Stand United! Message from President Daniel DiClemente

Stand United! Message from President Daniel DiClemente
August 19, 2020

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

ACTING CFO DECLARES $128 MILLION DEFICIT: Former East High Chief Financial Officer and acting RCSD CFO Carleen Pierce painted a doom and gloom prediction on Zoom for the Board of Education last night in a presentation that took the worst case scenario and made it even worse. The deficit stems from an alleged lack of funding from New York State, which the District relies heavily upon. As I have reported in the past, it is extremely important for Congress to pass a stimulus package that includes additional funding for state and local governments and school districts. Representatives from our International Union, AFSCME (American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees), have been lobbying hard in Washington and Albany, and we have been active in sending a message to politicians throughout the nation that the lack of aide to state and local governments will be devastating to the public services we provide. 

That being said, we think it is far too premature for the District to sound the alarm bell and make hasty decisions that will hurt support staff workers who have children and families that attend Rochester City Schools. The BENTE Union is in the process of developing a plan to keep members working throughout the pandemic. In speaking with Superintendent Myers-Small on Monday, we agreed that the Union would submit a plan to illustrate how our members can contribute in order to stay employed during the shutdown. After the presentation last evening, one can only hope that she and the Board of Education will remain open to our suggestions. 

The plan is being developed as we speak. I would appreciate any ideas you have as to what tasks our members can perform during the shutdown to keep everyone working. This way, we can submit a comprehensive plan to the District. Please e-mail your suggestions to I would ask that you confine your ideas to our bargaining unit specifically.  

We need to stand united against this attempt to cut our workforce. 

In Solidarity, 

Dan DiClemente, President 

BENTE/AFSCME Local 2419 

“The Support Staff that Supports Students” 

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