BENTE Union Update (3-14-23) -- General Updates

BENTE Union Update (3-14-23) -- General Updates
March 14, 2023


Please take note of the following updates: 

SAFETY & SECURITY: Please be advised that due to the increase in violence throughout the city, RCSD union leadership has unified in attempts to create a safer work environment in city schools. We are looking to compile data regarding incidents that have occurred amongst our individual memberships. Please click on the link to fill out the online survey: BENTE UNION SAFETY & SECURITY SURVEY 

We will utilize the data to illustrate to the District the severity of the problem and that solutions are needed for staff to feel safe in the workplace. 

MEMBER SPOTLIGHTS: Member Spotlight - Sandra Beasley & Deverin Dillon - AFSCME Council 66 


City Council honors security officers who protected students at Franklin High School (Channel 10 News) 

Franklin school security officers honored for role after a shooting outside school (Channel 13 News) 

Dan DiClemente on Bob Lonsberry 

RECRUITMENT/RETENTION INCENTIVES/COVID PAY: The BENTE Union continues to advocate for COVID pay for those who came in and put their health at-risk during COVID, when vaccinations were not available and there were no masks. This was rebuked by the past administration, but we are trying again under the current administration. 

Due to the abundance of vacancies in our bargaining unit, we are also trying for recruitment/retention bonuses to retain current staff and to recruit newer employees with higher pay.  

We are also receiving support from RCSD leadership to raise the hourly pay for security staff, which has been extremely difficult to retain and obtain given the mental stress and physical injury associated with the job. 





Known as Debbie to those close to her, she attended elementary school at Sacred Heart, where she first met Al. Later, Debbie attended Spencerport High School. After graduation, Debbie soon began the first chapter of her career and soon became an accomplished hairdresser. She worked with her future sister-in-law, Patty, at Marion's Beauty Bazar and other salons. Debbie and Al got married on May 14, 1971. Shortly after, Debbie gave birth to her two children, Steven and Kristine, her proudest accomplishments. Family was everything to her, and she was inseparable from her husband. Her husband, Al, even made a salon in their basement so she could be home with her two kids when they were young. As her kids became teenagers, she moved on to the next chapter of her career by working for the Rochester City School District. Debbie worked for 25 years as a secretary, where she made many lifetime friends. 

The simplest pleasures in life brought great joy to Debbie. She loved a quiet evening with her husband and made sure no one called past 8 pm. Debbie often explored the local farm markets and found beauty in all flowers. She had an uncanny ability to find happiness in daily activities, such as a long walk or bike ride with her husband, Al. Her pleasant personality was contagious to everyone she met. Her family was her world, and she could never spoil her grandchildren enough. Debbie was their biggest fan. She attended every activity she could- school events, soccer games, church events, and traveled to North Carolina to visit her son and granddaughter for softball games. Debbie put everyone else first; she was the energizer bunny who never stopped moving. Her house was always in perfect condition; sometimes she could even be seen vacuuming more than once a day. Debbie also loved spending time in the kitchen. She will be remembered as bringing joy to others by having something to eat on the table any time of the day. One of her favorite things was cooking for others, such as Easter Bread and Sunday Sauce. Each year, Debbie would pack up many jars of sauce, then her and Al would make the ten-hour trip to North Carolina to their son and his friends. Debbie enjoyed sharing her passion for cooking with her kids and grandkids. 

Debbie will be remembered for her kind heart, compassion for others, and selflessness. Debbie passed away surrounded by her loved ones, who will continue to honor her legacy by living their best lives to the fullest. 

To her son Steve, daughter Kristine, and son in law Sean she leaves her faith, kindness, and love for her family. To her husband, Al, she leaves her undying love and immeasurable gratitude for their years together. To her grandkids Isabella, Dominic and Ashlyn, she leaves her faithfulness and belief in God. She will be missed by her sisters, brothers-in-law, nieces, nephews, and friends who love her. 

Debbie's mass will be held on Tuesday, March 14, at St. Lawrence Church at 9:30. Friends are invited to meet the family on Tuesday, March 14, following the mass at the Brook House, 920 Elmridge Center Dr. Rochester, NY, 14626. In Lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Breast Cancer Foundation or The National Multiple Sclerosis Society. The family would like you to please share a memory of Debbie by adding a picture to a slideshow in her honor by visiting DiPonzio Funeral Home 

Published by DiPonzio Funeral Home, Inc. on Mar. 10, 2023. 

VACATION CARRYOVER: For those of you who have vacation time, please be cognizant of how many days you have in your bank. Members hired prior to November 2014 are able to carryover a maximum of sixty (60) days. Members hired after November 2014 are able to carryover a maximum of forty (40) days. Both are able to sell back ten (10) days.  

If you have vacation time that is over and above the maximum carryover allowance, you should use it or expect to lose it. If you are denied the usage of vacation time by your supervisor, please let us know immediately so we can address the issue, as in that instance the Union can advocate for you. If you have not cashed in any days yet and wish to do so, please submit the necessary form as soon as possible to avoid causing undue burden on the Payroll department. 

LIFE INSURANCE BENEFIT: The BENTE Union has a negotiated life insurance benefit worth $10,000 that a lot of our members are not taking advantage of. This benefit is at no cost to you as a member. In your Time and Labor, go to your Benefits Summary. Under “Type of Benefit” you should see a category that states: Life and AD and D. It should also list your beneficiary. If you do not see it, you are not enrolled and should do so immediately. To enroll, please click on and fill out the following ENROLLMENT FORM and return it to Benefits.   

HEALTH INSURANCE RATES: Due to the fact that we challenged a surplus being transferred to the general fund and the fact that we gave up Healthy Rewards in the last contract, health insurance rates actually decreased 1.3% this year for BENTE members. Special thanks to the committee: Ange Palmerini, Jessica Rinebold, and Anna Yager.   

MEMBERS LOUNGE: AFSCME Council 66 holds a monthly meeting called Members Lounge with a different topic and presenter every month. Please join us for our next AFSCME Council 66 Members Lounge on Monday, March 27 at 5:30pm featuring Workers Compensation expert Steve Modica, Esq. Steve Modica has decades of experience working with unions and his practice is focused on workers compensation cases. This training will be helpful in providing information on how best to support members through the complicated workers compensation process.  We look forward to seeing you soon on zoom!    

Join the Zoom Meeting on Monday, March 27 at 5:30 p.m.:   (See your district email for the link!) 

If you have an issue or comment, please do not hesitate to e-mail me directly at   

Stay safe.   

In Solidarity,   

Daniel DiClemente, President 

BENTE/AFSCME Local 2419   

“The Support Staff that Supports Students”   

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