers don’t count!?