BUFFLO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Long time Buffalo Teachers Federation President Phil Rumore will be retiring in June.

Rumore was first elected president in 1981 and has continuously held the position.

In a memo to union members, Rumore said the union has accomplished so much. He’s considered retiring before, but always had unfinished business that kept him at the helm. With a vote on the new teacher contract proposal on Friday and a ratification event for members on Monday, Rumore says he feels comfortable stepping aside because his teachers futures will be secure through 2026.

Buffalo school leaders call this news shocking and wish Rumore well.

“There’s things he’s done that no other teachers federation president across the country have done,” said Sam Radford. “Most people don’t like it because the rest of us got the consequence of it, but you gotta respect it. You gotta respect that when it came down to teacher and the truth of the matter, if I was a teacher I’d want him to be my leader.”

The news of Rumore’s retirement comes as the BTF is expected to finalize a contract proposal with the Buffalo Public Schools District on Friday.

Larry Scott, member-at-large, BPS Board of Education, issued the following statement to News 4 after the announcement of Rumore’s retirement.

It is earth-shattering news. No person has been such a pillar for public education in the city of Buffalo over the past several decades, as Mr. Rumore. His perseverance and resolve have been unmatched in this work. I wish him the best in a well-earned retirement.

Larry Scott

Rumore’s final day as president of the teachers federation is June 30. There are three candidates up for his seat and the election is in May according to teacher sources.

The BTF represents 3,800 teachers in the Buffalo Public Schools.

Tara Lynch is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team as a reporter in 2022. She previously worked at WETM in Elmira, N.Y., a sister station of News 4. You can follow Tara on Facebook and Twitter and find more of her work here.

Emily Miller is a digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2022. See more of her work here.