Teachers at the Buffalo City School District are starting the new school year without a new contract.
The Buffalo Teachers Federation is asking the state to declare an impasse and to charge the school district with “improper practices” after the federation’s president Phil Rumore says the district has been dragging its feet, with getting contract negotiations started.
The teachers contract expired in June. Rumore says, the district and the federation met back in April to begin discussions for a new contract. He says, the conflict began when the two parties were trying to schedule their next meeting or series of meetings.
“All I can tell you now, is that the teachers are angry. Teachers that I’ve spoken with, especially after they just gave raises to the city hall staff,” said Rumore. “I don’t begrudge their raises, that’s fine, but you can’t even sit down and negotiate with us? But still, now they’re putting it off till the end of September. An insult.”
The district says, that the federation is causing the delay.
“Unfortunately, the leadership team chose to storm away from the table,” said Nathaniel Kuzma, district’s representative. “And, we didn’t receive another date from the federation until the middle of August, so between that time and between August we haven’t received a date from them. The delay on their part, is solely on their part. “
As of Thursday night, Rumore says, the district submitted suggestions for meeting dates. The suggested dates are around the end of September. They are not open to the public.
The teachers federation will be holding a rally on Sept. 18.