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Buffalo Union Leaders Plead Guilty

September 23, 2000

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) _ Three leaders of the Buffalo teachers union pleaded guilty Friday to violating a judge’s order barring them from calling a strike.

President Philip Rumore, vice president Edith LeWin and secretary Barbara Bielecki could get up to 30 days in jail and $1,000 in fines at sentencing Sept. 29.

Teachers in the 47,000-student district walked off the job Sept. 7 and again Sept. 14 before returning to work under pressure from a judge.

``We broke the law, we know that,″ Rumore said. ``As teachers and officers of the BTF, we wanted to take responsibility for our actions.″

The trial’s resolution came hours before the anticipated end of the labor dispute that led to the walkouts.

Rank-and-file members of the union overwhelmingly approved the five-year contract recommended by a state mediator. Of the roughly 2,800 teachers who voted, Rumore said ``maybe 25 to 30″ opposed the contract.

The Board of Education appoved the plan Wednesday.

The proposal provides no raises in the first year and a raise of up to 2 percent every six months after that for the next four years.

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On the Net:

Buffalo school district: http://www.buffaloschools.org

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