BENTE Union Update (3-26-21)--Training Opportunities, Contract Negotiations, COVID Vaccine Release Time

BENTE Union Update (3-26-21)--Training Opportunities, Contract Negotiations, COVID Vaccine Release Time
March 26, 2021

Please take note of the following updates:  

NEGOTIATIONS: Negotiations for a successor Collective Bargaining Agreement between BENTE/AFSCME Local 2419 and the RCSD have begun, with a meeting that established Ground Rules taking place on March 10 and a full session taking place on March 22. Meghan Lynch-Abate is the Chief Negotiator for the District and I am the Chief Negotiator for BENTE. Proposals were developed based upon the surveys we received from members, input from the various units, and the most pressing issues we see on a daily basis as Officers of the Union. I will keep you posted throughout the process with regard to the general status of negotiations. Our collective goal is to settle a contract before July 1 that treats the members of BENTE with the respect they have earned. You are the heartbeat of this District, plain and simple. Without support staff, the whole operation crumbles. I always bring that mentality to the bargaining table, and so does the entire team.   

2021-2022 BUDGET: The 2021-2022 school year budget that was presented to the Board of Education reflects little change in BENTE positions, but there are a couple of positions that could result in a layoff. We are working on fighting against these cuts, as well as the elimination of 13 Bus Driver vacancies. The vast majority of BENTE members will not be affected, and areas such as security and food services, which sustained layoffs this year, will not only be restored, but will contain a large number of vacancies that need to be filled. 

TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES: Please be advised that there will be many opportunities during the week of May 10 to take courses and trainings on different topics related to the union and other pertinent issues. Due to the fact that the classes will take place online, virtual trainings put on by AFSCME and Council 66 will be open to all BENTE members. Please check your district email for a form you can fill out on your computer and send back to me at This is an excellent opportunity to learn more about your union and union related topics, to meet other AFSCME union members throughout New York State, and to further your resume, as certificates of completion will be provided to all who participate. AFSCME Council 66 tee shirts will also be provided to any member who completes a course. 

MAYOR ENDORSEMENT: The Political Action Committee for AFSCME Council 66, along with CSEA, has collectively endorsed Malik Evans for mayor. We interviewed both candidates, with Officers from BENTE Local 2419 and the leadership of City Local 1635 asking the questions, and the committee unanimously decided to endorse Malik Evans. The BENTE Local 2419 Executive Board has also approved the endorsement of Malik Evans. 

VACCINATIONS: Retroactive to March 12, 2021, all New York State employers are required to provide employees with paid time off to receive a COVID-19 vaccine at the employee’s regular rate of pay. Employees may take up to four hours per vaccine, i.e., four hours total for a single-dose vaccine, or eight hours total for a two-dose vaccine. This paid leave must be in addition to any other sick or personal leave to which the employee may already be entitled.  

Upon return from Spring Break, starting April 1, the travel question will be modified inquiring about international travel, as domestic travel will no longer require quarantine. A question about staff vaccination status will also be added in order for the District to provide the Monroe County Department of Health data the required data as mandated by law.  


In Solidarity,  

Dan DiClemente, President  
BENTE/AFSCME Local 2419  

“The Support Staff that Supports Students”    

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

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