Memo To:   All Buffalo Teachers

From:         Philip Rumore, President, BTF

Date:          June 25, 2021


Subject:     Updates

Negotiations Updates
We met with the mediator on Thursday, June 24, 2021 to clarify our respective positions and procedures.
The next date he has available is Tuesday, July 27, 2021. We will meet all day.


We all realize that a contract can be settled in a day or two.


The District has agreed that our goal is to have a new contract in place prior to the opening of school in September. Stay Tuned.

Buffalo Educational Support Team (BEST) – Teacher Aide/Assistant Contract
Teachers have inquired about the new teacher aide/assistant contract.


You have no doubt read that the Teacher Aides/Assistants and Board approved a contract (Click Here) that eliminates retiree healthcare insurance for newly hired teacher aides/assistants after the ratification of the agreement (c. ii, pg. 10 of 13). Note: Apparently not all members have health insurance.


They were without a new contract since the expiration of their 2012 agreement.


We congratulate BEST members on a new contract.


Since for legal reasons, I must be careful what I say, making such a concession is something many teachers have opposed in the past since they believe:


  • It sets up divisions between membership with this benefit and those, when they become members, without the benefit.
  • As the number of members without the benefit becomes large the divisions and resentment grow.
  • The BTF should look out for future members as well as current members.
  • The benefit is what attracts candidates and keeps teachers from leaving.

There are other reasons that teachers have opposed such concessions.


Legally, we can not refuse to negotiate any such proposals; however, we retain the right to agree or not agree with them.

Primary Election
As you know, of our endorsed candidates, the biggest upset was India Walton’s victory for Mayor of Buffalo.


Her number one priority will be education. She has publicly called for:


  • Increased funding for our schools
  • A fixed percentage of City revenue for our schools. (Rochester has one)
  • A cap on Charter Schools.
  • Smaller class sizes, more student support services.

And in an interview question relating to education, she said that we can’t just talk about schools. We have to discuss the issues in the community that are giving rise to the problems the students are bringing into the schools.


How often have you heard that from an elected official… and she means it.


We look forward to working with her.


Oh and yes, as you also have read, Carl Palidino is urging the business community and others to mount a write in campaign for the Mayor.


What does that tell you?

Summer Programs Available Through NYSUT
As your Statewide union, NYSUT has placed a strong emphasis on professional learning. We know you are continually looking for training opportunities relevant to your professional needs. With that in mind, we have created the NYSUT Western New York Learning Academy to provide our teacher and school-related professional members with high-quality seminars that will enhance your knowledge, give you the tools necessary to become the best that you can be within your profession and that satisfy the Continuing Teacher and Leader Education (CTLE) hours requirement for teachers and Level III teaching assistants. These seminars offer a wonderful and valuable benefit for NYSUT members.


WE wish we could offer this professional learning in-person but until it is deemed “safe” we will be offering it through video conference.


The NYSUT Western New York Learning Academy has scheduled 2-hour and 3-hour seminars each month. Summer seminars will be held from July through August and will begin at 10:00 a.m. (except for the DASA Seminars). The seminars were selected because of their broad appeal and their focus on the identified needs of teachers and school-related professionals in this area. Please click HERE to see the course catalog.


While the number of participants is limited for some offerings, you are welcome to attend as many seminars as you can fit into your schedule. NYSUT is absorbing the cost for the seminars. Seminars will not run with less than 10 registrants. Therefore, please consider your registration as your commitment to attend.

The NYSUT Western New York Learning Academy will be all on-line for the Summer 2021. The Education & Learning Trust (ELT) will provide the instructors for the high-quality professional learning experience.


Registration for the seminars will be completed through Frontline Education. The hyperlink below will take you to the NYSUT WNY Learning Center seminar offerings.


Participation will be on a first come/first serve basis. At the completion of the seminar, participants will be asked to complete an online evaluation. Once the evaluation is completed and paperwork is processed by ELT, you can then print out a CTLE certificate about two weeks after the training. Because these classes meet SED requirements for CTLE hours, the registration asks for a social security number.

Six Flags Darien Lake is once again offering discounted tickets to NYSUT members. NYSUT Days are scheduled for July 5 – July 30, 2021. Members can use their tickets for any ONE day during these weeks. They pick the day that is most convenient for them. Tickets are valid for the Theme Park AND Water Park and are a $36.00 SAVINGS. You will also receive FREE Parking (a $20.00 value)! Park hours are 11:00 am to 9:00 pm.


Cost of tickets: $23.99 each (regular price $59.99)


ALL Tickets must be purchased online at


Click the Enter Promo Code on the top right for the home page: enter the promo code NYSUT.

Please stay well. Take no chances. We will be here if you need us.