BENTE Union Update (1-20-22) -- General Updates

BENTE Union Update (1-20-22) -- General Updates
January 21, 2022

Sisters and Brothers, please take note of the following updates:    

HOLIDAY GIFTS: The gifts have finally arrived after trucking delays, and we will be assembling them next week. Distribution of these items to your work location will begin as soon as they are assembled. Please allow us time to get the items to you, as there are quite a few locations. Unlike Santa Claus, we are unable to deliver them all in one day. Santa has a sleigh and nine healthy reindeer. We have several aging officers and a broken-down Ford.     

RETROACTIVE PAY: I received assurance from the Administration that the retroactive pay will be paid out no later than the end of February. This would be the difference between your old hourly rate and your new hourly rate for every hour you worked during the time period of July 1, 2021 and September 11, 2021 (when the raises were enacted).  

The District staff are currently working on processing our retroactive pay and will try to complete it sooner, but it will be in your paychecks by the end of February.  

HEALTHY REWARDS: Excellus Healthy Rewards are no longer available to BENTE members in 2022. However, if you had monies from last year and you are no longer able to access rewards earned in 2021, please contact Excellus at 1-800-584-4842 to request your remaining Rally funds from 2021 as soon as possible. If you have any issues with obtaining your rewards from last year after speaking with Excellus, please contact the BENTE Union office at 458-8670. 

DAY BEFORE THANKSGIVING (12-month staff only): The Union litigated the case regarding the 2021 day before Thanksgiving; a day when 10-month and 11-month staff were paid for the day off and 12-month staff were required to report to work. The arbitration took place on December 13, 2021, and we are awaiting a decision. The attorneys are submitting the briefs tomorrow. The arbitrator will render a decision approximately 30 days from then, so we are looking at receiving the verdict sometime before the end of February.    

SAFETY & SECURITY: We are actively working on a Memorandum of Agreement with the District regarding a recruitment/retention incentive for security personnel and will contact the staff in this unit once we have something finalized.  

BENTE CONTRACT: The BENTE contract will be available on the BENTE website in early February. As soon as they are printed (it had to be reformatted for print), they will be sent via courier to each BENTE member at their work location. The 2017-2021 contract is currently online. The changes to the agreement that were ratified by the membership in August are available by request. A big “thank you” to Jessica Rinebold for re-typing and reformatting the new contract for print.  

SCHOOL STAFFING: We continue to lack staff in the areas of Food Services, Custodial, Security, Clerical, and Bus Drivers and recruitment efforts continue. For the 2021-2022 school year, the District is offering up to 200 employees who refer an individual to the District who thereafter becomes a School Bus Driver, Clerical, Custodial, Food Services, School Safety Officer, Paraprofessional, or Teaching Assistant for the District a one-time bonus of $100.00 after the hired candidate successfully completes 6 months of employment. Only the first employee to initiate the referral for the hired candidate shall receive the referral bonus. The hired staff member must indicate the referral in writing to the Office of Human Capital at the time of hire.    

BENTE WEBSITE: A big “thank you” to Laura Kuhn, our BENTE Website Coordinator, for recently updating the website. A “Jobs” category has also been added so that members can access job postings throughout the District. 

COVID TESTING: The Supreme Court recently blocked the federal government from mandating sweeping vaccine-or-test requirements for large private companies through OSHA. However, the ruling does not restrict private and public employers or state and local governments from enacting such mandates on their own. The ruling has no effect on the District’s ability to require proof of vaccination or weekly submission of a negative COVID test to enter the workplace. Please continue to adhere to the District's policy to avoid being placed on an unpaid leave of absence.

The Court also allowed a vaccine mandate to stand for medical facilities that take Medicare or Medicaid payments. 

Stay safe and be well.

In Solidarity,         

Dan DiClemente, President      


“The Support Staff that Supports Students” 

I look forward to hearing from you, so please e-mail me at

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