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YOUR TURN / A sample of responses received for last week's question

Q: Should Buffalo Teachers Federation President Philip Rumore agree to a single health insurance plan proposed by the school board?

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Buffalo Teachers Federation members are highly compensated with some of the nation's highest teacher's wages and an extremely generous benefits and pension program. The union should accept the possibility of a few changes and should be required to pay some percentage of the cost and reasonable co-pays.

Robert J. Andres, East Concord

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Yes, the unions should accept a single plan and begin focusing on education, not benefits.

Jim Stephan, Lackawanna

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Our special education class took a vote and four students said yes to the single health care plan for Buffalo teachers. One student voted no. Good luck with your survey!

Amber Romanczak, Williamsville

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Absolutely, provided the changes in health insurance do not affect catastrophic health issues for teachers. Paying co-pays and minimal prescription coverage is highly unlikely to reduce the day-to-day quality of life for any teacher. The losses to children, however, continues to be catastrophic, and quality of school life in rapid decline.

Maureen Schroeder, Buffalo

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As a Buffalo teacher, I am already under a single health care provider. They changed all of us on Sept. 1. It was agreed upon to go to one health provider, but the board keeps changing what else it wants to change in our contract.

Mary Meshlovitz, Buffalo

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The move to a single health care provider should only be made if the district can provide documentation that there will be no loss in coverage. If the coverage will be the same, then is it unreasonable to ask for proof? Also, since the Board of Education pressed to reopen the contract during difficult economic times, I wonder what the reaction would be if the Buffalo Teachers Federation demanded to reopen the contract for increased benefits when the economy improves?

Matthew Peracciny, Middleport

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No, citizens must understand that Philip Rumore, as a "leader" of the teachers, couldn't care less about the students or the taxpayers of Buffalo and New York State. He cares, as he should, solely about milking the citizens for the benefit of his employers, the teachers. It is up to the taxpayers' representatives to properly stand their ground in negotiating realistic contracts which benefit all citizens of Buffalo and New York state.

Martin F. Brownsey, West Seneca

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This political charade masquerading as a "savings initiative" has been rigged all along by Superintendent James Williams, his Blue Cross cronies and the overpaid health care "consultants" who have functioned as the conduits for this gross deception.

David Chojnacki, Lancaster

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I think Buffalo Teachers Federation President Philip Rumore needs to get everyone on the same page, same health care provider. It's good for teachers and taxpayers and it's more money for the kids, who could have more extracurricular programs and we may keep more teachers employed!

Lynn Kaminski, West Seneca

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The teachers have a contract and any changes must be negotiated. The school board must negotiate any changes with the unions, which are asking for proof that coverage will be the same. What is so hard about that?

Tom Beyer, Orchard Park

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Buffalo Teachers Federation President Philip Rumore should only agree to a single health carrier after a comparison has been made between the Blue Cross and Independent Health plans. I believe Rumore and the teachers have no objection to a single carrier as long as they know the exact coverage.

Sharon Ferrelli, Buffalo

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The BTF is following three well known adages in refusing to agree to a single health provider without a line-by-line comparison of benefits: "Look before you leap," "Don't buy a pig in a poke," and "Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me."

Larry Finkelstein, East Amherst

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