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The contract dispute between the Buffalo Teachers Federation and the Board of Education dates back more than 10 years:
1989 -- Contract negotiations between the district and teachers union bog down on salary issues.

1990 -- Superintendent Albert Thompson and the BTF agree on a four-year contract with raises totaling 35 percent. The School Board rejects the contract.

1991 -- In response to state court rulings, the board signs the contract but refuses to implement the teachers' raises.

1994 -- State Supreme Court Justice Edward A. Rath Jr. rules that the district is not legally obligated to give teachers the raises.

The BTF begins appealing through state courts to obtain back pay but loses in the Appellate Division.

The union appeals to the Court of Appeals, the state's highest court.

December 1996 -- Against all predictions by the district, the Court of Appeals reverses lower court rulings and orders the district to implement the 1990 agreement.

The case goes back to State Supreme Court for final disposition.

Both sides file motions presenting wildly different interpretations of the formula used to calculate back pay: The district says it is responsible for $20 million; the union says it is owed $192 million.

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