Rumore v Taxpayers, Parents, and Children
In 2016, when both friends of Phil Rumore, the president of the Buffalo Teachers Federation (BTF) suggested he retire, Rumore began his final assault on the taxpayers, parents and children of the Buffalo Public Schools (BPS).
For over 30 years, Rumore had successfully and brilliantly negotiated on behalf of Buffalo teachers against a cadre of “halfwits” – people who were elected or appointed to represent the interests of parents, students and taxpayers – but merely pandered to the BTF.
A “halfwit” can be someone who is intentionally motivated to serve interests other than the community or someone who is just actually stupid. In any event, Buffalo’s halfwits were very inclined to sympathize with union desires and concerns while remaining oblivious to the desires of the citizens of Buffalo for their children to have a quality opportunity for a good education.
Teachers’ contract lingered until Rumore was ready.
The contract between the BTF and the BPS expired 12 years ago, but because of something unique in New York State – the Triborough Amendment to the Taylor Law – the terms of expired union contracts with municipalities continue in force until a new contract is signed. The members get to keep all their benefits, along with the yearly step salary increase built into the old deal.
During the 12 years that the expired contract terms remained in place, teachers were receiving step increases in wages averaging around 2.5% per year. Consequently, despite sporadic feigning to negotiate, Rumore was in no hurry to finally settle the contract until he decided to retire.