Memo To:   All Buffalo Teachers

From:         Philip Rumore, President, BTF

Date:          March 30, 2020


Subject:     Updates

I hope this finds you and your family well, and taking no chances.

If you have concerns, you can email us as per the previous emails and website.

School Year/Extensions
Hopefully, we won’t have to extend the school year. However, our contract is clear, 42 consecutive calendar weeks (43 this year per our MOU to have a February break) starting no earlier than September 1st and 188 days.

Any change, i.e. voluntary summer school, would have to be negotiated (hours/pay, etc.) and approved by you.

Hopefully, the District will not attempt to use this emergency to unilaterally change our contract. Be assured we will take legal action if they do.

Teachers have other summer jobs, child care responsibilities for children not in school, etc.

Teacher Evaluations
Evaluations of teachers must be in conformance with our APPR document (visit, Search APPR, then click on B.P.S. Signed MOU.)

In addition, “All monitoring or observing of the work or performance of a teacher shall be conducted openly and with the full knowledge of the teacher. No teacher shall receive adverse comments from any observer in the presence of pupils or any other staff member.”

See Teacher Evaluations, Article XIII, pg. 29-30 of the BTF-BPS July 1, 2016 Master Contract.

We have very serious concerns relating to the use of, or misuse of, technology by the District and others.

Such as:

  • Privacy issues.
  • Protection of teachers from misuse of technology.
  • Teachers being tracked based upon login times.
  • Unrealistic, inappropriate and dangerous directives of some administrators who, incidentally, are just sitting around without the daily teacher responsibilities.
  • Assigning “Schoology” to teachers without sufficient training.
  • Teachers being ordered/told to work outside teaching hours.
  • Students without laptops/devices or ones that do not work.


Be assured we will be here to defend you against any of these or other actions.

Sick Days
Obviously, since schools are closed, teachers on paid sick leave, e.g. Sick Leave Bank, will not be charged for sick days. See Absence Due to Severe Weather and other Emergency Conditions, Article XXXIII, pg. 86 of the BTF-BPS July 1, 2016 Master Contract)

Teachers Returning from Leaves
Teachers, as per the contract, should notify Human Resources of their date or return from leave (keep documentation).

Grading Students
You should have received a Press Release relating to the District’s position on grading students during this pandemic. In can be viewed by Clicking Here.

We will continue to work with the District to provide our students with support and education.

Most principals and administrators are working with teachers to determine how they can help them. Some; however, are attempting to bully, harass, and intimidate their staff with unreasonable and detrimental directives.

We will keep you updated as events transpire. The staff is available as per our emails to you.

Education Funding Cuts
We are working with our State and National Organizations to secure the funding we need for our students.

If they can support businesses, they must support our students lest there be irreparable harm done to them.

Statewide, we are supporting the “Millionaires Tax” and other revenue sources.

Nationally, we are supporting legislation to provide major funding or our students. Below, please see the email received from NYSUT and take action today. Share among your networks.

Also, NYSUT put up a TV/digital ad as well. You can find coverage of it here:


From: NYSUT - Andy Pallotta, President <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Sent: Monday, March 30, 2020 7:00 AM
To: Melinda Person
Subject: Emergency Action: 5,000 Calls Needed TODAY!


New York cannot expect to fix this crisis on the backs for our students.

The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the vital role that our schools play in our communities. They provide meals, they provide care for the needs of children, they provide mental health services — and that's just the tip of the iceberg.    

The governor recently announced that school districts should be prepared to adjust their budgets to account for lost revenue from the state. The passage of the federal stimulus package infused two billion dollars to our state for public education stabilization for both K-12 and higher education. There is no need for these dramatic cuts. Cuts to education in any form will hurt the students and families who need the supports our public schools and colleges provide now more than ever. The inequality that already existed in our education system has only been exacerbated by this crisis. Cutting funding now will widen the gap even further.

Our public education students and families shouldn't be the ones to foot the bill for the crisis. We cannot sacrifice our students' future. Stand up for our public schools and colleges — and stop these extreme cuts.

In solidarity,

Andrew Pallotta
NYSUT President 
 P.S. Tell lawmakers NO CUTS to education! We cannot balance the budget on the backs of our students! Visit the Action Center by clicking on the link below or by copy and pasting it into your web browser.

Recent Email to Superintendent Cash
The correspondence attached (click here) was sent to Dr. Cash today, March 30, 2020.
Even though you may see my car at BTF, I will not let you in (for your safety).

Please don’t take any chances. Your, your family’s and your friends’ health is too important to take even the slightest chance. Please.

As always, together we will overcome this obstacle as we always have.