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Buffalo teachers to picket schools

Teachers with the Buffalo Teachers Federation will engage in informational picketing early Tuesday and Wednesday mornings in front of schools to protest the fact that teachers have been working without a contract since 2004, said union president Phil Rumore.

Teachers plan to stand in front of all Buffalo public schools for a half hour before their scheduled reporting time. Students return to class for the first day of school on Thursday.

BTF representatives also plan to picket at the next school board meeting, Rumore said.

Signs will carry phrases like, “10 yrs. Dedicated Service + 10 yrs 25% Inflation + 10 yrs. $20,000/yr. Behind Other Teachers + 10 yrs No New Contract = A NEW CONTRACT NOW!”

Both the union and the district are awaiting a recommendation from the Public Employment Relations Board fact finder regarding recommendations on a contract settlement within the next three or four weeks. The recommendations would not be binding. Both sides had been working with a mediator over the last several years to negotiate an agreement but his recommendations, made earlier this year, were rejected by the BTF.