Bristol Federation of Teachers

Contact us at bft1464@gmail.com

AFT Offering TEVAL Prep — July 17, 2018

AFT Offering TEVAL Prep

Just in time for “back to school” season, we are again hosting a professional development workshop for members of AFT Connecticut-affiliated PreK-12 teachers’ unions on Student Learning Objectives (SLOs). Plan to join us for this unique opportunity to learn more about creating SLOs that are both challenging and realistic:
WHEN: Wednesday, August 15 from 5:00PM to 7:00PM.
WHERE: The Soifer Conference Room on the second floor of AFT Connecticut union headquarters, located at 35 Marshall Road in Rocky Hill (plenty of free parking available).
HOW: Click here to sign-up online – there is no cost for dues-paying members, but please RSVP in advance because a light dinner will be served.
Back by popular demand to present are our own Hartford Federation of Teachers union members Kathleen Chao and Jackie Ryan. Their workshop is designed to maximize interaction among participants with an emphasis on peer review and assistance in creating SLOs.
I hope to see you in Rocky Hill in four weeks for this invaluable course.
In solidarity,
 
Jennifer Benevento

Professional Issues & Development Coordinator, AFT Connecticut

Advertisements
BOE Developing Policy on Student Discipline; Deciding on Arts Magnet — July 2, 2018

BOE Developing Policy on Student Discipline; Deciding on Arts Magnet

On Monday, July 9, at 7:00 PM the BOE Policy Committee will hold a meeting in Room 36 of Central Office. One item being worked on is a policy on students discipline, which is perhaps the foremost topic of concern among Bristol teachers. If you would like to voice your concerns and opinion on how policy could be revised to best address this issue, please attend.

Likewise, on Wednesday July 11, the regular monthly BOE meeting will take place starting at 7:00 PM. One item up for a vote will be to accept or reject “Option 1” of the Feasibility Study conducted last year. Option 1 was the “No change” option, keeping all current schools intact, but also adding the Arts Magnet (all options of the study included adding the Arts Magnet School).

While Option 1 was the least onerous of all the possible choices, the creation of the Arts Magnet at Memorial Boulevard is one that has raised many questions among teachers. The BFT strongly encourages all teachers to attend.

New BFT Contract, New Insurance Structure — July 1, 2018

New BFT Contract, New Insurance Structure

Today marks the start of the new BFT Contract, which can be accessed via the link at the top of the page, and also from the BOE’s intranet.

Today also marks the start of the new medical/rx  insurance structure (dental is unchanged). Teachers will now have a high deductible health plan (HDHP), and a health savings account (HSA).

However, those teachers with a flexible spending account (FSA) will have a health reimbursement account (HRA) for the months of July and August, with the remaining balance being transferred into an HSA on September 1.

All teachers are urged to take a proactive stance during this challenging transition period. When encountering problems, immediately contact the Benefits Specialist at Central Office by calling 860 584 7019. When contacting them or Cigna, record all attempts to resolve problems. Who did you speak with? When did you call? Print out emails.

The Janus Decision — June 27, 2018

The Janus Decision

In the most important decision relating to unions in decades, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 against unions. Given the ideological bent of the court, this was expected.

Here is the complete 83 page PDF of the Supreme Court ruling.

Here are the relevant articles:

Excellent summary of the SCOTUS decision from the New York Times

Some analysis from the New York Times

And yet more analysis from the New York Times, explaining how this ruling may ultimately empower workers and help unions.

Video from CNN

Article from the Washington Post

NBC 30 has a story on the ruling

Here is a statement from Randi Weingarten, President of AFT…

Today the Supreme Court issued a 5-4 decision in Janus v. AFSCME that overruled 41 years of precedent and found that fair share fees violate the First Amendment. The decision is effective today.

While deeply disappointed, we are not surprised that this five-member Supreme Court majority has done the bidding of right-wing corporations and billionaires to undermine workers’ rights and defund unions. As Justice Kagan said in her dissent:

There is no sugarcoating today’s opinion. The majority overthrows a decision entrenched in this Nation’s law—and in its economic life—for over 40 years. As a result, it prevents the American people, acting through their state and local officials, from making important choices about workplace governance. And it does so by weaponizing the First Amendment, in a way that unleashes judges, now and in the future, to intervene in economic and regulatory policy.

It’s been a big day, but the response that we’ve had from members is so encouraging. I’m so proud of the work we’ve all been doing. I’ve said it over and over today, and I’ll say it again here—don’t count us out.

-Randi Weingarten

AFT President

BOE Revisits Rejected Feasibility Study — June 17, 2018

BOE Revisits Rejected Feasibility Study

On Tuesday evening (June 19) at 6:30 PM the Bristol Board of Education’s Operation Committee will revisit the Feasibility Study that was completed by DRA and rejected at a full BOE meeting in late 2017.

Those with questions or concerns regarding the possibility of more K-8 schools, the proposed Arts Magnet School at MBMS, or eventually redistricting are encouraged to attend.

BFT President Speaks in Support of Classroom Safety Bill — June 13, 2018

BFT President Speaks in Support of Classroom Safety Bill

From WSHU (NPR affiliate)

From The Day

CT-N Video of the Round Table Event at the Legislative Office Building

Thanks to your personal stories, emails, and phone calls, legislators overwhelmingly supported and passed SB 453. But our fight is not over yet. Your legislators need to hear from you again as this is our last chance to persuade them to override Malloy’s veto.

With Malloy’s veto of the bill, the safety of students and teachers continues to be put at risk. His veto was based on false information and a misrepresentation of the facts.  Now we need to ask for your support one last time. Without it, this bill will die, and students will lose the best chance they had to get the help they need before it’s too late.

Set the record straight. Give your legislators the facts and ask for their support in overriding the governor’s veto.

CLICK HERE to contact your legislators one last time on this important issue.

CLICK HERE to contact legislative leaders.

Help Override Gov. Malloy’s Student Discipline Veto — June 10, 2018

Help Override Gov. Malloy’s Student Discipline Veto

Malloy veto misrepresents the facts. Set the record straight and get the classroom safety bill passed.

The governor’s veto of the classroom safety bill puts the safety of students and teachers at risk. The veto was based on false information and a misrepresentation of the facts. We need to set the record straight.

We need to provide legislators with the facts and convince them to override the veto of this important bill—which will make our schools safer and provide supports and resources for students.

Thanks to your personal stories, emails, and phone calls, your legislators overwhelmingly supported and passed Senate Bill 453, An Act Concerning Classroom Safety and Disruptive Behavior, now called Public Act 18-89. Now we need to ask for their support again. Without it, this bill will die, and students will lose the best chance they had to get the help they need before it’s too late.

Set the record straight. Give your legislators the facts and ask for their support in overriding the governor’s veto.

CLICK HERE to contact your legislators.

Malloy Vetoes Student Discipline Bill — June 7, 2018
New Law on Student Discipline being Undermined by Superintendents? — June 5, 2018

New Law on Student Discipline being Undermined by Superintendents?

Governor Malloy is deciding whether to sign or veto Senate Bill 453 An Act Concerning Classroom Safety and Disruptive Behavior, now called Public Act 18-89, and unfortunately, some superintendents are lobbying him to veto it.

The bill helps stem the tide of student assaults by making classrooms safer and providing appropriate supports and interventions to disruptive students.

CEA leadership met with the Governor’s staff to explain the bill, which

·         Reduces discriminatory discipline

·         Emphasizes supports and assistance to students in need

·         Provides special education students with greater protections than currently exist

We need every teacher to reach out to the Governor asking him to sign Public Act 18-89.

CLICK HERE to send a message to Governor Malloy, or call him at (860) 566-4840.

Congressional Democrats Propose “A Better Deal” for Teachers and Students — May 23, 2018

Congressional Democrats Propose “A Better Deal” for Teachers and Students

Washington Post Article

PBS Newshour Article

USA Today Op-Ed

Below if an AFT Press Release

Yesterday, Lily Eskelsen Garcia and I stood with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic congressional leaders on Capitol Hill to support their Better Deal for Teachers and Students initiative. Unlike others who spout rhetoric about the importance of teachers—like Betsy DeVos, who was on the Hill at the same time—the Democratic plan has real solutions addressing pay, equity and investments in education.

The conditions facing educators and students today are not new: 29 states still spend less on public education than before the Great Recession. To pay their bills, 59 percent of teachers have worked a second job. And we’re the only professionals I know who, as part of the job, dig into our own pockets to cover the necessities that elected officials are failing to provide our students.

Investing in the future of public education in America is a top priority. Urge your members of Congress to support the Better Deal for Teachers and Students.

A Better Deal for Teachers and Students prioritizes making an investment in our children, in teaching and learning, and in our profession. It would:

  • Dedicate $50 billion to states and school districts to increase teacher compensation and recruit and retain a strong, diverse workforce over the next 10 years;
  • Establish a new $50 billion fund for school infrastructure and resources;
  • Provide additional support to initiatives that increase capacity in Title I schools and ensure all students have access to a well-rounded education;
  • Protect teachers’ freedom to negotiate for better pay and conditions by safeguarding the right of public employees to join unions, collectively bargain and engage in collective action to support each other. It would also respect the voices of these professionals when making decisions about what’s best for their students; and
  • Meet our federal commitment to fund special education.

This plan recognizes that public education, is the vehicle through which we enable opportunity for all children. It proposes legislation that will protect educators’ freedom to advocate for themselves and their students through strong unions and collective bargaining, so that teachers don’t have to turn to their last resort—walking out and taking to the streets—for their students to get the attention and resources their schools need.

These are the same things teachers in West Virginia, Oklahoma, Arizona, Colorado and North Carolina were fighting for when they walked out of their classrooms and into their capitol buildings.

We need both Republicans and Democrats to work together to pass legislation to enact A Better Deal for Teachers and Students.

In unity,
Randi Weingarten
AFT President