The Buffalo Teachers Federation Calls PERB Ruling Regarding An Alleged & Illegal Strike At A City Science Magnet School “A Callous And Wrong Determination,” Union Vows To Appeal Ruling
(BUFFALO, NEW YORK) – The Buffalo Teachers Federation (BTF) is calling a ruling rendered by the Public Employees Relations Board (PERB) regarding an alleged and illegal Strike by more than 16 Teachers employed at the Charles R. Drew Science Magnet School “a callous and wrong determination.”
BTF President Phil Rumore is also vowing to appeal the PERB ruling.
Because of the Taylor Law in New York State, strikes by Public Employees are illegal.
The story came to light after the Buffalo School District decided to take formal action against more than a dozen Teachers at the Charles R. Drew Science Magnet School, who had their first paychecks of the school year docked for calling in sick on the same day in March, The Buffalo News reported.
School District Officials claim the Teachers took part in an illegal job action done in protest over concerns about school safety, which reportedly involved students and a knife.
Rumore sent the following memo to BTF Members regarding the PERB ruling:
Not only is this decision callous, but so was the decision of the District to charge the Teachers.
In addition to the Teachers involved losing two days’ pay, the dues deduction will be suspended for two months at School #59 (The Charles R. Drew Science Magnet School).
As you read the decision, you will see how Teachers who witnessed the violent altercation were not only traumatized by the event, but one of the outside assailants threatened coming back "tomorrow with a gun to shoot up this f**king school.”
Incredibly, the Staff was not notified before school the next day that the student had been apprehended.
As far as they knew, the outsider was still out there.
Yet, the District charged Teachers and the PERB Hearing Officers found them guilty of striking.
The PERB Hearing Officer found that BTF had engaged in a strike, even though I had advised the Delegate Chair to make sure she notified the Teachers that she was not telling them to not report, which she did by e-mail.
This decision is a warning to all.
PERB is ready to charge a school, Teachers and the BTF with any action they don’t like … and so is the District.
We will of course appeal this callous and wrong decision.
BTF Members last struck in Fall 2000.
At that time, nearly 4,000 Teachers were informed that they violated New York State’s Taylor Law by striking for two days over stalled contract negotiations.