Cosmetic surgery rider for Buffalo teachers upheld

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A controversial part of Buffalo teachers’ union contracts, the cosmetic surgery rider, has been upheld.

Back in June, the Buffalo School District was issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO), allowing teachers and their families to continue getting plastic surgeries.

The order kept the district from ““terminating the cosmetic surgery provision of the parties’ collective bargaining agreement, pending disposition of the grievance and arbitration.”

On Tuesday, it was announced that a decision was reached on September 17.

Arbitrator Michael Lewandowski said “I find that the facts before me, the collective bargaining agreement and the Taylor Law do not permit one of the parties to unilaterally change the terms of a collective bargaining agreement.

Phil Rumore, President of the Buffalo Teachers Federation released a statement on the decision:

“I find the Board’s June 8, 2016 resolution to unilaterally eliminate the cosmetic surgery benefit violates the collective bargaining agreement. The language of 209(f) of the Taylor Law, in the instant set of circumstance, does not permit the Board of Education to make unilateral changes following impasse. The remedy for the above finding that the resolution violates the collective bargaining agreement is to order the District not to implement the resolution at issue here. It is truly pathetic that we should have to go to court and also an arbitrator to show, what anyone with any sense knows, what they have done is illegal and wrong – you can’t unilaterally remove parts or a contract to which you agreed. Imagine telling your bank or credit card company that you’ve decided that you don’t want to pay their bill because you feel you don’t have to. That is exactly what the Board has done. Hopefully, the Board will end the teacher anger its actions have engendered, end this absurd vindictive act, and the court challenges by agreeing to abide by the Arbitrator’s decision.”MORE | The entire arbitration decision can be found here.

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