--Regarding Supreme Court Step Wage Litigation Ruling--
I would like to thank each and every person who was involved in the long court battle that ended successfully for the Buffalo Public Schools on March 29th, 2011. This includes past members of the board of education; Jack Coyle, Betty Jean Grant, Janique Curry, Catherine Nugent Panepinto and Vivian Evans, along with present members; Ralph Hernandez, Florence Johnson, Christopher Jacobs, John Licata, Jason McCarthy, Pamela Perry-Cahill, Mary Ruth Kapsiak, Rosalyn Taylor and Louis Petrucci.
Mostly, I would like to thank those who helped by staying the course and supporting the administration through this historic success story. The decisions that we make based on this court case will impact the Buffalo Public School system for the next several decades, with outcomes that will be best for the children within the district.
Not only does this ruling save Buffalo taxpayers over $100 million, according to Buffalo Control Board Chairman Nils Olsen, but it sets a precedent for other districts within the state who may be faced with the same struggle in moving away from retroactive salary steps sought after a freeze.
The district argued that retroactive step increases were never part of the legislative statute. In rejecting the wage entitlement, the court protected the financial stability of the district and its taxpayers, while rejecting union claims for back pay.