Update from President DiClemente (5-26-20): Displacements, Elections, Budget, and Other Information

Update from President DiClemente (5-26-20): Displacements, Elections, Budget, and Other Information
May 26, 2020

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

DISPLACEMENTS/LAYOFFS: The BENTE Union did not experience a loss of positions as a whole, but due to school closings, departmental changes, and title cuts, there will be displacements. Unfortunately, there are also a handful of layoffs. Please note that the Union is still working to prevent as many of these layoffs as possible; we are busy advocating for the restoration of cut positions and trying to find vacancies in other District titles that affected employees will qualify for.

Human Resources will be contacting individual supervisors on Tuesday, May 26 to inform them of the cuts to BENTE staff. The supervisors, in turn, will then contact those employees on Wednesday, May 27. Displaced staff will also receive a letter via U.S. mail.

For those being displaced, there will be a “Displacement Day” towards the middle of June when members will be able pick a new work location. The process will be in order of seniority. The reason we are holding off until later in June is because the Union is still trying to get some answers on a few positions that were not clearly outlined in the budget. We want to make sure that all of the positions and locations are available for people to pick on D-Day.

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 per school year.

Given that the conditions of the pandemic do not make it an optimal time to take vacation, the Union approached the District in an effort to allow members to carryover more time this year. We were met with a resounding “no.”

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.

BENTE UNION OFFICER NOMINATIONS: The following members were nominated for office:


Daniel DiClemente

Embola Ekille


Larry Profetta


Barbara Zarpentine


Bonnie Ferrari


Wilbert Navedo

Wayne Collom

Debra Bowen

Joseph Sansone


Zelder McFadden

Larry Profetta is unopposed and deemed elected as Vice President. Barbara Zarpentine is unopposed and deemed elected as Secretary-Treasurer. Bonnie Ferrari is unopposed and deemed elected as Recording Secretary. Zelder McFadden is unopposed and deemed elected as Trustee.

There will be an election for President and two (2) Sergeant-at-Arms positions. The election will take place in September at a date, place, and time set forth by the BENTE/AFSCME local 2419 Election Committee. All dues paying members will receive a notice of the election by mail at their home address.

The BENTE Election Committee consists of the following members: Ange Palmerini (Chairperson), Rickey Hepburn, Laura Kuhn, Jessica Rinebold, Vic Wilson.

FUTURE BUDGET CONCERNS: As previously reported, Governor Cuomo has “clawback” provisions in the state budget that give him the authority to take state aid away from municipalities and school districts throughout the year. The dates he is able to do that are May 15, June 15 and January 15.

On May 15, Governor Cuomo stated that he would not take away funding from municipalities because he believes that Congress will act on a bill that would provide aid to continue the vital services our members provide. The House of Representatives passed a bill, but it has not yet gone to a vote in the Senate.

As President of AFSCME NY Council 66, I have sent a letter to sixteen members of Congress to urge them to support a bill that will help fund essential services.

There was a 12% drop in New York sales tax collections in March and there are 1.6 million people unemployed. The state pushed back income tax payments from April 15 to July 15, contributing to a loss in revenue that could result in cash flow issues and short-term borrowing. The state spent 655 million dollars in emergency payments for PPE.

Increases to employer pension contributions are inevitable for 2021. There is NOT an imminent state retirement incentive on the horizon.

Please urge your representative in Congress to support a fourth bill that includes unrestricted aid to local governments so they can continue to employ workers who provide essential services. Without it, we are facing much tougher times ahead.

 If you have an issue or comment, please do not hesitate to e-mail me directly at dan@bentelocal2419.org.

Stay safe.

In Solidarity,

Daniel DiClemente, President


“The Support Staff that Supports Students”

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