BENTE Union Update (2-17-22) -- General Updates

BENTE Union Update (2-17-22) -- General Updates
February 17, 2022

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

RETROACTIVE PAY: I have received assurance from the Administration that the retroactive pay has been completed and will be paid in your next paycheck on Friday, February 25. 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).  

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. The arbitrator has since rendered a decision that sustained the grievance in favor of the Union. The District was found to have violated the language in our new Collective Bargaining Agreement by requiring 12-month staff to report to work on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. The arbitrator has ruled that the District must pay all bargaining unit members who were required to work that day at time-and-a-half for all hours they worked in addition to the holiday pay you already received. 

If you used paid time off for the day before Thanksgiving (i.e. vacation, illness, personal), the District will add the day back into your bank. 

I will keep you posted as to when this will be paid out.  

HOLIDAY GIFTS: The BENTE Union holiday gifts have been delivered. A big THANK YOU to all of the officers and staff involved in this process. It was a lot of work to put the lists together, coordinate delivery, and deliver the items, which were much bulkier than the usual gift card handed out in years’ past. The crew here at BENTE is second to none and they worked as a team to get this done quickly.  Please see our photo gallery for some pictures that were taken during the distribution of the holiday gifts.

Special thanks to all of the School Secretaries for all of your help distributing the gifts to your fellow BENTE staff at the building level and any other staff that helped us with this process. We really appreciate you!!!  

Unfortunately, AFSCME Council 66 ran out of the plastic tumbler cups and so some of the bags did not contain them. The items were on backorder, and now have been discontinued. Council 66 is working on purchasing a similar item and as soon as they come in, we will distribute the cups to those members who did not receive one, as we have a list of the locations where bags were delivered that did not contain them. We apologize for the inconvenience. 

If you did not receive a gift at all, please contact the BENTE Union office at 458-8670.  

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 the Excellus customer care number at 1-800-584-4842 (this number is found on the back of your card) and Excellus will cash you out with a VISA gift card. 

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. 

SECURITY STAFF RETENTION & RECRUITMENT INCENTIVE: The Union just finished negotiating an MOA for security staff (School Sentry (SSO), Security Patrol Officer, Guard) that will be applicable to all current and newly hired employees. The incentive will be a total of $1,000. The agreement will need to be approved by the Board of Education before going into effect, which should happen in March. The agreement will be mailed out to the security staff from our office next week. 

SUMMER SCHOOL STAFFING: All BENTE positions for summer school will be posted in the bulletin this Friday, February 18. If you are interested in obtaining employment in the summer by working summer school, please make certain you follow the instructions and apply prior to the deadline. 

We cannot advocate for you to receive a summer school position if you do not apply for the position prior to the deadline and retain proof that you applied for the position. 

RECESS PERIOD: Next week is February recess. All members will be paid for the Presidents’ Day holiday on Monday, February 21. If you are a 10-month or 11-month employee, you may use a personal day to be paid for a recess day during this recess and/or any other recess, with the exception of the summer. This benefit was solidified during negotiations in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement to remain in perpetuity. 

In Solidarity and Sincerity,         

Dan DiClemente, President      

BENTE/AFSCME Local 2419     

“The Support Staff that Supports Students”     

This e-mail address is for outgoing messages only. I look forward to hearing from you, so please e-mail me at

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