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Teachers Picket for Full Step Wage Increases

By Mark Wozniak

Buffalo, NY – Buffalo teachers and other school district employees picketed in front of City Hall Wednesday night before a school board meeting.

The teachers want to be included in the city's plans to provide full four-step increases to city workers as the wage freeze is lifted.

Buffalo Teachers Federation President Philip Rumore disputes claims that the district cannot afford the raises.

"They received a $42 million increase in state aid. They're going to get another $132 million over the next four years," Rumore said. "They can afford it."

The new $742 million school budget was unanimously approved by the board Wednesday night. It includes one step wage increases. Officials say that large deficits and widespread layoffs would ensue if the full four-step raises were included.