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Buffalo teachers reject latest contract offer

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WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley
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The Buffalo teachers union has rejected the latest contract offer from the city school district. WBFO's Eileen Buckley reports.       

"Teachers were furious, angry and insulted," said Buffalo Teacher Federation President Phil Rumore. 

Rumore said the latest contract offer was a 'slap in the face' to teachers.

The union's executive committee, Council of Delegates and representatives from all the school unanimously voted against the offer at a meeting Thursday evening.

Rumore said the proposed ten percent pay increase is meaningless to teachers who have been without a deal for 12-years.

"Here you have teachers, that are working under the most difficult circumstances, $20,000 behind the rest of their colleagues, and the board offers them about what amounts to less than one-percent salary increase, and then asking them to make a ten-percent to 20-percent payment on their health care, work ten-percent longer," stated Rumore.

The proposed deal called for teachers to agree to a longer school day and school year. 
In a surprise move, the school board revealed the proposal at Wednesday’s board meeting.  

"We had heard they might do something like this, but all it is doing is making the teachers angrier and make it that much harder, but the teachers are furious," replied Rumore.

Rumore tells WBFO he waiting for the board to return to the bargaining table.   

"No matter how bad negotiations go, the only way you are going to have a negotiated settlement is to sit down and talk," explained Rumore.

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