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President's Reports


2017 - 2018 School Year

 

June 2018

The District, as if this writing, has agreed to two (2) BTF Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs). We are awaiting the signature of the Superintendent. The first MOU, for this year only, will prevent reapplication by the few teachers who, as per the District, applied for a transfer online via the portal. They will not have to reapply in writing << Read More >>
 

September  2017

Welcome Back! Hopefully, your summer “layoff” was restful, safe, and productive. This year will be, as are most, filled with challenges. However, we will, as always, change them into successes and accomplishments. With the finest and most dedicated teachers anywhere, how can we not prevail? As you can see from the emails to you, this has, as usual, been a busy summer - court, arbitration, attempting to correct the transfer mess, etc. << Read More >>

 

 

Provocator


The Provocator is the official publication of the Buffalo Teachers Federation. Rates and anticipated publishing schedule may be requested from Joseph Montante, the Managing Editor, by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

2017 - 2018 School Year

  

provocator 10 2017    december 2017   february 2018
  October 2017                      December 2017                       February 2018
         
april 2018   june 2018    
     April 2018        June 2018    


2016 - 2017 School Year

 

September 2016       December 2016    March 2017
September 2016                      December 2016                           March 2016 
         
 May 2017    June 2017    
       May 2017       June 2017    
         

 

 

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President's Report
By: Philip Rumore, President 
 
June 2018

TEACHER TRANSFERS

The BTF has not agreed to resume the flawed and insulting transfer process used last year.

The District, as if this writing, has agreed to two (2) BTF Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs). We are awaiting the signature of the Superintendent.

The first MOU, for this year only, will prevent reapplication by the few teachers who, as per the District, applied for a transfer online via the portal. They will not have to reapply in writing.

The second MOU clarifies how part-time positions are handled.

“1. If there is more than one part-time teacher in the same tenure area at the school and a full-time position is created, the part-time teacher with the greatest seniority shall have the contractual right to the full-time position.

2. If a portion of a full-time position [an itinerant position], eg. a teacher teaching .4 at one school and a .6 at another school, is increased to a full-time position at one or both of those schools, the contract or probationary teacher in that tenure area serving in one of those part-time positions shall have the contractual right to move to the new full-time position or if both are increased to full-time, the teacher will have the contractual right to the full-time position at the school of their choice.

3. If a part-time and a full-time position exist at a school and the full-time position becomes vacant, the contract or probationary teacher filling the part-time position does not have an automatic contractual right to move to that full-time position. The position is considered a vacancy and must be filled by a teacher on the transfer list or as otherwise specified in the CBA.

4. If a full time position is cut to a .8, but is paired with a .2 position the teacher who was previously full-time shall have first refusal rights for the newly created itinerant position or be placed on the transfer list.”

Transfers must be as per the contract, Article XIV, pg. 30-33.

UNEMPLOYMENT

If you believe that you might not have a position in September, you should apply for unemployment insurance. Please remember that temporary teachers should be rehired each year by the Board if positions are available. Some temporary teachers, in previous summers, have received a certified letter from the District that indicates in part, that it expects to be able to employ you next year. This letter is sometimes referred to as a “reasonable assurance letter”.

In the past, this letter has been used by the District in an attempt to prevent temporary teachers, who might be eligible for unemployment insurance, from receiving unemployment benefits. If you receive such a letter, and believe you will probably not be rehired, fax a copy to BTF at 881-6678.

If you apply for unemployment compensation benefits, believe you are eligible, and are turned down, appeal the determination, ask for a hearing and continue to report. List the BTF as your representative. Call us when you receive notice of a hearing date.

If you receive benefits and you are subsequently found to be ineligible, benefits are not recoverable unless you withheld information. A question asked is “Have you received any verbal or written POSSIBILITY of a job in September?” If you have received the “reasonable assurance letter” and you answer the question with a “no”, you are considered to be withholding information. Also, you will be withholding information if you subsequently receive the “reasonable assurance letter” and do not report this fact to the Unemployment Office. If you have additional questions, please call your Labor Relations Specialist at the BTF.

TEMPORARY TEACHER SUMMER BC/BS

Temporary teachers who worked at least 100 days, are on the payroll on the last day of school and who have not been terminated based on an evaluation, are entitled to health coverage during the summer lay-off.

HEALTHCARE LAID-OFF TEACHERS

If you receive a termination notice from your health care provider, call the BTF so that we can determine your status. In any event, all temporary teachers continue to be covered by the SBF during the summer months for SBF dental, optical, and prescription benefits. As always, SBF forms must be completed for reimbursement.

Contract and probationary teachers who are laid off, but are subsequently rehired, are entitled to be reimbursed for health care benefits during the time of layoff. (See Article XXVI (2) Section A-8 on page 71, lines 39-42 of your contract.

EXTENDED PAY PLAN SIGN-UP

Many Buffalo teachers have joined the BTF Extended Pay Plan to have their pay spread out over the summer months.

If you would like information regarding the Extended Pay Plan, see your Delegate Chairperson. Information is also available in the BTF Delegate Handbook in your building. Enrollment cards are available from your delegate or from the BTF and are due by Friday, June 22, 2018. Reminder – we strongly suggest that you sign up for direct deposit to receive your extended pay plan funds.

ATTENTION TEMPORARY TEACHERS

Temporary teachers who have lost pay during this school year due to lack of sick days are reminded that they may apply to use any sick time they have since accumulated to obtain pay for those days. You must submit a written request to the Payroll department.

SUMMER OFFICE HOURS

Once again this summer, BTF will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Any changes will be emailed to you. Keep up-to-date via the BTF website, www.btfny.org.

SOLIDARITY

AS A DEMONSTRATION OF CONTINUED SOLIDARITY, WE ARE ASKING ALL TEACHERS TO WEAR THEIR BTF SHIRTS AND/OR SOLIDARITY PINS/STICKERS ON THE LAST DAY OF SCHOOL.

EMAIL REQUEST

The BTF is looking to update our personal e-mail list. Please e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your personal e-mail address. There will be periodic updates on significant issues during the summer and you don’t want to miss them. BTF does not communicate using your BPS e-mail address.

SUMMER REMINDER

WHEN SOMEONE ASKS YOU HOW YOU ARE ENJOYING YOUR “SUMMER VACATION”, REMIND THEM THAT THE CHILDREN ARE ON “SUMMER VACATION” – TEACHERS ARE LAID OFF. NOT ENOUGH PEOPLE KNOW IT IS NOT A PAID VACATION FOR TEACHERS IN THE SUMMER, BUT RATHER TWO MONTHS WITHOUT PAY. LET US CONTINUE USING THE TERM SUMMER “LAY-OFF” AND MAYBE THEY WILL GET THE MESSAGE.

 

President's Report
By: Philip Rumore, President 
 
September 2017

Welcome back. Hopefully, your summer “layoff” was restful, safe, and productive. This year will be, as are most, filled with challenges. However, we will, as always, change them into successes and accomplishments. With the finest and most dedicated teachers anywhere, how can we not prevail?

As you can see from the emails to you, this has, as usual, been a busy summer – court, arbitration, attempting to correct the transfer mess, etc.

COURT VICTORY

As you may have heard, we were successful in having Judge Bannister block the changes in the starting and ending times at Schools 3, 59 and 89. As this is being written (August 8th) the order has been signed. We expect the District to challenge Judge Bannister’s decision.

We made the following points:

a. New York State Law and Commissioner’s decisions require that Receivership changes be made to improve the education of the students. This move was to save money.

b. The original Commissioner’s decisions were based on our old contract, not our new one; therefore, the District must go back and apply for each Receivership power at each school based on our new contract.

Judge Bannister agreed with both “a” and “b” and so ordered.

TRANSFER ARBITRATION

We have begun an important arbitration relating to seniority as it relates to transfers.
Our position is that if based upon your seniority, you are entitled to a position (a vacancy), you have the option to fill said vacancy. An administrator cannot prevent you from accepting it.

Most teachers do not want positions at schools where they become aware that the administrator doesn’t want them... Their problem, not the teacher’s.

We’ll keep you up-to-date. The District is attempting to block this arbitration based upon obscure arguments. One way or another, this will get to arbitration and we won’t stop until we win.

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION

You have no doubt begun to receive information relating to the vote on whether there will be a New York State Constitutional Convention.

Why do some want a Constitutional Convention?

a. To remove the Constitutional guarantee that your pension can not be reduced once you retire.

b. To undo the right to unionize.

c. To remove the provision that keeps our contract in force until a new one is negotiated.

d. The right to a free public education.

e. The right of every child to a “Sound Basic Education”.

Several teachers from almost every school have attended two (2) training sessions this summer to work with their colleagues to ensure that the constitutional convention is voted down in November. We thank them for their support.

You will be receiving BTF designed (the ones available were too “wimpy”) stickers for your lanyards.

We will be providing materials and information for your use.

We need you to convince your relatives, friends and neighbors to vote No! on the Constitutional Convention in November. We will defeat this.

NEW CONTRACT

We have sent a draft of the new contract to the District. Hopefully, we will come to closure on the document soon so that we can have copies printed.

We will have one posted on our website in a format that can be used to find indexed sections. This may take a little longer but it needs to be done.

TEACHER SET - UP DAY

The teacher set-up day, August 31st is to be “duty free for teachers to set-up their classrooms”. Duty free is just that, duty free. “Voluntary” meetings of any sort violate the intent of this section. We all know how you are misjudged and viewed unfavorably by some administrators if you do not attend a “voluntary” meeting or event. This is to be your day to set-up your room.

NEW COMPUTERS

We have, as per our email to you, installed new computers, work stations and have begun the installation of new programs.

The process will take time as we work out the glitches.

We appreciate your understanding as we install what we believe is far superior equipment and improved programs.

TEACHER E-MAIL ADDRESSES - BTF GOING GREEN

We still do not have everyone’s personal e-mail address.

Once again, here are the procedures. Go to www.btfny.org - in the blue menu block on any page, click Misc. Then click on Update Form. Enter your District ID and the last four digits of your social security number for confirmation. Then enter any new phone number, address and the personal e-mail address that you would like used for quick contacts. Click the submit button and we’ll take it from there. If this still doesn’t work, fax the information to us at 881-6678

ATTENTION TEMPORARY TEACHERS

Re-employed temporary teachers should call the Board’s Benefits Office at 816-3754 or 816-3755 to confirm that the Board is providing your healthcare coverage. Newly employed temporary teachers must file an application with the District to receive health insurance. As always, when in doubt, call the BTF.

If there are openings in your school being filled with substitutes instead of regular teachers, i.e. there is no teacher assigned to the position or no “replacement” (temporary) teacher assigned when the “regular” teacher is not expected to return until at least the second semester of the school year, please call us at BTF. (Regular and “replacement” (temporary) teachers are members of the BTF bargaining unit and receive all contractual pay and benefits.)

MARITAL STATUS CHANGE/ADDRESS CHANGE

If there has been a change in your marital status, it may be necessary to change your life insurance beneficiary, NYSTRS beneficiary, SBF benefit cards, health insurance coverage.

Check your check! Is your address correct? If not, you should notify the Administration (Human Resources/Personnel Office, Room 720 and Payroll Office, Room 814, City Hall), in writing. You should also notify the BTF.

SALARY ADJUSTMENT FOR COMPLETED COURSES

Completion of course work which leads to a pay differential should be reported immediately. Obtain an Advanced Credit Differential application from your office or from the BPS website. (Refer to page 57 of your contract.) Differentials are granted for the semester following completion of the 10-hour block, provided forms are filed within thirty (30) days after school starts or completion of the course work. Just sending a transcript often isn’t enough to receive credit. Examine your check.

INCIDENT REPORT FORMS AVAILABLE

The BTF will continue monitoring incidents in the schools. The forms, developed by the BTF, are available from your Delegate. Please use them. Report serious acts of violence, vandalism, etc. We will be making sure that appropriate action is taken. Forms should be
returned to Rebecca Pordum at BTF.

INAPPROPRIATE DISCIPLINE FORM

Your Delegate Chairperson also has copies of our “BTF Inappropriate/Inadequate Discipline Report Form” to report incidents of what you consider inappropriate/inadequate discipline resulting from a student(s) with weapons, involved in acts of violence, or engaging in sexual harassment, etc, including students being returned to the same school/class after committing acts of violence against anyone (including other students). Forms should be returned to your Labor Relations Specialist (LRS).

ON-THE-JOB INJURIES

Teachers injured on the job should file an accident report form and the Worker’s Compensation form (C-2) and see a doctor even if the injury does not result in immediate lost time from work.

BTF WEBSITE

Remember, we continue to improve our website. It is www.btfny.org - check it out.

WARNING

Postings to Facebook pages and other social networks are not as private as one might believe. In fact, you should not consider them private at all. Nothing should be put on them that you would not want your current or future employer to see.

Text messages can be saved, shared and potentially used against you.

Also, the Board computers and your Board email address should be used judiciously. Your employer has access to all of this information. For BTF correspondence use your personal email address.

REHIRED CONTRACT/PROBATIONARY TEACHERS

As per Article XXVI (2) A (8) p 72, contract and probationary teachers who are excessed and subsequently rehired are entitled to be reimbursed for healthcare expenses during the period of their layoff. Call BTF for information on how to apply.

SICK DAY CARRY-OVER

Teachers are advised to check their first pay check and make sure that sick days have been properly credited. Unused sick days should roll over, unused personal days are converted to sick days and new sick/personal days should be credited. If you are a member of the Sick Leave Bank, those days should have been deducted from your accumulation.

BUFFALO’S BEST

As part of our continuing “From the Classroom to the Living Room” initiative, we will be distributing a pad of “Buffalo’s Best” awards for each teacher to use for students.

The “Buffalo’s Best” awards will provide you with a quick effective way to say to a student and parent, “Good job”.

The forms were designed by BTF and printed by NYSUT, our state affiliate. When you run out, call BTF...we have extras.

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