Jun 15, 2014|
Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)
This week could be the week that the buffalo school board takes a little bit of baby steps toward the replacement of doctor Pamela brown superintendent. Coming up later this week there could also be some discussion of an interim superintendent not just only in negotiations get rid of her. Will get to all of that before this program has done. I wanted to start out that the first hour with a guest. If I introduced him in the traditional way he is someone you would think. -- talked a lot about the school system and indeed we will. And -- I introduced him in the traditional way he is someone that would probably be talking a little about California and teacher tenure. And I am guessing before the next to -- done we will probably do that too. But this time I wanted to introduce children more not as the president of buffalo teachers federation. But as one of the founding members of the working families party. Especially in a week -- effort teacher hurt her on the program last week she's. A candidate that was running on working families banner for governor got rejected that night and that endorsement went to Governor Cuomo. She about to announced that she is still nonetheless running for governor. And I wanna start the program by talking about those issues again with no remorse -- thanks for joining us this morning already well. Talk about the working families party I had no idea when I first heard about all the the brouhaha at the convention two weeks ago. I knew -- -- certainly a member of the party and you spoke out against governor or whether. You actually helped found the thing. Yes and -- I remember Wheeling a cart. One of those shopping carts with petitions. In the wintertime. Around the capital to get him -- so we can become an armed elements since -- the working families party is becoming. Significant presence. Remember they used to be a Liberal Party. But they -- working families party was unique and it was founded by. Community organizations. And also some and also labor unions and the objective was to try to raised to standard of living of -- people have a list of major thrust support an English court. What year was that. Cheney's tenure -- a really OK that long. In the meantime have they ever run an independent now an independent candidate of their own our -- cross endorsed Democrat. Are we have to run the candidates. In the past. We did however we were won the first -- sport chrome quo which ultimately led to him being on the ballot. One of the things I think that people don't realize what most people New York do realistic yes it is that we have put ColdFusion. So what you can do if you can vote for -- candidate on the working extremely -- And also let's say the democratic line. And the votes are totaled together. And many of the states that's not the case if you have what you remember what happened in the Florida. -- that would have been fusion and maybe that would have been have been different outlook. But the votes are counted separately so you can actually take away from and other states votes of a candidate. Now two weeks ago you with a working parties family convention. A convention where there was sort of a debate between not -- -- the debate formally but it dead discussion. Between his effort teach out and the forces that wouldn't want to nominate her. As the party's nominee and Governor Cuomo and the forces that want -- to nominate him as party's nominee. He eventually plopped a deal on the table and says I'll support minimum wage a support getting Republican leadership by the state senate pick me. And the convention did you don't agree with that deal. No I don't. I was there and I would say. Three quarters of the people that was there were not supportive of Governor Cuomo. As you probably read one video -- showed it was sought to -- its Federer. What it is so -- it's weighted voting and some of the bigger organizations. Voted for Governor Cuomo. And north you know I was one of the people who has led the opposition. We felt that there him. Percival but he really hasn't delivered as an educator. He has actually cut billions from education. Which is and it's very difficult for us especially in -- -- He also says that you know failing schools. That should be death penalty I mean there are a lot of things that a lot of people didn't feel that. If he just completely came to the table you know on a minimum wage. So it is you know I felt that they're not deserve a teacher. This is very strong candidate. She's of law professor as you probably remember. She's been involved in campaigns before which is very impressive element. I had her on the program this very hour last weekend. Before she said she's going to go ahead and round she apparently is about to announce that tomorrow she says some of the similar things that you listed specifically about education let's listen. Just feel like this governor has a proponent -- he started by proposing one of the largest cuts to education funding in state history. Even though that didn't go through the school have been relatively star. Visited the school that I only in record at one visited schools so I don't see is a fundamental concern an appreciation. But the important. That education plays in our economy and in our in our citizenry. Sounds like she's going you. Are probably or certainly you a lot of people. Talk more broadly about the opposition to Governor Cuomo you said about two thirds of the people in the hall really didn't seem to -- him. Is it safe to say that the liberal wing of the Democratic Party is not behind this manners and exaggeration. Well you know I would I don't know -- what with the liberal wing news or notice that the people -- are part of the working families. Are more intrusive and for fighting for the middle class. Like we didn't have a good wage health care education. Those of the values of the working -- which party. Everybody keeps worried about the minimum wage but it -- that have been studies that shown. That we're increasing the minimum wage so people can loan purchase or sanctions have been detrimental. But I think what's going on right now as people are looking. For another candidate potential constable was. That they can support as an alternative to Governor Cuomo. Whether it's. Any of the positions that he's taken. Sometimes people just a president that we you know vote on one vehicle lines if you're Democrat here. Presidential you know vote in the Republican lines -- -- looking for an alternative. Right now and that is that just in the primary you know people are -- you know who to vote for Governor Cuomo so I think she's a strong candidate to be here on Wednesday. In buffalo. If the the working families party has given their endorsement to Governor Cuomo. Do you do you see a large amount of the party's rank and file. Ignoring that and still voting for her I I sincerely doubt that they'd be going with rob -- of the Republican. And she then becomes the alternative or do they all jump on the Cuomo bandwagon because. While party line votes. Well see that is the bottom line I was you know has executed probably -- about the general election because. I'm -- primary and primary obviously if you're you can vote and vote the democratic primary Democrat yeah I jumped ahead and infrastructure. But the if she's a she's a candidate. There's going to be a lot of people that are going to vote for her. Do you think that there is any risk. I I look at the national scene and -- forum when people talk about Eric Cantor and what happened there well even when anyone talks about house speaker John Boehner there's always this discussion of where the Republican Party is headed on the national scene. The idea that the Tea Party is pulling them in one direction the more mainstream establishment is kind of in a different direction. And where where that -- taught or balances as is always a big discussion is there any fear for you. That having another candidate like his effort teach out in a primary. Representing the progressives against Andrew Cuomo. We'll start that same kind of back and forth Tug of war that we're seeing on the national scene with the Republicans comment is is there any. Any sense that disunity here is going to cause trouble. No because ultimately. You know ultimately you know the primary -- primary and you have elections and then. You know there you know they're -- -- But ultimately if you believe in your principles. Then you come together and you look at the candidate that most reflects. Which you believe that. You don't you know some people say well I'm just sort of stay home or doesn't do anything except you know if you don't vote somebody else makes a decision. I don't think that's gonna happen here I think it's it's healthy. I know there are a lot of people who decide this well that'll work incredibly party members that feel that like I do that. The working for and which party left its values behind it I mean -- was what happened there was the this weighted voting in the bigger of the old isolationist. The more -- spectrum open. Of some of the bigger organizations when they cast their votes. For example York city. And they were with Governor Cuomo and and had built to blast -- there. That was sort of helpful to them as well. So you know worried about a split you're not and I know the tea parties not a party. You don't picture of the working families as a group that creates a dilemma. The Olympics so I don't think so at all I think so what I think that once -- -- on the ballot with the primaries and many times before I don't think. I think that there's a difference of opinion. Right now as -- who should be the governor. And one of the interesting things about that elections from what I understand the middle of the -- Republican or Democrat who wrote the primary which is kind of interesting. -- the different and appeared. Yeah will any of this matter in the general. Only to big difference in the general. You know it but she says she's a candidate. It's gonna make a huge difference but just the fact that there is going to be primary. And she should do pretty well she's in the petition authority she's going to announce the petitions and -- candidate for lieutenant governor I think his name is this rule. From New York City very popular. Asian candidates. In New York City and there will be very well known across across the country and should be interest and because as you know. The lieutenant Cutler does not run on the same ticket. So which could be interest to see what happens with thirty governor and lieutenant governor racer you know it's conceivable that they can win both or one or the other. Other than education which I know was obviously pray for you. And she is mentioned one for her or what issues do you see her bringing or or this a primary challenge bringing to the table. Well there's a there's a lot of viciously you know taxes for example you know how to tax. For example the governor has made a lot of significant types. Breaks each -- -- -- kicking and screaming to the table. To. I have the millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share everybody's saying well. The pretext that bill and me. -- decent rate what will happen is they're gonna leave the state. Are you know. You know they should pay their fair share you know how much wanted to take a look at your billionaire like. You know some of the people are. Mean how much money do you need to live in we have people here that are like retirees. You have people here look -- and -- Chernobyl close probably I think it's a third poorest. City in the nation. I mean why shouldn't we make people have them you know have benefited. From this state. Greatly. That you know that the proportion of millionaires and billionaires. That's far exceeded any kind of proportion whereas the middle class. And lower class it's a truck and significantly. Why because people like Governor Cuomo so well well personally get their campaign funds from them. But that's not fair I mean we should be able to say look at in making a lot of money how much you need to lift quite a political -- you know -- little bit more your money into the pot. All right well we're really -- break we'll pick this up on the other side. Phil were more is here the buffalo teachers federation president also as we've been saying -- at least this first segment one of the founders of the working families party. Little bit later in the program we'll open up the phone minds I promise we'll get some of those traditional education issues 8030930s. And number. If you'd like to weigh in on the teacher tenure issue and I'm gonna talk about that next lots of -- obviously on the search for a replacement for superintendent brown. The president of the buffalo teachers federation -- remorse here for the next hour. We'd love to have you aboard 8030930. And will take those calls right after this it's hard line on news radio 930 WB. It's hard line on news radio 930 WB and good morning this -- -- Film -- or is here whenever we have -- we usually talk about things are related to buffalo schools and we certainly. We'll get to that he is the president of the buffalo teachers federation. At a time when there are looking at the possibility of negotiating some sort of settlement. With Pamela brown on the current superintendent. At a time when at least one faction of the board and incoming -- the board. Is talking about who would end up replacing her. We'll get to all of that Andy's here at a time to wind California earlier this week at a preliminary ruling against. Teacher tenure and talk about all that the for the programs done -- he'd like to join us along the way we would love to have you aboard. 8030930s. Number in this first segment we've been talking to -- quite a bit about the of the nuts and bolts of politics. Phil is also a founder of the working families party and they are right now kind of looking at an interest in split underway. This whole idea. Many of them not supporting Governor Cuomo. The idea that effort teach out their earlier candidate who did not get the endorsement Cuomo did. Her is about to announce that she's running in the primary against Governor Cuomo. All that's on the table let's bring in -- and Lancaster first caller today you're on with Phil hi. Well try to question for you because you stated that public people need to about. Album that's true well how much do retired teachers need to look back. Those retired teachers to retire with pensions of maybe 75000. Dollars here and we paid health insurance which includes. Cosmetic surgery for breast implantation confederate veterans how much do they need to retire or are out there at that -- being an undue burden. -- these school fact that the in these school district director how much do these retired teachers need to look back because the 75000. Dollars or more a year. And that's more than a lot of people who are working. -- thank you -- within a year. A lot of governments are talking about legacy costs fell. Defend teacher retirement. Sure little personal there aren't too many teachers that received 75000 policy year. In retirement benefits. That's a that's a very hard number. Second -- you need to realize also that in buffalo for example our teachers are. 20000 dollars behind their colleagues. In the Serb broke in the surrounding districts it's 20000. Dollars. Behind. So their -- earnings are. Very very much less than everybody else's and then. The rest of the suburban district state deserve what they're earning that's for sure but before -- with 20000 -- behind. So you would argue that a big retirement compensates them for what they don't get while there on the job. It's not just upload teachers you know all teachers -- -- retirement system covers all teachers. It's not just afloat teachers it's the same retirement system in the same retirement. Benefits that all teachers can and can't really -- single vocal teacher and single afloat teachers -- that with 20000 dollars behind everybody else. And one of the things that I think everybody needs to realizes that. Obviously the people who make -- significantly more as far as health care that's one of the reasons that and that and not hold these. School districts have. Paid health care for retirees but one of those things you don't make it anymore as -- -- -- 20000 -- behind everybody else. So one of the benefits that we have negotiated this health care and they -- something. I think that everybody should have will be entitled to health care though the Obama care -- a step in the right direction but it seems to me that we can fight wars. That every other country. Has paid health care people say the Canadian system isn't so grateful when I talk to committees that are. Very satisfied with the help. So we are late for our news break I wanna pick that up on the other side you're certainly lightning rod that is certainly something we can get into. 8030930s. Number more after this it's hard -- and news radio 930 WB and. It's hard line on news radio on 9:30 W and good morning this -- -- -- remorse with us president buffalo teachers federation. Before the next half hours done -- -- talking a little bit more about buffalo schools right now some of the broad issues in the caller was raising the idea during the last segment though. That retirement is just too high -- that governments can't always support teachers at the level that you would like them to. And you said something -- I want to have you follow upon it in defense of lifetime health care for retirees you've said that. Pretty much every once have lifetime health care explain. There will -- you know every other country. Has. A couple Melissa this entry system -- covered. With health care. We're probably this -- only a handful of countries and their small ones that don't have health care coverage for everyone. The people's congress be in congress. They have a fantastic health care plan and have to just a couple of terms they get a -- like time also. It seems to me that nobody in this at that should be a basic right for all people in this country. To have health care provided by the government. That we don't it's probably the question of priorities I guess there are the priorities to. But I think it's that it should be a basic right and I think that everyone that's listening to everybody out there shouldn't have to worry ability to be devastated because of health care. But just on the other thing too was like certainly 5000 votes and you retire. Our salary schedule I mean if you have a master's degree and 27 years to get 74000 doses yourself some 4600. So no one retires with a 100%. Retirement usually in the 60% ranger. And that range so I don't know how somebody -- assembly some 1000 development through working also to the other over -- even with a master's plus 3877000. So who -- figure percentage of those -- -- retire -- I don't think it's. There are too -- -- the -- -- have some kind of report also -- extra summer programs which would be our mutual. Right now the current teachers contract hasn't been renewed you have had a contract in about ten years we have a new school board being seated on July 1. And they certainly wanna shake stuff up they've said as much do you picture negotiations with them for new teachers contract. I think it and I think. I think that once they you know when you're any outside and here you -- hearing things in your reading things and it's it's different when you sit down and say that there are probably sitting down to new board members as well as the in order you know occasional incident with the current board members but I think that. Once you have an understanding of the for example that. How far behind we are -- the Texas 27 years to get to -- -- so we're starting salary is 32000 with a bachelor's degree. Actually close to 33000. But it -- agrees 37000 for the 627 years. Think -- maximum -- person most of the districts it's 1520. Maybe 25 with the most missed most in fifteen. But I think that once the new board you know people come on. And they see you know one -- It's just terrible -- -- when you look at starting so respect 32000. Or 37 with a master's degree. I think that they're gonna say well you know this is exactly what -- sort. Larry Quinn one of the reformers elected to the board that takes office on July 1 as a -- on this program on record saying. If it came to negotiations coming up he wouldn't mind seeing -- wage increase that could be deserved. But he'd like see some flexibility. On hours things like longer school day. That sort of thing do you see wiggle room there. We -- assuming that. They're paying an extra half hour to this school than a week or next a couple of days that's that's not where the money should be spent. The money should be spent lowering class sizes for example we have our -- simply too hard. Many studies have shown that the class sizes and especially in. Cities and poor urban districts should be in the twelve to fifteen and asserted 2530 range. And they're having an extra. Half hour or next today -- 23 or 452. Already over such classes. Where we don't have the step we -- tremendous English language learner population. We don't and we don't have enough English language learners teachers. You know teachers are special -- program is underfunded. Rather than just have an extra amount of time was still over such classes like the services for our kids and more psychology and social workers -- sort of I think the money be built but I spent for those -- longer host six or seven now over six -- are so that they're in school. So you would rather see more teachers. I'd rather see more teachers and more program church are rather see smaller class sizes. I'd rather see more specialists like English language -- elect to see more school counselor is more attendance teachers so that could mean to make sure that the -- there. We have a terrible attendance problem. So what's the difference what's the big deal then it's about extending the day at the end of the year tickets aren't there we should be investing in our tennis -- a social -- class size. And so the things that you really think about it. Positive things -- make a difference -- That's the whole year but talking about an extra week -- What number one thing would you like to see the new superintendent do. I don't think there's anyone number one thing Jerusalem number one things I think the most important thing that. New superintendent needs to do is to bring everybody together. You know the did I mean that unions scenes where you know they were quite notoriously battling to mr. Clinton obviously battling with the district we usually try to find -- and a common ground. And I think in this superintendent has got to help board -- and a common ground. The problem we have is -- okay to have differences of opinion. But what you need to do is say look at let's find the things that we agree on an -- -- kids and work together. We can still tell about these sort of things so on the side here. But let's find common ground certificate. We will agree on this but we're in this together and you know we can battle with each other illicit but we have to do something positive and productive of course nothing -- -- ultimately could hurt. Let's bring in John in Rochester -- thanks for waiting on the -- They gave. -- you know -- we have some good points. But it got to Victoria and -- go. Some belt -- using him as an example he left the state media formal at a press conference going back a few years ago. Same basically can save five million dollars a year in state income taxes by relocating to Florida. And he he felt very strongly that he's he's gonna take it five million dollars in give back to the community in he has done and spent tens of millions of dollars for various educational. Medical sector up. Causes and I and I think his point was that. The public unions have -- here. State of new York and has put the burden on the middle class and a -- guys like him but the middle class. Who don't get these above market benefits. Oh club. Pensions healthcare etc. Are are being put and a little clip I know I'm an employer and in my employees have nowhere in the year. The benefits. That I think every public employee it has sent in overtime I think -- one time the public employees were underpaid or some data out of the but I know for a fact that secretarial position. And up people with some of master's degree it's -- Are being paid on par compared to the typical job comparable to a private sector so. So I think you should really -- this since earlier statements in consider things like right to work real legislation he did in Wisconsin. Which would really improve. That the system in May go out. Things more viable economically and really provide for middle class children. Phil do you think that the tax burden that government's place on the middle class. Is is hurting them. Well first of well you know I find it says that the hoping to -- also moving out -- stimulus money when it was here. I think that that's just. That give -- one example what I will never -- you know agreed that the people and make billions of dollars should pay their fair share and if they move out of the state. Because of five million dollars a billionaire -- Picasso photos you know million dollars in -- because ultimately this Texas pumped back in to trying to help. With the middle class. So I mean he just took money out of the state that it couldn't you know be used to have to provide benefits for the middle class. What about the colors argument regarding the tax burden on the middle class. Well that that's exactly what we're so that's what we're saying that that -- burden that's what the working families has been saying for a long time the tax burden on the middle crest this unconscionable. Did you base and it should be moved up to the people that make the most money and. But in instead of bringing more money in from the taxpayer he's arguing. Just cut the benefits do less with them money and you'll have less need for that much money. Well I find it unacceptable I think you know Pacific looks to the benefits of public sector is -- I think that everybody should get those benefits with your health care. I think Gary bush has a decent health care. If you feel that some people in the public sector sector of making more money. And I think that you should say -- look at you know maybe that is a living wage and -- I'm not -- my employees petition to -- It could remember at least especially with teachers who took him and so and so over as a master's degree. And worked under some of the most difficult conditions that you won't mention I don't know what his employees -- but I would argue that. You know maybe it should take a look around -- -- addition to give your employees more and sometimes that attracts more employees split. Mean union supporters what they wouldn't be a middle class right now -- hadn't and so there for unions. And with the weakening of some of the unions right now. I can some tell you that the middle class and decline in all the studies show that it's that the wealthy that are increasing in the poorer precincts. As far as as helping education in Wisconsin has nothing to show that this opening. All right Stephen buffalo were were and certainly a lot of calls and running out of time make quick -- on the air. I good morning mr. people -- the term warming I usually mixing ample. You last week talking about what school districts in 1960. He taught in eight. Urban district for five years to get your student loans. Taking care if you live with what 1969. You've come to Beijing you're gonna go on the buffalo school districts. On health care plan that your 171000 dollars a year may ask you why don't you go on obamacare and put those dollars back at the student's desk. While the other candidates who. First spoke very important from 1981. That's -- that's when it stopped teaching so once and so what you sort of this as a matter of fact I and it worked all those cheers together and to signal my retirement this. My retirement to about 30000 democracy here from the retirement system. That's what I get from the actually keeps his retirement system. So that's you know assuming. I feel like I earned those benefits at twelve emotionally disturbed kids and yes indeed I did work in the -- city this process -- loans but he couldn't believe my mother was still photo to force congress to my mother didn't have any money -- -- school. -- had to take out loans. Phil let's bring in one last call here and I certainly didn't plan it this way but I see that Carl Paladino has joined us member of the buffalo school board and and the guy that basically brought and the reformers that take over the board in July. Carl go ahead with quick question for refer -- United -- until last part of listen. You know so does that does that base. Poison. Pace in coming and talking about all the great things he's two under his career to open education but on his watch. Our school system has failed miserably we have 4657. Schools failing and we paid seventy million dollars a year for. -- retirement benefits for four retired teachers. -- -- Don't we have. Teachers were eligible for Medicare reform to Medicare. Didn't get Medicare Advantage paid for by the school district why do you maintain. Have to continue to be so -- The -- school district it. Instead of going after the government plan he just got done finished -- -- -- you just finishing in the government should provide healthcare for everybody. That's fine but what about your obligations to this community and to those kids. So that we can double the money to making. A smaller class size is why don't you do the right thing. Why are you unionism forever. -- -- and remember to vote. Little great things have gone to school district. I don't remember that I think you just have done a tremendous go to an individual can I finish or even become so. One of the things I noticed I didn't speak about all the great things so the things that -- doing great things the union doesn't have any control over. The changing policies of the state. The district that are currently like that we have control over. The education system is basically the administration and control your education system. As far as future is going on with Medicare that's an option that we're looking at negotiations is that something that would be something at their option. We have sort of worked with the district over the years to save a lot of money. When it comes to pensions and we sit down with the table that is something that makes sense to both sides we try to find common ground together and we'll look at it. It is a win win situation. Where the teachers are gonna lose in the benefits whether. So you're saying you're willing to consider that. -- -- to consider anything that makes sense as far as it's an option for a teacher in the -- don't have to worry about losing benefits in the future sure. Well you weren't like that it came to those two going from three to one carrier. -- he didn't have that same thing in mind you're gonna keep all the same benefits we're not just gonna happen with the benefits that you wanted to keep three separate carriers that -- -- Well what we -- decision on -- you're trying to change. The economic and so the question. These first couple with the district this unilaterally. Went from multiple carriers. Took a single carrier. We're in discussions to do that when they decided that they didn't want to wait and when did it. The district we filed a grievance aren't we won the greatest court affirmed it. We could actually have forced to district. To go back which have contempt proceedings against mr. right now. For the last five years we could afford the district in court to go back to -- periscope sweep when -- arbitration. We have a court order -- little logical aren't -- -- can do commemorative additional do you have do you have any kind of -- at all. You know he's skipping the question now or not but I'm not. But what I what we've done that and as we've saved the district millions of adults by not forcing -- to go back to multiple carriers we could've done that in any time but we said no. What will let do. Just -- -- morning. That'll take money out apart so we'll hold off and we'll continue negotiations we kind of catalyst partners. All right dot com thanks for calling in -- closing comments we knew we we were -- for commercials were gonna and that a little early and take those and about one minute. But I did give me closing comments here. What are you optimistic and I know this is kind of -- a lame way of putting -- but the talk about the future. Under the new board. Obviously in that phone call between you and Carl I could hear a little bit of -- Are you excited are you optimistic about what the future holds despite the fact that there's always these tensions on the board. Well I'm concerned about whether you know what we're going to be duplicate the superintendent to come here -- -- -- what's gone on here for the last couple years. I don't know how many people from one of mr. reputation. On it but I think the quicker than everybody comes together doesn't -- and handed it to one another insists look at we disagree about these things. But -- find common ground to work together I think they'll be the best thing for rockets. So you think that they'll have to do a really broad surge because no one's gonna want buffalo. I think it I think that give -- -- I think it was that it displays the candidates and buffalo and this could people in this area. I don't think we -- -- -- out of the state I think that there are people in hopes I think that there are also to people that are qualified can house and we don't have to go out of state. All right -- thanks for your time you're good sport. Glad you're able to make it.