Memo To:   All Buffalo Teachers

From:         Philip Rumore, President, BTF

Date:          November 29, 2022


Subject:    Negotiations / Vote of No Confidence

Vote of No Confidence for the Superintendent and Board of Education
As per our November 20, 2022 correspondence,


“Our next scheduled date for negotiations is Monday, November 28, 2022. If there is no significant movement made, there will be a vote of No Confidence for the Superintendent and Board of Education on Tuesday, November 29, 2022.”


There was “no significant movement made” by the Board’s negotiating team that included Superintendent Tonja M. Williams. The “offer” is also on behalf of the Board.


This is some of what the Superintendent and Board presented to us and apparently believe reflects the dedication and commitment of Buffalo teachers and the needs of our students.


  • The District refuses to consider our proposal to provide desperately-needed services for our students by providing 250-1 caseloads for our School Counselors, School Social Workers, Psychologists and Attendance teachers.
  • Instead of salary increases for 2019-2020, 2020-2021, 2021-2022, the District proposed a one shot bonus only for teachers hired prior to January 1, 2022. Note – Since this is a “bonus” it will not count towards retirement. Also, according to our accountants, the IRS requires that bonuses or any supplemental pay be subject to a 22% withholding rate instead of the employees’ regular withholding rate.

                     2022-2023   8% or 7% if Step 15 Removed
                     2023-2024   6% or 5% if Step 15 Removed            
                     2024-2025   4% or 3% is Step 15 Removed

  • Teachers would pay 13% towards healthcare - an increase of $668 for single ($600 to $1,268) and an increase of $1,294 for family ($1,500 to $2,794). Even though the District’s healthcare costs have remained the same for three (3) years!
  • Increase the number of weeks required from 42 weeks to 43 weeks.
  • Increase the load for special area teachers whose assignment includes contact with elementary students from 240 minutes to 255 minutes, e.g. art, music, physical education, foreign language.
  • Instead of the District providing one (1) indemnity and three (3) HMO type plans, the District will provide one (1) indemnity and one (1) POS plan.
  • Instead of teachers having the “option of participating in one of the four (4) Blue Cross Blue Shield plans in effect at the time of ratification”, “teachers will have the option of participating in one (1) of the two (2) plans in effect 30 days after ratification”.
  • No retiree healthcare for teachers hired after July 1, 2023.
  • Teachers who retire after ratification must enroll in “a District defined Medicare Advantage Plan when Medicare eligible”.
  • Retired teachers’ healthcare payments will be the same percentage toward premium as when they were active teachers.


 FYI – The BTF salary proposal is:
      (1)  Effective 07/01/2019 the base teacher’s salary, BS Step 1, shall be increased as follows:
      (2)  2019-2020      8%      Remove Step 1
            2020-2021      8%      Remove New Step 1
            2021-2022      8%      Remove New Step 1
            2022-2023      8% + COLA   Remove New Step 1
            2023-2024      8% + COLA   Remove New Step 1
            2024-2025      8% + COLA   Remove New Step 1
            2025-2026      8% + COLA   Remove New Step 1

                COLA – See BTF 50


Each Step on the Salary Schedule, each column across the Salary Schedule, and all other teachers’ compensation shall be increased proportionately.


Note: Increments are based on Step 1. Each time Step 1 is increased by removal, increments are also increased.


Our next negotiations with the District is scheduled for Thursday, December 8, 2022.


The BTF/District meeting with the Fact-Finder to answer questions he may have is scheduled for December 13, 2022 at 10:00 am. It will be in-person at City Hall.


He will, after reviewing testimony, issue his recommendations for a settlement.


They are not binding on either side and will be made public.


(Please vote by using the link sent in the email.)


Please have your votes in by Sunday, December 4th at 11:59 pm.


(Note: Another vote will be held following our next negotiating session on December 8, 2022)