Memo To:   All Buffalo Teachers

From:         Philip Rumore, President, BTF

Date:          December 14, 2022 


Subject:    Update - December 14, 2022

Thank you to those who expressed wishes for a speedy recovery for our fiscal witness from Albany.
He is still ill, but recovering from his severe case of COVID.


We have rescheduled Fact-Finding for Wednesday, January 4, 2023. Our expert will have a back-up ready in case he has a relapse.


There are ongoing subcommittee discussions with the District on some issues that we believe can be resolved.


At Fact-Finding, the Fact-Finder has indicated he will ask questions of both sides relating to issues he wants clarified before making his recommendations for a settlement. His recommendations will be made public and both sides will take a position on them. We will, of course, keep you informed.


The Council of Delegates decided that, for many reasons, there should be no picketing before the December 21, 2022 Board of Education meeting.


Depending on the timing, our next major demonstrations will be after the Fact-Finder releases his report, the next Board meeting, or as events transpire.


We urge all teachers to participate.


The Board, Media and the public do respond.


Starting/Ending Times
The ball is in the District’s court. When their MOU was overwhelmingly rejected by Buffalo teachers, we sent correspondence to the District outlining some of your concerns. (Click Here)


To date, we have received no response.


Remember, any such agreement will have to be approved by you.


We will oppose any legislation or action by the Governor to provide for the overriding of our contract.


We have been in contact with NYSUT and others. Apparently, neither the Governor or her staff are interested in granting such unprecedented powers. This is a local issue that must be resolved locally through negotiations.


If there is any attempt by the District, we will, as we have in the past, immediately file a grievance and go to court seeking an order to cease and desist until an arbitration has been held and a decision rendered.

While we hope it won’t come to this, we are ready.


Hopefully, this and our contract will be resolved quickly and amicably.


Yes, we will remember the Common Councils actions.


There was apparently confusion on the date SLOs were to be completed. You should have received correspondence from the District advising you that the correct date is January 13, 2023. Please review the complete section relating to evaluations on the BTF website, If you have problems, please contact your LRS. (Click Here)


Right to Representation
Under the NYS law, you have a right to have a representative from BTF headquarters with you when meeting with an administrator could in any way lead to you being disciplined, terminated or in any way affect your personal working conditions.


You have a right to refuse to answer any questions without representation.


When such a meeting takes place, inform the administrator of this and contact your LRS (Click Here), who will arrange for a meeting.


Do not have a BTF Delegate Chairperson, Delegate, etc. be your representative. That is not their responsibility.


We are reprinting “wallet cards” for all teachers with this and information relating to being assaulted. As soon as they are received, we will send them out.


When in doubt, call your LRS/BTF.

Teachers Being Called to Office, Etc.
Teachers, when they believe it’s appropriate, e.g. when confidentiality is not an issue can ask why they are being called to the office or a meeting.


In addition, the following sections of the contract may apply.


XI, L. pg. 23          Classroom interruptions shall be permitted only in case of urgency. Persons other than Board of Education personnel shall be allowed to enter classrooms only with prior consultation with the classroom teacher.

XVI., A. pg. 34      Parent-Teacher conferences are desirable and encouraged. Parents desiring conferences with teachers shall make requests through the Building Administrator. Upon granting such request the administrator shall arrange that such conference shall be scheduled when the teacher is not supervising pupils. If this is not possible, appropriate relief shall be provided for the teacher.


Non-Board personnel shall not be authorized to enter a classroom unannounced during teaching periods or at other times when the teacher has responsibility for pupil supervision. 

Doctor’s Statement for Absence for Illness
A long-standing arbitration and past practice has established that the District, including principals can not establish a policy relating to when a physician’s statement must be provided by a teacher, e.g.


A policy such as “if you are absent on a Friday or if you are absent before a holiday or if you are absent too often, you must provide a physician’s statement.” is unacceptable.


If such a policy is instituted, call your LRS. Over the years, once administrators are advised of this, the procedure is rescinded.


Also, if you are asked for a physician’s statement when you return, if you haven’t gone to one and are well, it can’t usually be produced.


Most administrators are very understanding and are looking to work together, not nitpick.


If this is a problem, call you LRS.

Shortage – Soap/Sanitizer
Please advise us if you are experiencing a shortage of soap or sanitizer in your schools/site. We have heard that there are problems. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any problems.


We understand that a shipment of soap was delayed but should be in schools by Thursday.