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Letter: School Board can’t remove cosmetic rider from contract

School Board can’t remove cosmetic rider from contract

After reading a June 13 letter regarding the Buffalo Teachers Federation contract, I felt compelled to respond. As a retired teacher, with considerable experience involving contract negotiations and specifically the New York State Taylor Law, I am appalled at the lack of knowledge, if not ignorance, on the part of the Buffalo School Board regarding the “negotiated” cosmetic rider in the health care plan. I would think that anyone involved in labor relations would know what the term “negotiate” means. Simply put, it’s give-and-take. This rider was obviously not a gift from the board, but an item negotiated by the union. How can it just be arbitrarily removed from the contract? It can’t!

Many years ago, while attending a leadership conference, I had a discussion with a retired union leader, and he said something to me that I have never forgotten. He said: If there is anything that we as a nation should be embarrassed about, it is that there still remains a dire need for unionism. Wow!

We have had teachers imprisoned for violating the Taylor Law. How about the other side? No new contract since 2004 – that’s criminal.

I would suggest that anti-union people reading this letter call your union member friends and neighbors and thank them for your children’s education, your living wage, your paid vacation and all of the other benefits that were negotiated for by a union. Do you really believe you would have these benefits without unionism? Think again.

Lou Fabiano