Memo To:   All Buffalo Teachers

From:         Philip Rumore, President, BTF

Date:          May 12, 2021


Subject:     Transfers/”Conversations”, APPR/Evaluations

The arbitrator in a 1993 arbitration, Ronald Kowalski, stated (Note: He refers to a previous arbitration);


“The District has argued that it was unable to honor the request for transfer by the Grievant in part because principals at Schools #27 and #93 did not select him as a candidate. However, Arbitrator Simmelkjaer’s Opinion and Award has established that ‘the inclusion of a principal’s prerogative or right of veto violated the transfer procedures embodied in the Collective Bargaining Agreement.’ As Arbitrator Simmelkjaer has stated, if Section A (2) and Section A (1) of Article XIV are satisfied in that the teacher is a permanent teacher and the transfer will not upset the staff balance in the desired school then the only remaining factor necessary to consider was Section A (5) if the application has been made in a timely fashion prior to April 15th. The factor referenced by Arbitrator Simmelkjaer in Section A (5) is ‘that the wishes of the individual teacher be honored whenever possible.’ Among teachers seeking a transfer to a school seniority shall be the governing factor if all other factors are substantially equal.”


“Arbitrator Simmelkjaer’s Opinion and Award establishes that the Grievant’s preference must be honored whenever possible regardless of the wishes of the principal.”


“In the instant case, honoring his request was possible in that he was the senior teacher seeking transfer to the schools in question. The District therefore violated Article XII J. and Article XIV of the Master Contact as per Arbitrator Simmelkjaer’s Award when it failed to honor the transfer request of… in 1992.”


We have won every grievance on this issue. Teachers were then given their choice of schools either later in the process or in the next year.


We have filed a Federation grievance on such “conversations”.


Also note on the District correspondence, prior to the list of schools and dates to sign up for conversations (Click Here), it states;


“Open Houses are a voluntary mechanism to allow Principals or their designee to meet with teachers to discuss school wide expectations. Principals may or may not take advantage of the opportunity to host open house meetings.


It is also optional for teachers to sign up for the open house meetings.” (emphasis added)


Some teachers choose to visit the school to see if they want to transfer to the school. It’s up to you.



The New York Senate passed legislation (*5576-A) (Click Here) on Tuesday that we have been working on to eliminate the APPR for 2020-2021 for both tenured (Contract) and Probationary teachers.


We are awaiting a vote in the Assembly (*6750) (Click Here). As this is written, it has been sent to the floor for a vote. It must then be approved by the Governor. We believe he will sign it. (See #17 in both)


Stay tuned.


Regardless of the fact that some “administrators” are actually “evaluating teachers” we, as we have said previously, will have them (the evaluations) thrown out.


They tried to have us, as the administrators did, agree to virtual evaluations. We did not.


Indeed, we have a copy of what the District submitted to the State wherein it states that evaluations will be done in-person, not virtually.


Please stay well. Take no chances.