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

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.

BTF CONTRACT

The BTF contract is now on our website, www.btfny.org (Contract Info/Other Tab). It is searchable!

ADMINISTRATORS UNSUCCESSFUL CHALLENGE TO OUR APPR

As per the recent email to you relating to the Administrators unsuccessful attempt to invalidate our APPR, here are some of the Administrators objections as per the Arbitrator’s decision:

Announced Observation: … The announced observation may not occur during the month of September, the last three weeks of June, or the day before or after a holiday.

Unannounced Observation: The teacher must be notified of the month that their unannounced observation will take place.

The unannounced observation may not occur during the month of September, the last three weeks of June or the day before or after a holiday.

The teacher has a one-time option not to have the observation not (sic) count.

The administrator must be notified as soon as they enter the classroom that the teacher is exercising this right.

The administrator may return no sooner than five days and no later than 30 days after the teacher exercises this right.”

Here are some interesting sections from the Arbitrator’s decision:

(David) “Hills testified that he was surprised at the District’s contention that they had not been, and that he had conducted observations in September. (Darren) Brown testified that he asked Hills during the meeting how many observations he had done in the month of September. According to Brown, Hills somehow checked on that during the meeting and was surprised to find that the earliest observation he had conducted was in the month of October. Morris (Genelle) testified that she (or her office) pulled the data for all lead evaluators for the previous school year, and explained to the Union, at the meeting or shortly thereafter, that no observations has been conducted in September.

“The restriction on conducting observations during the last three weeks in June was also objected to by the Union, and was discussed at the January 18 meeting. At the hearing, Barton (Crystal) admitted on cross-examination that there had historically been an end of May cutoff for APPRs.”

“Principals William Kresse and Jody Covington testified that the ‘wave-off’ could produce interactions between teachers and administrators that students ought not to witness.”

TEACHER SET-UP DAY

The teacher set-up day, September 5th 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.

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 55 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.

DISCIPLINE FORM INAPPROPRIATE

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.

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 71, 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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