BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Buffalo Public School District and the Buffalo Teachers Federation reached a tentative agreement late Sunday for a new contract, the first such deal for teachers since 2004.
BTF President Phil Rumore and Superintendent Kriner Cash exited City Hall together just after 11 p.m., confirming the agreement after nearly seven hours of negotiation. However, they both pledged to keep the details confidential until Monday. The Buffalo School Board has scheduled a special meeting on Monday to ratify the contract, and the union members themselves will also get a chance to review the contract at their own meeting Monday afternoon.
Rumore credited Cash for helping facilitate the process, calling the new contract a "fair settlement."
Cash, without offering details, said the contract will give teachers a "competitive and fair wage."
"This seems to me," Cash said, "to be a historic moment, a historic agreement between leaders. And the whole city will benefit."
Teachers have made several public pleas for a new contract, including on Sept. 28, when more than a thousand teachers rallied in Niagara Square following a bargaining meeting between BTF and the district.
Salaries, health care benefits and class sizes, among many others, were some of the issues under discussion between the district and the union. At a school board meeting last Wednesday, Rumore had argued the district does not allow teachers to climb up the salary ladder as quickly as other districts, and that their overall salaries lag behind the region.