Memo To:   All Buffalo Teachers
From:         Philip Rumore, President, BTF
Date:          October 24, 2019

Subject:      Updates

Our most recent (10/22/19) negotiations involved unacceptable and belligerent behavior by the District’s Chief Negotiator. It also involved an attempt by the District to link a previously agreed to District, yes District proposal, to other BTF proposals.
We will not go into details at this time.
As a result, we have again filed, with the Public Employee Relations Board (PERB), seeking their agreement that there is an impasse in our negotiations. Our previous request of PERB was not granted, as they sought more time for our negotiations to proceed, while leaving the door open.
We are also filing another Improper Practice (IP) charge against the District.
When they are both filed and received by PERB, we will update you.
School Safety Concerns
Concerns relating to school safety/learning environment are again becoming an issue. We will once again be surveying teachers relating to the learning environment in your school(s).
One issue is that students having behavior issues are not receiving the intervention services they need to correct the behaviors that are detrimental to their, and others’, education.
When, in spite of a teacher’s best efforts, a student continues to exhibit behaviors that are detrimental to his/her education, too often nothing is done to correct the behavior.
Instead of suspending the student and providing the necessary intervention services to end the disruptive behaviors, too many administrators are ignoring the problem, e.g. not suspending the student, pretending that the student was suspended by listing the student’s suspension as “pending” and of course attempting to blame the teachers.
We don’t want a student that has, and continues to engage, in acts of violence, disruptive behavior, bullying, etc. just returned to class, rewarding the behavior and in effect, saying to the class the behavior is acceptable.
What we want is for the District to provide intervention services to prevent the reoccurrence of the disruptive behavior.
Suspensions must result in District intervention. To accomplish this, we need more School Counselors, Social Workers, School Psychologists, Attendance teachers, etc. and they should not have 800/1 caseloads and be assigned administrators’ duties that take them away from providing intervention services. One hundred to one (100/1) should be an absolute maximum caseload.
It is the District’s responsibility to ensure that a student’s suspension leads to intervention services, i.e. Suspension/District interventions.
Lesson Plans
Why some administrators have to be so obsessed with Lesson Plans instead of the learning going on in your classroom, I don’t know. Never mind, you’re right.
The first sentence in the document approved by the Board of Education “Buffalo Public Schools Lesson Plan Document 2002” states;
 “Purpose of Lesson Plans:

Primary purpose of plans is for the teacher. Teachers should make them as detailed as the teacher needs them.” (This is bolded in the document)

The document is on the BTF website (Click Here).
Coaches - Re-Fingerprinting? Documentation?
Coaches are apparently receiving correspondence from District Human Resources Department advising them that there is no record of a fingerprint clearance in their file even though the teachers were fingerprinted years ago and the District has/had the documentation.
The teachers are being told that they “have ten business days from the date of this letter to verify you have completed the certification requirements”.
The correspondence refers coaches to two (2) places to get fingerprinted – the cost is over $100!
First we will be filing a Federation grievance to:
  • Obtain reimbursement for any teacher who paid to be re-fingerprinted.
  • Retraction of Human Resources demand that coaches/teachers be required to provide documentation that they have already submitted to the District. One coach has already verified that the District has this information on file.
Do they just not want to be bothered obtaining it from their files?
Note: Fingerprinting of prospective teachers used to be arranged for with the police department at City Hall at a cost of $10.