Bristol Federation of Teachers

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Ellen Zoppo-Sassu Endorsed by AFT CT and Bristol Labor Council — July 14, 2017

Ellen Zoppo-Sassu Endorsed by AFT CT and Bristol Labor Council

On Wednesday, Ellen-Zappo Sassu was endorsed by the Greater Bristol Labor Council. On Thursday, she was endorsed by the AFT CT.

“A Celebration of Bristol’s Public Employees”

Bleachers Bar, 300 Middle Street, Bristol

On Wednesday, July 26, there will be a fundraiser for Ellen Zoppo-Sassu, Democratic candidate for Mayor of Bristol, CT. Although the theme is “A Celebration of Public Employees,” all are welcome, and may give as generously as they are able.


Very Urgent: Connecticut Legislators Want Teachers to Pay More for Pensions — July 11, 2017

Very Urgent: Connecticut Legislators Want Teachers to Pay More for Pensions

Bristol Teachers, please react and act on this message below from AFT CT, and regardless of where you live in Connecticut, please take 5 minutes to write or call your state rep and senator, or you’ll feel the wallop in your wallet very soon, and see an even more dire financial situation is every district.
-David Hayes
Lawmakers are preparing for a special legislative session as soon as next week to take up proposals for balancing the state’s budget over the next two years. On the table are proposals to hike your pension contributions by two percent (from 6% to 8%) and shift a third of the state’s investment in your retirement security to your local school board.
Your state Representative and Senator need to hear from you and all teachers in their districts now to assure make sure they make better choices.
Lawmakers need to understand that these unilateral changes that will take local dollars out of the economyharm the teaching profession and will ultimately hurt children’s future learning opportunities. They need to know that a special tax on educators that would amount to an average of $100.00 per paycheck will do nothing to resolve our state’s fiscal challenges.
As union members, we know that only by amplifying our voices in opposition will legislators abandon these proposed cost-shift schemes. They will not embrace the fair share approach to crafting a state budget that our schools and communities need without teachers taking the lead to demand better choices.
More to come, and in solidarity,
 Steve McKeever

Vice-President for Pre-K-12 Teachers, AFT Connecticut
Jan Hochadel

President, AFT Connecticut
Teacher Pensions — July 7, 2017

Teacher Pensions

Rumors swirl out of Hartford that as state legislators arrive at a state budget, that funding teacher pensions will be revisited, with a significant portion of the cost being shifted back to municipalities or to teachers themselves. In the next week, as the details officially emerge, a major mobilization effort may be necessary.

In the meantime, teachers would be wise to understand how Connecticut compares to other states when it comes to teacher pensions. Here is a comprehensive study:

Evaluate Your Union! — July 3, 2017
Teachers’ Pre-Retirement Seminar — July 1, 2017
Elementary “Pool” and More Recalls! — June 28, 2017

Elementary “Pool” and More Recalls!

Here is an update:

This week, elementary teachers who have a seniority date from 2015 onward and who were non-renewed last month due to budgetary reasons will have the layoff order rescinded. In plain English, if you were hired in 2015, you are now safe. Those teachers will have a position somewhere in the district.

In related news, the elementary pool for displaced tenured teachers will be done in Mid-July. Notification of this will be done via email and USPS. Teachers should check their email daily the week of July 10, as the sooner you respond via email with your preferences, the sooner the “pool” can be done and everyone can find out what their position will be.

Republican Health Care Bill — June 27, 2017

Republican Health Care Bill

There are the Senators considered to be crucial to the passage of the heath care bill currently before the Senate. If you have family or friends in these states, please have them contact the Senators and ask them to oppose the bill in its current form.

Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R- WV)
Washington office 202-224-6472
Charleston office  304-347-5372
Twitter: @SenCapito
Email Senator Capito

Senator Bill Cassidy (R- LA)
D.C.: (202) 224-5824
Shereveport: (318) 798-3215
Baton Rouge: Phone: (225) 929-7711
Twitter: @BillCassidy
Email Senator Cassidy

Senator Susan Collins (R- ME)
Augusta office: (207) 622-8414
D.C. office: (202)224-2523
Email Senator Collins

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R- AK)
D.C. office: (202) 224-6665
Twitter- @LisaMurkowski
Email Senator Murkowski

Senator Dean Heller (R-NV)
D.C. Office: 202-224-6244
Las Vegas: 702-388-6605
Twitter- @SenDeanHeller
Email Senator Heller

More Teachers Reinstated — June 20, 2017

More Teachers Reinstated

On Tuesday, 12 more teachers (mostly elementary) had their positions reinstated. That leaves 13 elementary teachers on the recall list.

Also, 7 tenured elementary teachers have had their sections cut due to enrollment, and will go into “the pool,” which is expected to be run very shortly. Once those teachers have been placed in new positions, any additional vacant positions that need to be filled will be done by seniority using teachers from the recall list.

Teacher Layoffs: An Update — June 17, 2017

Teacher Layoffs: An Update

On Friday, 90 teachers in Bristol who had gotten non-renewal letters in May were updated on their status. 65 teacher received a letter telling them they were being recalled and that their position for the 2017-18 school year was secure. Another 25 teachers, mostly elementary, received letters telling them that their position had not been reinstated yet, essentially saying that their position would be in limbo until the state passes a budget.

Any additional recall information over the summer months will be immediately updated on this site.

Concerns or questions should be directed to the BFT via Groupwise or

Taxing Teacher Pensions — June 11, 2017

Taxing Teacher Pensions

Contact your Legislators and House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz to remind them:
* Teacher pension skyrocketing costs are notthe fault of retired teachers. The State underfunded the teacher pension for more than 70 years.
* Retired teachers have been assured again and again that the legislature would keep their promise. To renege on the tax exclusion law for retired teachers is a broken promise to 36,000 retired teachers who have contributed to their pensions all their working years and depended upon their pension during their retired years.
* The tax exclusion law was passed four years ago for fairness. Since teachers pay into their retirement system the same as others pay into Social Security, the law begins to address an unequal taxation of teacher pensions. The tax exclusion law was also passed for sound economic reasons as 26% of retired teachers leave the state retiring to states that do not tax pensions. This is a money drain on Connecticut.
Please contact your Legislators in Hartford and urge them to keep their promise on the tax exclusion. (Your message should not go to your US Congressmen)
You can contact your Legislator by going to – Click on “who should I call” .
Joe Aresimowicz is the Speaker of the House and it has been reported that he thinks that Teachers Retirement Income should be on the table of budget negotiations.  Please call or e-mail his office and express your concerns.
Legislative Office Building, Room 4105
Hartford, CT 06106-1591
860-240-8500/ 800-842-8267