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How much does Phil Rumore make?

The Albany Times Union reported recently that the head of New York State United Teachers receives a compensation package of $345,987, including a base salary of $240,180.

Well, that got me wondering how much the president of the Buffalo Teachers Federation makes.

Rumore at City HallPhil Rumore received $98,664 from the union in 2010, according to the union's most recent tax filing. He says that's his salary, and it hasn't changed in the years that teachers have been without a new contract. His salary, he says, is calculated at 1.2 times the salary of the highest-paid teacher, under the contract.

In 2008, Rumore's compensation was listed at $113,664. The following year, it was $116,071, according to the union's tax filings. 

He says the extra money resulted from a back-pay settlement the teachers -- and, apparently, therefore also the union leadership -- received. It was about $30,000, Rumore said, and he opted to split it between the two years.

"There was a back pay settlement years ago, and teachers got an extra amount of money," he said. "We also got extra amounts of money, because what we get is what the teachers get."

No additional compensation is listed for him on the BTF's tax filings for the past few years, but Rumore said the BTF pays his health insurance and that of his two assistants, Edith Lewin and Barbara Bielecki. But we'll get back to them in a moment.

On top of Rumore's BTF salary, he also collects a state pension of about $35,000 for the 13 years he spent as a teacher. All told, then, Rumore makes about $133,664 a year, between his union salary and his teachers pension.

The union's two presidential assistants -- yes, that is their actual title -- each make $88,045 a year.

Both, like Rumore, are also retired teachers, so they collect a state pension in addition to their BTF salary.

Lewin, BTF's vice president, drew $55,289 in pension last year. That brought her salary plus pension to $143,334.

Bielecki, the union's treasurer, received $66,652 in pension last year, bringing her salary plus pension to $154,697.

As I mentioned earlier, Rumore, Lewin and Bielecki all receive health insurance through BTF. But Rumore says that is going to change next year, when all three will switch their coverage and have it provided through -- and paid for by -- the Buffalo Public Schools. As retired teachers, under their contract with the district, they are entitled to paid health insurance through the district.

- Mary Pasciak

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About School Zone

Denise Jewell Gee

Denise Jewell Gee

Denise Jewell Gee joined The Buffalo News in 2007 and currently covers education and suburban schools. She also writes a column for the City & Region section and previously covered government in Erie County and Niagara Falls. Gee graduated from Boston University with degrees in journalism and political science.

@denisejewellgee |

Tiffany Lankes

Tiffany Lankes

Tiffany Lankes joined The Buffalo News in 2013 and primarily covers the Buffalo Public Schools. She has written about education since 2003 at newspapers in Florida and New York. In 2008, she was a nominated finalist for The Pulitzer Prize. Lankes is an Amherst native and graduate of Sacred Heart Academy and Syracuse University. She started her journalism career writing for the News’ NeXt section.

@TiffanyLankes |

Sandra Tan

Sandra Tan

Sandra Tan has been a cityside reporter for The Buffalo News since 2000 and currently covers the Buffalo Public Schools beat. She previously covered the Williamsville school district and was a full-time education reporter for five years prior to joining The News. She graduated from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.

@BNschoolzone |

Deidre Williams

Deidre Williams

Deidre Williams began working for The Buffalo News in 1999 and currently covers Buffalo Public Schools. She formerly was a suburban reporter on the Northtowns beat and has been a cityside reporter covering communities since 2004. Williams has a mass communications degree from Towson University.

@DeidreWilliamsB |