Memo To:   All Buffalo Teachers

From:         Philip Rumore, President, BTF

Date:          February 11, 2021


Subject:     Court Update/Other Issues

Court Update
We have just received notice that Judge Emilio Colaiacovo has denied our motion for a preliminary injunction to prevent the District from requiring teachers to attend schools in person until an arbitration can be held on our grievance that the schools are unsafe.


However, he scheduled a further conference to discuss the merits of our petition.


“Because Petitioner has failed to meet its burden to demonstrate that it is likely to succeed on the merits as to the arbitration or that there exists irreparable harm or a balancing of equities in its favor should in-person schooling resume, the relief requested must be denied. The totality of the evidence does not justify injunctive relief. Instead, Respondents have satisfied all CDC and State guidelines to re-open. Further, the proactive steps taken by Respondents adequately address recommendations made by clinicians that advise in-person learning can occur without treat of significant transmission of the virus. See generally “Exhibit #18”. As such, Petitioner’s request for a preliminary injunction is hereby DENIED.


The Court hereby schedules a further conference to discuss the merits of the Petition now that the preliminary injunction has been denied. Counsel shall be available on March 9, 2021 at 2:00 p.m.”


While we obviously disagree with the decision and as our attorneys examine it, we will continue to move forward and leave no stone unturned, no battle unfought, to ensure that our schools are and remain safe for our students, parents, staff and of course, ourselves.


Even one case of the virus is too many.


Stay Tuned.

District Statement on Travel
A 2/11/2021 Document (and previous one) states;


“Before you travel notify your Principal/Supervisor of your travel plans as well as your quarantine plan”


We have been advised by NYSUT that the District cannot require this and that teachers can refuse to provide said travel plans and quarantine plans.


There is nothing in our contract or law that allows for this.

Letter to Superintendent and Board Regarding COVID
Attached, please find a copy of our latest letter to the Superintendent and Board relating to COVID procedures. (Click Here)

Personal Days/Sick Days
There continue to be questions relating to personal and sick days.

Personal Days (See Article XXIX, A, pages 79-80):

In short:

A.  Five (5) days for “observance of traditional and customary religious holidays” and “urgent personal business which cannot be performed during non-school hours subject to the following conditions:”

1)  converted to “the teacher’s sick leave accumulation on July 1st”.

2)  “may not be taken on the day before or the day after a holiday unless a request, specifying the reason, is made and approved.”

3)  “For days other than those specified above, the teacher shall sign a statement certifying that such personal leave is being taken to conduct urgent personal business which cannot be performed during school-hours.”

In other words, you are not required to give a reason unless the day(s) are the day before or the day after a holiday.

5)  “Whenever possible, advance notice of forty-eight (48) hours shall be given before the use of a personal day.”


Please stay well. Take no chances.