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Teachers union files ‘improper practice charge’ against city school district

WBFO News file photo

The Buffalo Teachers Federation is accusing the city school district of "bargaining in bad faith" for a new contract.  

In June, the district submitted a contract offer that already received unanimous support from the school board. But now the BTF has filed an improper practice charge against the district. 
 
The BTF accuses the district of violating the Taylor Law. The union states proposed wage increases would be millions of dollars less than past proposals and proposed healthcare contributions would cost teachers millions. 

BTF President Phil Rumore was not available for comment Tuesday as he was headed out of town. But in a WBFO News interview last month, Rumore stated his disgust for the proposed deal.

"Decreases for teachers with mediocre increases if anything. You know pittance increases in salaries and a tax on our benefits," stated Rumore.
       
However, the district's chief negotiator Terry O'Neil explained in June a lot of changes must be made and it is the :new reality."

"There's no further stages under the Taylor law other than the board giving some direction of what to pursue in negotiations. They've given us that direction and that's what our proposals reflect -- the direction that the board gave us," said O'Neil.
       
Still, Rumore is calls the proposed contract "sabotage" against negotiations and an "attack on teachers." 

Late Tuesday afternoon the Buffalo Board of Education unanimously authorized the District to file an improper practice charge against the BTF for 'its failure to bargain in good faith.'

The District issued a written statement. 

"The District intends to file the action against the BTF because it is improperly proposing salary and step increases between the years 2004 and 2007, the years during which the wage freeze was legally in effect.  In addition, the BTF has improperly refused to meet for bargaining on three separate dates since the parties last met on June 16, 2015."

 

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