September 2023 BENTE Union Update: COVID, training, vehicle theft-damage

September 2023 BENTE Union Update: COVID, training, vehicle theft-damage
September 6, 2023

BENTE UNION MEMBERS, please take note of the following updates:

NEW SCHOOL YEAR: I hope this email finds you well and that you have had a restful and rejuvenating summer break. As we begin the new school year, I wanted to take a moment to express my gratitude and appreciation for all the hard work you do to ensure the smooth operation of our schools, programs, and its employees. It is the collective effort of all our members that truly creates a conducive and nurturing environment for learning, and please know that your contributions do not go unnoticed. This school year will bring its own set of unique challenges and uncertainties. As the Superintendent relayed in his welcome back email, “the 2024-2025 budget will be faced with significant challenges with the conclusion of the federal stimulus funds”. However, with my committed team, we will do our best to minimize any reductions within the bargaining unit.

COVID: We are again seeing an uptick in the COVID numbers, please follow the Districts guidelines for reporting your illness. These parameters may change in the future.

  1. Contact your immediate supervisor and let them know you will be out of work.
  2. The first time you are seeking COVID leave, a positive home test is acceptable.
  3. If it is not the first-time time contracting the virus, The District requires a positive lab test. This can be retained at a local pharmacy, urgent care or from your physician.  It is covered by insurance, but you will be asked to provide a copay.
  4. Complete the Monroe County Affirmation of Isolation form.
  5. Email your test results and attestation.
  6. If you are still sick after the 10 calendar days on the Isolation form, you will need to see a doctor and provide a medical note to extend your absence.
    Call Employee Benefits (262-8206) if you have any questions.

 NEW YORK STATE MANDITORY TRAINING: A recent communication was sent out by The Office of Human Capital that included various training courses that are in question. New York State mandates that all New York State employees complete an annual Sexual Harassment training. While this is true, we are looking into who will need to complete the other stated training. A new communication will be sent out as we work through this with Human Capital.

REMINDER VEHICLE DAMAGE OR THEFT: We are finalizing an agreement with the District that will allow us to reimburse a portion of the deductible. For those that have had their vehicle vandalized or stolen while on or adjacent to District property, while completing employment duties in their primary work assignment on behalf of the District. This agreement covers damage that occurred to a registered vehicle between September 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023. You will need to supply the following information:

  • Date of claimed damage.
  • Police report documentation.
  • Deductible information from the applicable insurance policy.
  • Repair cost documentation.

If you have any questions or were impacted by these unfortunate events, please contact the Union Office at 458-8670 so we can begin to collect your information.

Thank you once again for your ongoing dedication and hard work. You truly make a difference in the lives of our students and contribute towards their growth and development. I am excited for what this new school year holds for us and look forward to the opportunities and successes that await us.

If you ever have any concerns, questions, or ideas, please do not hesitate to email me directly at or reach out to the Union office. Your input is of utmost importance to us.

Wishing you a fantastic start to the new school year!

In Solidarity, 


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