Buffalo Public Schools reveal opening offer for teacher contracts

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Buffalo Public School system announced it is offering a chunk of change to get its teachers under a contract for the first time in more than a decade.

Officials say they’re willing to offer a 23 percent average salary increase to its teachers over four years, but they’re asking for concessions. The school is asking for the school year to be extended from 186 to 190 days, in order to help develop newer teachers.

The proposal also increases the length of the school day by 50 minutes from nearly seven hours to nearly eight hours. The district signaled that additional time in class would allow teachers and students flexibility to succeed. The Buffalo Public School District recently came in last place among all WNY area public districts in the annual rankings by Buffalo Business First.

Other details of the school district’s proposal to the Buffalo Teachers Federation include:

  • Paid leave time — reduced from five to three years at full salary with benefits from in-school assaults or extended illnesses.
  • Additional faculty meetings — at least 10 one-hour meetings each year which could be held before or after school.
  • Athletic coaches — the positions would be selected based on those who are most qualified for the position.
  • Sick time — a reduction from 12 to 10 days in a 190-day work year.
  • Personal days — a reduction from five to two days each year, and personal days may not be tacked onto vacation or holiday time.
  • Sick bank — the sick leave bank would be frozen, and stricter control over unnecessary sick leave use.
  • Health care premiums — the district would pay 80 percent, not 100 percent, or insurance premiums.
  • Cosmetic surgery — coverage of cosmetic surgery would be eliminated.
  • Co-payments — co-payments would increase from $5 to $15 per year. Prescription co-payments would also increase to between $10, $25 and $40 depending on the medication.

The district also says all pending litigation would be withdrawn upon settlement. Officials say they’re attempting to modernize the contract for a modern school district.

The Buffalo Board of Education approved the points of concession for each side. There are 10 planned negotiations spanning until August 31.

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