School-Based Staffing, Union Contracts, & the Facts
Updated: Jan 2
I just want to take some time to correct inaccurate information that I have seen shared on social media the past few weeks.
As County Executive Mark Poloncarz often says: "You are entitled to your opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts."
--Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan
I’ve heard from some indicating that we should be increasing staff in our schools. We always need more, especially in Buffalo Public Schools. We have added school staff this year, including Reading Teachers and Mental Health Staff. BPS has job postings up for almost every position in our schools. Below is a chart, excluding this school year, showing significant growth in Full Time Staff over time (orange line), while student enrollment has decreased almost at the same pace over time (blue line).
Since June of 2021, BPS has settled contracts, including salary increases, with the following unions:
BEST (Teacher Aides & Assistants)
SUB (Substitute Teachers)
TAB (Bus aides)
BASA (Sub Administrators)
Local 264 Food Service
Local 264 Service Center
BPS has current contracts with:
PCTEA (Professional, Clerical and Technical Employees Association)
Local 264 Cook Managers
BPS is in negotiations with the following unions that have expired contracts:
BCSA (Buffalo Council of Supervisors & Administrators)
BTF (Buffalo Teachers)
Local 409 School Engineers (hire and employ custodians)
Additionally, just prior to the pandemic, First Student settled a contract with bus drivers, which increased pay and sign-on bonuses. Very recently, those sign-on bonuses were increased.
The challenge is not necessarily pay or commitment from the district to hire, it's a shortage in staffing and applicants to fill vacancies and added positons, just as is the case in many other industries. I am experiencing this first hand as a school psychologist in Ken-Ton, where, for the first time in my 19 year career, we have been unable to fill vacancies in the school psychology department. We currently have 2 full time positions and 1 maternity leave unfilled. (Side note: 2 psychologists left for BPS and are getting a higher salary). I have been reassigned as a result, and, along with my colleagues, am covering more with less.
Please help us recruit applicants for the many needed positions that we have posted.