News

Recent headlines and archived news articles regarding newsworthy events and announcements from the BENTE Union:

Announcements

BENTE Local 2419 is now on Facebook!

You can now follow BENTE news updates on our Facebook Page: BENTE Local 2419

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Today is the Day To Vote NO on the Constitutional Convention!

Please be sure you get out and vote today. Be sure to vote NO to a Constitutional Convention!!

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President DiClemente will read HEROES at Barnes and Noble to benefit Imagine Me Community Outreach

On November 5th at 11:00 AM, President DiClemente will be at the Pittsford Barnes and Noble reading Commissioner Van White's Children's book HEROES.

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Additional Vacation time for 10 to 12 month employees will be loaded within 2 weeks

The new contract states that any employee who was a 10 month employee and has moved to a 12 month employee will be granted vacation time based on the start date of their 10 month appointment. this should be added to your vacation time within the next two weeks. If you do not receive your correct time after two weeks, please contact President DiClemente directly at:
Dan@bentelocal2419.org or 458-8670.

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BENTE Bash Tickets on Sale Now!

Get your BENTE Bash tickets before October 18th to receive a discounted price! Don't miss out on this fun filled night of food, drinks, dancing, and raffle prizes!

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Labor Day Parade/Sea Breeze

The Labor Day Parade is Monday September 4th. For those who are interested in marching, BENTE will be lining up on North Union Street between (East Ave and Charlotte St.). You can also park at the Service Center (835 Hudson Avenue) and take the bus.

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Summer Meals "On Wheels" for Kids in the City of Rochester

FoodLink and the Rochester City School District are taking the summer meals program on the road in hopes to fill the gap in between where the children could access meals. Check the local listing for times and locations.

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Blood Drive

There will be a blood Drive for the American Red Cross held at CO on July 26th

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Wilson Magnet Assistant Custodian's Daughter is Valedictorian - Again!

BENTE member Jamal Abdullahi's two daughters have graduated at the top of the class at Wilson Magnet High School, where he is the Assistant Custodian.

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Contract Passed!

The Contract was voted on and passed 268 - 3

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Upcoming Events!

BENTE has some great events planned that you wont want to miss!

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BENTE Contract Has Been Settled

Our Contract has been settled and we have reached a tentative agreement. The members of BENTE/AFSCME Local 2419 will now need to ratify it.

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Jobs, Education, and Living Wage Debated at Rochester Mayoral Candidates Forum

Council 66 union affiliates, including BENTE local 2419, hosted a Mayoral Candidates Forum at East High School on Thursday evening.

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**Location Change** for the Retirement Meeting on June 1st

The retirement meeting being held on June 1st has a new location. It will be held at Wilson HS.

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A Message From President DiClemente

Although President DiClemente has been appointed as President of AFSCME Council 66, he will continue to serve as President of BENTE local 2419.

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Union Officers Run Unopposed

All Union Officers up for election ran unopposed at last nights General Membership Meeting.

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Free College Benefit Through AFSCME

We are excited to announce a new AFSCME benefit available to you and your family: a free associate degree from Eastern Gateway Community College.

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Retirement Meeting June 1st

Benefits will be holding a retirement meeting on June 1st from 3:30-6 pm at Central Office.

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2016-2017 BENTE Student Scholarship

BENTE will award two $500 scholarships to two Rochester City School students in an effort to help them purchase books for college.

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Negotiations Continue

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CURE 5K Run & Fun Walk

Join CURE for their 5K run and walk on Saturday April 29th. 8:30am at the Lower Seneca Park.

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403(b) Universal Availability Notice

Save for retirement by participating in a 403(b) retirement plan.

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Data, Dialog, and Donuts Event this Saturday

The District will be holding a Data, Dialog, and Donuts event this Saturday April 1st at Central Office from 10:00am-12 noon. The event provides an initial opportunity for District staff to share the progress of the District’s Comprehensive Improvement Plan goals that guide our work across the district.

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SOTA looking for Dresses for Prom

Do you have a prom or bridesmaid dress hanging in a closet at home that will never be worn again? With prom season upon us, the staff at School of the Arts is looking for donated dresses, shoes, evening purses or jewelry for our less fortunate seniors.

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Budget and Negotiation Meetings Continue Between BENTE and the RCSD

President DiClemente will meet with the Superintendent this afternoon regarding the budget, and negotiations continue in early April.

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BENTE Mourns the Loss of Bill Griffo

BENTE members are mourning the loss of Bill Griffo, Copy Finisher at the RCSD’s Print Shop, who died of a sudden heart attack on Tuesday morning . Bill started with the RCSD on October 20, 1986.

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Negotiations Continue between RCSD and BENTE

The 4th negotiations meeting between BENTE and the RCSD will be held today.

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March Membership Meeting Canceled

March 15th membership meeting has been canceled

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RCSD Communication Director Leaves District

Chip Partner, the Director of Communications, will be leaving the district this month

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New Healthy Rewards from Excellus

Excellus has rolled out a new Healthy Rewards plan, and have provided tutorials to get you started.

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Negotiations Begin This Week

President Dan DiClemente and Vice President Larry Profetta met with the District last week to set the ground rules for upcoming contract negotiations. The first full team session will take place on Wednesday, January 25th at the BENTE Union Office at noon.

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FAQs About New Dental Plan

Beginning January 1, 2017, our dental insurance has switched from HEG to Excellus.

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New Dental Insurance beginning January 1st

The RCSD will be switching to Excellus for dental insurance beginning January 1, 2017

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CURE thanks BENTE for over 25 years of support

The CURE foundation names BENTE during their #thankfulthursday for their part in planning the annual CURE party.

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End of Year Payroll Dates

Payroll has important deadline reminders for the end of the year regarding time entry cut off and out of cycle checks.

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CURE Party Gifts and Donations

Donations for Cure Party Due December 2nd

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Important Updates From President DiClemente

President DiClemente sent an email this morning with important updates regarding holiday pay, the upcoming membership meeting, negotiations, and the annual CURE party.

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BENTE Day is Friday November 4th!

Enter for your chance to win!

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Election Polling in Schools

23 Rochester City School District Schools will be polling sites for the upcoming election. Some parents have voiced concerns, due to the contentious nature of the election.

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Employee Assisted Housing Incentive

RCSD will provide grants for employees to use towards a down payment and/or closing costs for the purchase of a home.

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BENTE Annual CURE Party

CURE Party will be held December 14th

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BENTE Bash Discount Ticket Price extended through Friday!

Tickers $10 per member and $25 per couple if you purchase by Friday October 14th.

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Four RCSD Persistently Struggling Schools Making Improvements

The State Education Department has deemed Lower and Upper East, Monroe, and School #9 improving schools.

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BENTE Officers Kick Off School Tour

Monday October 3rd was the first stop on the Too Cool for School Tour

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BENTE Day Friday October 7th

Enter for your chance to win!

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Former BENTE Website Coordinator Passes Away

Vivian Lombardo, former BENTE member and website coordinator, passed away on September 11, 2016. Attached is a letter that BENTE president Dan DiClemente wrote after her passing.

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403(b) Universal Availability Notice

Did you know you have the opportunity to save for retirement by participating in the RCSD 403(b) retirement plan?

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ATTENTION: ALL BENTE MEMBERS

REGULAR OFFICE HOURS OF 8:00 A.M.TO 4:00 P.M. WILL RESUME ON TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 6, 2016.

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Rochester City School District goes on 'attendance blitz'

"The tough message is really a message of giving information to family and parents and helping support them to support their children," says Deane-Williams. "That is done through outreach."

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Despite promises, politics creeps into schools overhaul project

It was supposed to be immune to politics — precisely so it wouldn’t risk getting bogged down with disagreements and delays.

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Rochester City School District Superintendent tours Edison campus

Superintendent Barbara Deane-Williams is making the rounds, learning from administrators and students about what's working – and what isn’t.

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RCSD finds elevated lead in at least 11 percent of water sources

Taps or faucets that are deemed unsafe will be taken offline or replaced. Drinking water was distributed to a number of buildings that were hosting summer school.

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SUNY Geneseo may take control of School 19

The State Education Department must approve the partnership application and authorize the grant, but White says that he is confident that the agreement will receive approval.

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BARBARA DEANE-WILLIAMS IS NEW RCSD SUPERINTENDENT

The Rochester City school board unanimously appointed former Greece superintendent Barbara Deane-Williams as the next superintendent of schools on Monday, making her the first permanent female leader in the district's history.

"My observation is that she's been straight-forward, open-minded and collaborative, and that's what I hope she brings here,"... "I think this probably bodes well for Rochester."

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**REMINDER: ALL BENTE MEMBERS**
BENTE OFFICE SUMMER HOURS START TOMORROW JULY 1st, 2016

PLEASE MAKE NOTE OF OUR SUMMER BUSINESS HOURS:

EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2016, THE BENTE OFFICE WILL BE OPEN FROM 7:30 A.M. until 3:30 P.M.

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RCSD superintendent survey gets few parent participants

The board had expected to be finished with its search by now, ...

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ATTENTION: ALL BENTE MEMBERS
BENTE OFFICE SUMMER HOURS NOTICE

EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2016, THE BENTE OFFICE WILL BEGIN OBSERVING SUMMER HOURS. THE BENTE OFFICE WILL BE OPEN FROM 7:30 A.M. UNTIL 3:30 P.M. THROUGHOUT THE SUMMER MONTHS.

THE BENTE OFFICE WILL RESUME NORMAL BUSINESS HOURS OF 8:00 A.M. UNTIL 4:00 P.M. ON SEPTEMBER 5, 2016.

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RCSD board approves new code of conduct

It was developed by a task force on school climate that included district staff, students and community members.

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Assembly passes schools modernization aid bill

More to the point, Morelle said, the issue at hand was the second phase of work. He said the bill would not cost taxpayers any additional money and in fact would save money. With a larger pool of aid available, schools could be fully renovated in one fell swoop.

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Rochester City Council Approves The Budget

Council also votes on the budget for the Rochester City School District , and that budget was approved 8 to 1, with Councilwoman Carolee Conklin the only 'no' vote on the school budget.

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Debating the merits of a military school

This important debate continues.. "attracting strong supporters and vocal critics."

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RCSD Superintendent finalists to stay secret

"It whittled down the pool of applicants last week. Interviews start today."

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Pittsford, city schools won't start earlier

"...the district explained.."

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Rochester school district aims for connected city.

"....it's a basic necessity for students."

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Study shows interest in RCSD military academy

Feasibility study indicates interest and community discussion continues....

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It's Time to Enroll in Summer Learning!

Attention Parents: Check out offerings and deadlines for RCSD Summer Programs for your child.

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REMINDER: BENTE Scholarship application deadline is fast approaching!

Application must be handed in to the BENTE office by Friday, April 29, 2016.

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Please find the 2015-16 BENTE Scholarship Forms under Forms in our Information Section

Submitted applications must be received by the BENTE office no later than April 29, 2016.

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CURE'S 7th Annual 5K and Fun Walk
April 30th, 2016

To get information and participate in this worthy annual fundraising event for local families coping with childhood cancer, please go to our Services Section, and click on the CURE link under Special Events.

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Few changes in RCSD budget proposal

"I already know we're going to get beat up pretty bad by the community,......... we don't seem to be performing like we should."

Mark your calendars for the 2nd public hearing on the proposed 2016-17 RCSD budget
*** April 14, 2016 6:30 p.m. Conference Room 3A-3B***

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School Board seeks community input on superintendent search

Use the survey to be heard on such an important decision!

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Vargas' deputies got three months' severance

"The district could not say Monday how much it anticipates that benefit will cost in 2016-17 or beyond."

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Community Input Wanted on Military Academy

Attention Parents: A chance to use your voice!

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Superintendent Search Firm Selected

The search is on...

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RCSD Exploring Military Options

More on the subject..

Tim Louis Macaluso, Rochester City Newspaper, shares views on how students could benefit from this alternative and what it could mean to the RCSD.

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ATTENTION: ALL BENTE MEMBERS

Applications for Custodial, Food Service, Maintenance Mechanic and School Sentry positions can now be printed from our website. Please access these applications under Forms in the Information Section.

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WATCHDOG REPORT: CHARTER SCHOOLS
Public Funding, Little Oversight

A recent report by the National Education Policy Center on the business model behind charter schools found that “a substantial share of public expenditure intended for the delivery of direct educational services to children is being extracted inadvertently or intentionally for personal or business financial gain.”

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Health Crisis Forces Lowengard out as RCSD Interim Superintendent

"As much as Dan wants to return as our Interim Superintendent, he is resigning from that role to focus on family and the job of getting better."

Read more of the City Newspaper article along with Van White's letter to RCSD staff in its entirety.

We wish Dan Lowengard continued success with his positive prognosis and BENTE welcomes Linda Cimusz, who will now be serving as our Interim Superintendent.

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Cuomo restarts the fight for $15

"Approximately 380 support staff, including custodial and food service workers, are paid less than $15 an hour in the Rochester City School District, says Dan DiClemente, president of BENTE AFSCME Local 2419."

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Van White:Proposed Military Acadamy is part of innovative approach the RCSD needs.

Board president Van White not only opposes closing more city schools, he’s advocating opening new ones.

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RCSD Interim Superintendent Hospitalized After Collapse

Interim Superintendent Lowengard is in our thoughts.

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Lowengard begins as Rochester schools superintendent

"The biggest priority is in the classroom,.."

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CURE Christmas Party 2015 on Youtube!

Thank you to all that helped make these children smile and enjoy this festive event.

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Three RCSD leaders to depart with Vargas

"In their leaving, my sincerest hope is those of us who remain will see that change happen, and I believe it will."

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CHECK IT OUT

Member discount tickets and fun photos!

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An Emotional Lesson on School Safety, Rochester Teachers Voice Safety Concerns

"Meanwhile, educators want more action and less talk."

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Unions Fighting Active Employee Health Care Rates

All four unions are fighting Chief Financial Officer Bill Ansbrow's....

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Officers Poke Fun at CFO Ansbrow

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ATTENTION ALL BENTE MEMBERS!!

Please be on the look-out for ..

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Cala: 'I would consider' RCSD superintendent job

RCSD knows his capabilities of helping our children.

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Bolgen Vargas to resign as Superintendent of Rochester City School District

"now is the right time to step aside because the district needs stability."

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Common Core survey seeks specific criticism

An opportunity for parents to use their voice!

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RCSD, city announce plan for 'Beacon School'

"-the next generation of community school,"

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Proposal: Punish Parents for students' truancy

Will this solve the problem?

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RCSD looks to provide free city-wide wi-fi

Working to improve student needs

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RCSD to receive funds to expand Pre-K

Good news for our community.

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BENTE endorsed candidates win School Board primary

Candidates for School Board Mary Adams, Malik Evans, Liz Hallmark, and Willa Powell all won last night in the Democratic primary. BENTE endorsed all four candidates.

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RTA files grievance against Elliot

School Board Vice President Cynthia Elliot has been accused of verbally abusing teachers with expletives.

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New edition of the BENTE Informer

The first edition of the fourteenth season of the BENTE Informer has been released and is currently in the process of being delivered to work locations throughout the District.

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Excellus Cyber Attack

Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield hacked. More than 10 million affected.

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Pressure is on for U of R to fix East

Will the UR succeed? Does it have a winning formula to turn around failing urban schools around?

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UR takeover of East nears

"Every student will be part of a small families group made up of about 10 kids, .. "

Click link below to City Newspaper article and read more of how the Superintendent of East, Steve Uebbing, hopes to turn around and reinvent East High:

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Brizard could be next Buffalo superintendent

What is Buffalo thinking? "the RTA voted no confidence in him and the Chicago Teachers went on strike for the first time in 25 years..."

Read more in the D & C article by clicking link below:

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Obama Rejects NLRB Restrictions

"One of the freedoms of folks here in the United States, is that if they choose to join a union, they should be able to do so."

Click on link below to the Afscme.org article and read more of what President Obama had to say about these federal rules along with his praise for unions in our country.

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CURE 5K Run & Fun Walk

GO GOLD FOR KAILEE.

Click link below to see flyer and read more about this important event. Learn how you can join our brother Bob Kwiecien in helping children and families in our community fight this horrible disease:

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AFSCME President Saunders: The Nation Deserves an Apology, Scott Walker

We're not going to stand by and let Scott Walker..

Read more of what President Saunders had to say in the afscme.org article by clicking on link below:

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Cala blasts Cuomo's education agenda

Cuomo's ideas are "an all-out assault on public education, teachers, children,..."

Read more on what this renowned educator had to say in the D & C article by clicking link below:

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Happiness Is...Joining a Union!

So many benefits of membership.....

Read more at AFSCME.org by clicking link below:

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Budget gaffe leaves RCSD short of $4.4 million

A lapse in attention during the 2014-15 budget season...

Learn more about the District's fiscal fumble by clicking link below to D & C article:

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City School District gets integration funding

The Rochester School District is in line to receive....

Click on link below to read more in the D & C article on recent plans to improve student performance.

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School choice underway in Rochester

School Selection process now open for the 2015-16 school year.

Read more in the D & C article, along with access to district's website, by clicking on link below.

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Budget

RCSD modernization beset by overruns, shifting priorities

WATCHDOG EXCLUSIVE: Big project, big money, big problems

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BENTE Members to Speak Out Against Cuts

BENTE members will look to bring their concerns to the Board of Education at the second and last Public Hearing on the Budget Tuesday evening at the District's Central Office.
The meeting will begin promptly at 6:00 p.m. and members are encouraged to arrive no later than 5:30 p.m. Those who attend will receive a BENTE tee shirt and a sign to hold up in the meeting room.
The meeting will not last more than an hour, as a half dozen speakers, including BENTE President Dan DiClemente, are scheduled to speak on behalf of the workers facing layoffs.

All members are encouraged to attend in a show of solidarity.

For more, please click on the story, which aired on channel 8:

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DiClemente Says the District is Misportraying Budget

"I have looked through the budget and have no doubt that the majority of the cuts to support staff will be layoffs..."

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Health Insurance

Open Enrollment and New Dental

The District sent out a reminder that open enrollment takes place throughout November. Also, details on dental insurance changes beginning January 1, 2017

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Gains Made in Dental and Health Insurance

The RCSD will be switching to Excellus for Dental Insurance

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Health Care - Our Objective

The union's goals and objectives with regard to the process...

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Health Care Benefits Enhanced

The four unions representing over 6,000 employees in the Rochester City School District...

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Health Care Process

The Health Care Committee examined and compared each individual benefit...

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The Reasons For Excellus

There were quite a few reasons that the Health Care Committee decided...

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Negotiations

Board, Members Ratify Contract

The BENTE Membership ratified the contract yesterday...

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Voting Today

Members will be able to vote on the new Tentative Collective Bargaining Agreement...

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Political Action

AFSCME STRONG
Labor Leaders Win Strong Fair-Trade Platform Language

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As Union Membership has fallen, the top 10 percent have been getting a larger share of income

EPI independent study confirms what we, at BENTE/AFSCME Local 2419, have always known! Living standards improve when working people stand together!

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May is a month to keep labor history alive

"The working conditions that we enjoy today didn’t simply materialize out of thin air."

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AFSCME FIGHTING FOR MEMBERS AND STAYING STRONG!

By working together throughout the country, members have accomplished so much.

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America Will Succeed When Unions Succeed

The message is loud and clear!

Read more on the AFSCME 2014 Convention by clicking on the afscme.org article below:

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Officers Heading to Albany

BENTE President Dan DiClemente and seven union officers...

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Pennsylvania Governor Targets Workers' Right to Unionize

Pennsylvania Workers Stand Together to Protect Right to Unionize. To read more from AFSCME.org article click on link below:

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