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School Board Member Distributes Petitions Pushing for Single Health Insurance Provider

By Eileen Buckley

Buffalo, NY – A Buffalo school board member is asking the community to sign a petition that calls on the teachers union to accept the single health care plan.

With just a week to go before Buffalo public school children head back to the classroom, at large board member Christopher Jacobs is reaching out to citizens. He wants them to sign a petition that calls on the leader of the teachers union to embrace the single health plan. And in less than 24-hours, Jacobs received about 120 signatures.

"I hope it continues to create momentum, and that it sends a message to the leadership to get back to the table and conclude this so we can get onto the multi issues that we need to deal with when we start school next week," Jacobs said.

Jacobs says the union membership must implore its leaders to agree to the health plan. He says for the sake of the school children, both sides need return to the table immediately and resolve the contract and health care dispute.

"But I hope that they are vocalizing the devastation in the classroom and to our children to the union leadership because at this point and time they really hold more of the the cards more than we do," Jacobs said. "There's about $10 million dollars that we have lost by dragging this out. That money is just sitting out there and is going to go to an insurance company if we don't utilize it."

In the first year alone, the single health plan would save the district about $10 million dollars, but the control board says over time it could generate a $50 million savings for the school district.