State statute requires that non-tenured teachers be notified by May 1 if they are expected to be non-renewed. With the education budget only approved by the Board of Finance last night (and final approval pending a vote of the combined Board of Finance and City Council on May 16), Central Office will need proper time to assess and consider where to make the necessary cuts. Thursday there will be a special BOE meeting to make official the need for layoffs. Non-tenured teachers can expect to receive official notification that their position is being eliminated on Friday.

Soon after, many of these same teachers will receive recall notices informing them that their position has been saved. As the end of the school and fiscal year approaches, more recalls may also be issued as there will be unspent money from the 2015-16 school year that may be rolled into the 2016-17 budget, veteran teachers will unexpectedly retire, grants may be awarded to the district, and state money may be allocated to districts.

A general membership meeting for all BFT members will occur on Monday, May 2 at 4:00 PM in the auditorium of CHMS. This issue will be foremost on the agenda. All teachers are encouraged to attend. Below are two articles relating to the budget meeting. Also included below is Article 33 of the contract which explains the layoff process. The full BFT contract can be accessed at the top of the page.

Another Hartford Courant article.

A short WFSB article (no video)

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.