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BTF delays no-confidence vote after progress in contract talks

President Phil Rumore credits the involvement of Superintendent Tonja Williams at the negotiating table with the progress

BUFFALO, N.Y. — A vote of no confidence that the union representing Buffalo public school teachers had planned Tuesday for the district's superintendent and board did not go on as planned.

The Buffalo Teachers Federation delayed that vote for a week because of progress in the contract talks with the district.

Teachers have been working without a contract since 2019 and had recently picketed outside schools in frustration with the way the talks were going.

BTF President Phil Rumore credited the involvement of Superintendent Dr. Tonja Williams at the negotiating table with the new momentum in the discussions.

"That made a difference," Rumore said. "While we're still going to have disagreements and we still have a lot to do, I think it made a difference to have the superintendent actually there hearing what's going on."

Rumore says those differences include pay scale issues, a need for more staff including social workers and attendance teachers, and changes to school hours.

The next negotiating session is scheduled for Friday, and more progress there could delay the no-confidence vote once again.

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