Bristol Federation of Teachers

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Contract Language for Layoff Process — March 29, 2017

Contract Language for Layoff Process

News about the non-renewals is hitting the media:

Hartford Courant

NBC 30 with video

Bristol Press

The full BFT contract can be accessed at the top of the web page, but given recent circumstances, here is the pertinent language regarding layoffs.


33:1 The Board has the sole and exclusive prerogative to eliminate professional
staff positions, consistent with the provisions of State statutes and the Agreement.
33:2 There will be no layoffs during the term of this Agreement without prior
consultation with the BFT.
33:3 No tenure teacher (as defined in Section 10-151(b) of the Connecticut
General Statutes as amended) shall be laid off when a position exists which is either
vacant or occupied by a non-tenure teacher and for which the tenure teacher is certified.
33:4 It is understood that a layoff is a termination of employment subject to
administrative and/or judicial review in the manner set forth in the subsections of Section
10-151 of the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended, and in no other manner. In the
case of judicial review under those statutory provisions, the parties agree that the
provisions of this Article can and should be admitted to the court.
33:5 Seniority shall be defined as the length of continuous teaching service in the
Bristol School System. In the event two or more teachers have identical lengths of
continuous teaching service, the following criteria shall be applied in the order listed:
a. previous regular teaching service in Bristol.
b. previous long-term substitute service in Bristol.
c. previous per-diem substitute service in Bristol.
d. date that letter of intent to hire was sent by the Board.
e. date that letter of job acceptance was received by the Board.
f. date that most recent application was stamped in at the Board’s
g. date on most recent application.
33:6 Procedure
33:6.1 If layoffs are necessary because of elimination of position, the teacher(s) to
be laid off shall be determined by the following procedure.
33:6.2 The least senior teacher in the affected high school or middle school
subject area or elementary grade level will be displaced from that subject area or grade
33:6.3 Such displaced teacher may elect, in lieu of being laid off, to displace in
turn the least senior teacher in the same school level (high school, middle school, or
elementary school) who occupies a position in the same certification area in which that
teacher has been teaching.
33:6.4 Such teacher who is displaced in turn may elect to finally displace the least
senior teacher in the school system who holds a position for which that teacher is
33:6.5 In each case, the displacing teacher must have more seniority than the
displaced teacher, or must proceed to the next step of the above process.
33:6.6 The elimination of other systemwide certified positions (i.e. special ed,
school psychologist, school social worker, art, etc.) shall be governed by the same
reduction in force principles and/or provisions cited in this Article.
33:7 Recall
33:7.1 The name of any teacher who has been laid off shall be placed upon a
reappointment list and remain on such list for a period of time equal to their length of
continuous employment in Bristol, not to exceed three (3) years, provided such teacher
does not refuse a reappointment. Teachers may, if agreed to by the Superintendent, refuse
a position once without jeopardizing their position on the reappointment list.
33:7.2 Any teacher on the reappointment list shall receive a written offer of
reappointment by certified mail to his last known address at least fifteen (15) days prior to
the date of re-employment. The teacher shall accept or reject the appointment, in writing,
within five (5) days. If he accepts the appointment, he shall receive a written contract at
least five (5) days prior to the effective date of re-appointment where possible.
33:7.3 No new teacher shall be hired to fill a position for which a teacher on the
reappointment list is certified. In cases where more than one teacher on the reappointment
list has exercised certification (i.e., has experience within the certification) for a particular
position to be filled, teachers shall be recalled by seniority. In cases where no teacher has
exercised certification for a particular position to be filled, teachers certified shall be
recalled by seniority.
33:7.4 No teacher who has been laid off shall be entitled to payment or accrual of
any compensation or fringe benefits, whether or not he remains on the reappointment list.
However, a teacher who is reappointed from the list shall be entitled to reinstatement of
any benefits earned or accrued at the time of layoff, and further accrual of salary
increments and fringe benefits shall pick up where they left off, except that credit for
contractual service as a teacher while on layoff shall be granted. No years of layoff will be
credited as years of service for compensation or retirement purposes. However, except as
provided in Article 33:3 and/or applicable law, any teacher who is laid off shall retain the
seniority held on the date of layoff.
33:7.5 A teacher on the recall list shall have the right to continue, at his option, in
the group plans for medical and life insurance at his own expense, subject to any
restrictions imposed by the carrier.
33:7.6 For purposes of seniority and layoffs:
a. A leave of absence does not interrupt years of continuous service,
but seniority is determined by cumulative times of actual active
teaching service.
b. Regarding fractional time, there is no difference between full-time
service and part-time service.
c. There is no difference between “Interim” contract and regular
contract; furthermore, no distinction shall be made between service
under the various types of teaching certification.
33:7.7 All transfers as provided for Article 32 (Vacancies and Transfers) shall take
place prior to any teacher being recalled to any vacant position.

Teachers Meeting Saturday with Area Legislators — March 28, 2017

Teachers Meeting Saturday with Area Legislators

Just a quick reminder that we’re meeting Saturday with area legislators on the initiatives we’re tackling during the General Assembly’s 2017 session — and it’s important that your voice is heard:

WHEN: Saturday, April 1 from 8:30AM to 10:00AM.
WHERE: The Manor Inn Restaurant, located at 1636 Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike in the Milldale section of Southington.
Click here to let us know you’ll be joining us — it’s not too late to RSVP to attend, if you haven’t already.
Help show your elected representatives that our union’s legislative priorities are vital to protecting Connecticut’s quality of life for all working families.
In solidarity,
Teri Merisotis
Legislative Advocate, AFT Connecticut
Jim Vigue
Legislative Advocate, AFT Connecticut
BOE to Issue Non-Renewal Notices to Non-Tenured Teachers — March 27, 2017

BOE to Issue Non-Renewal Notices to Non-Tenured Teachers

In anticipation of this BOE meeting, non-tenured teachers were today invited to attend a meeting with HR later this week. Blanket non-renewal notification of non-tenured teachers is not without precedent here is Bristol, and has occurred several times in the last decade. In the past, the actual number of layoffs was few. Still, the BFT encourages all teachers to attend the Board of Finance meeting on April 3 at City Hall.




WEDNESDAY, MARCH 29, 2017 ~ 7:00 P.M.


A Special Board of Education meeting will be held Wednesday, March 29, 2017 at 7:00 p.m., in the Auditorium of the Board of Education Administrative Building, located at 129 Church Street, Bristol, Connecticut.


1. Approval of the 2017-2018 Food Services Budget 

2. Approval of plans and specification for the Chippens Hill Roof and Parapet Replacement Project

3. Approval of Alliance Building Repairs Grant

4. Authorize the Superintendent to notify non-tenured educators that their positions are subject to non-renewal due to budgetary constraints

5. Budget Review

6. Adjournment

Final Results from BFT Survey on Restorative Circles — March 26, 2017

Final Results from BFT Survey on Restorative Circles

PLEASE NOTE – These are the final results, with all participating schools calculated.

Last month the BFT asked teachers to participate in a survey on restorative practices. Only a few schools have begun the consistent use of this discipline strategy, and so only 101 of 641 teachers participated.

Responses by type of building:

pK-5 schools had 35 responses

K-8 schools had 34

Middle School had 26

High School had 6 responses


The survey asked:

Please share your thoughts and experiences regarding Restorative Practices/Circles. Be sure to describe what stage of implementation your school is at, as well as any experiences you may have had with these concepts from working in another district.

The results:

47 teachers commented that there needed to be consequences for poor behavior. Many comments said Restorative Circles needed to be used in addition to a PBIS-type system that contained clear consequences. Many comments specifically stated there are “no consequences” for poor behavior, and it was getting worse.

24 comments stated that Restorative Circles don’t work for that minority of students who classify as”repeat offenders/high-fliers.”

27 comments mentioned that they needed more training.

16 comments said it was taking away from too much instructional time.

13 comments said that overall, the Restorative Circles strategy has been successful and positive.

30 said they did not have enough knowledge or experience with the concept yet.

The BFT thanks all those who participated. We will transcribe the comments and share with BOE members.

Trumpcare — March 23, 2017


I’m going to keep this short: The House is voting on Trumpcare today, and we need you to call your representative and urge him or her to oppose this bad bill.

Click here to be connected with your representative’s office.

Republicans are rushing to get this bill passed because they don’t want to face their constituents at town hall events over the April recess—but it’s a bad bill. Trumpcare gives tax cuts to the rich—which are paid for by taxing the healthcare of middle-class families—while raising costs and cutting coverage for the rest of us.

There’s plenty wrong with this bill, but here are the big things:

  • Premiums and out-of-pocket costs will go up dramatically—people over 50 or living in rural areas will pay even more.
  • 24 million Americans will lose their coverage, including 7 million people who will lose employer-sponsored health insurance.
  • Medicaid as we know it will end—hurting seniors, children and people with disabilities while starving the budgets of school districts.

Congress must vote no on any bill that cuts coverage and raises costs. Call your representative today before the vote.

In unity,
Randi Weingarten
AFT President

Union Rally in Hartford on Friday — March 20, 2017

Union Rally in Hartford on Friday

Several specific events have been scheduled during next week’s legislative hearing on state lawmakers’ attempts to strip union members of our collective bargaining rights. One of the most important is a rally at 5:00PM — join us to help demonstrate that attacks on public employees are attacks on a voice for all working people:
  • WHEN: Friday, March 24, beginning at 10:00AM:
    • 10:30 – 11:30AM: public hearing testimony, meeting legislators;
    • 11:30AM: D.U.E. Justice Coalition press conference;
    • 12:00 – 4:30PM: public hearing testimony, meeting legislators;
    • 5:00PM: public service employees rally (outside, at Minuteman Park); &
    • 5:30 – Late Evening: public hearing testimony, meeting legislators.
  • WHERE: The Legislative Office Building (LOB), located next to the State Capitol in Hartford at 300 Capitol Avenue (contact your local union leadership for possible bus transportation).
  • HOW: Click here to sign-up to participate in one or more of the actions.
We hope to see you at the LOB next Friday — be sure to wear your AFT tee-shirt to show you’re “all in” to protect Connecticut’s quality of life for all our communities.
More to come, and in solidarity,
Ed Leavy
Secretary-Treasurer, AFT Connecticut
Jean Morningstar
First Vice President, AFT Connecticut
John Brady, RN
Executive Vice President, AFT Connecticut
Jan Hochadel

President, AFT Connecticut
School Budget Hearing — March 18, 2017
Bristol SPED Audit — March 17, 2017
AFT TEACH Conference – PD opportunity — March 12, 2017

AFT TEACH Conference – PD opportunity

The biennial AFT TEACH (Together Educating America’s Children) conference will be held July 20-22, in Washington, D.C.

Join us this summer for a unique professional learning conference that will celebrate, inspire and support educators in the work that lies ahead.

We have heard from members around the country that now, more than ever, educators want in-depth, hands-on experiences that provide them with concrete strategies, tools and materials you can use in the classroom to meet students’ needs.

The focus throughout TEACH 2017 will be the four pillars of strong and purposeful public education: promoting children’s well-being; supporting powerful learning; developing teacher and staff capacity; and fostering cultures of collaboration among educators, administrators, families and communities.

We want TEACH 2017 attendees to:

  • Leave with personalized turnkey tools and resources to use back home;
  • Learn how to engage on issues facing your students, schools and communities;
  • Attend two- or four-hour intensive hands-on sessions;
  • Network, collaborate and create in the Maker Space;
  • Listen to thought-provoking plenary speakers—and much more!

Mark your calendar. Registration will open in early April. Keep an eye out for periodic email updates from us or visit

We look forward to seeing you July 20-22.

In unity,

Marla Ucelli-Kashyap
Assistant to the President for Educational Issues

AFT Scholarships; BFT Member is Scholarship Winner — March 11, 2017

AFT Scholarships; BFT Member is Scholarship Winner

As affiliates of AFT, our union members are eligible for one of 10 grants of $1,000 each awarded annually to support their continuing education or professional development. Plus $8,000 scholarships are awarded each year to four high-achieving high school seniors.
Additionally, AFT Connecticut awards two scholarships annually; one for union members’ own educational pursuits and the other for their spouses, domestic partners or children.

Click here for information on both state and national scholarships for union members, including application forms and instructions.

But hurry — the deadline for AFT’s Robert G. Porter Scholars Program is Friday, March 31. And Saturday, April 1 is the deadline for both of AFT Connecticut’s scholarships for 2017.

BFT Member Wins National AFT Scholarship!

Our national union helps members and their families with grants to support professional development, achieve a post-secondary education or participate in graduate-level learning. When the Robert G. Porter Scholars Program winners were last July announced at the 2016 AFT Convention, a local teacher from Connecticut was among those honored. She was awarded $1,000.00 to assist with her continuing education —  and now encourages her colleagues to apply by the March 31 deadline for this year’s benefit.

IB Image
Elizabeth Porter (above, left), a 7th grade science teacher at Chippens Hill Middle School in Bristol, applied the scholarship toward completing her sixth-year certificate in Educational Leadership at Central Connecticut State University (CCSU). The funds paid for her final course and to attend a week-long environmental science workshop in Vermont — an experience that she’s now adapting to her classroom work.
“I’m developing a unit with some of the material I learned,” said Porter, a member of our AFT Connecticut-affiliated Bristol Federation of Teachers. The course and workshop both complemented her school district’s partnership with CCSU to roll-out the next generation science standards (NGSS). “We’ve been learning different content and teaching strategies as part of this ongoing effort, so the timing was perfect,” Porter added.
Porter, now in her ninth year of teaching, had already taken on numerous district and school-level leadership roles before being selected for the prestigious scholarship award. A National Science Teachers Association member, Porter has coordinated her school’s Science Club for students. She also helped facilitate collaboration among her department’s staff, administrators and district leadership to plan NGSS-aligned professional development as part of implementing the new standards.
“The science department team works together well, and I work closely with our inter-disciplinary team in the middle school,” said Porter. “Our math, science, social studies and special education teachers meet almost every day to discuss how we can support our kids’ learning,” she added.
Porter has also served on Bristol’s Teacher Education and Mentoring Program (TEAM), working one-on-one with new educators as an advisor, mentor and guide. She has conducted academic research and written recommendations for practice on school climate, English Language Learner (ELL) program development, new teacher recruitment, social justice and school improvement.
Porter’s local union president is naturally proud of her national recognition. He also believes the award will help spotlight additional ways the labor movement helps working people beyond winning contracts and protecting job security.
“It’s a real thrill for Liz to win this scholarship,” said David Hayes, a 5th grade teacher at Edgewood School. “This benefit is a reminder of the tremendous resources available to all of us,” added Hayes, who is in his seventh year of service as president of our Bristol Federation of Teachers.
His message to members of both his local and all affiliated unions across Connecticut interested in scholarship funds is simple; “be aware of opportunities to get involved and be proactive.”
Click here to watch Porter and Hayes share why all members should take advantage of this exclusive benefit.
In addition to the ten $1,000.00 grants awarded each year to active members, our national union’s Porter Scholars program offers scholarships to four current students who are dependents of members. The one-time $8,000.00 grants are based on:
  • academic achievement
  • commitment to community services and school-related activities;
  • demonstration of leadership;
  • work experience;
  • recommendations;
  • special talents and skills;
  • an essay; and
  • a commitment to advancing the interests of working people and building unions.
Click here to learn more about the Porter Scholars program and apply for both 2017 benefits.
Members of local unions affiliated with our state federation are also eligible to take advantage each year of two AFT Connecticut-sponsored scholarships to help cover higher education costs. Both are $2,500.00 grants, with one awarded to active members and the second to spouses or domestic partners or children of members.
Click here to learn more about both AFT Connecticut scholarships and apply by the April 1 deadline.