Bristol Federation of Teachers

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Non-Renewal and the Budget — April 6, 2017

Non-Renewal and the Budget

Last night the BOE voted to notify all non-tenured staff they would be non-renewed for the next school year, pending the final BOE budget.

Bristol Press article here.

The education budget will be the subject of another Board of Finance meeting on Monday, April 10 starting at 6:00 PM at City Hall. Teachers are strongly encouraged to attend, and to speak with residents in Bristol (friends, neighbors, family) to explain the direction of education in Bristol and ask them to support the BOE budget. Support can be made through editorials and social media, as well as contacting elected officials.

Emails and phone calls to Board of Finance and City Council members is also possible using the contact info below:


Jake Carrier –

Ken Cockayne –
860.584.6250 OR 860.256.9504

Derek Czenczelewski  –

Mike Fiorini  –

Mike LaMothe  –

John Smith –

Cheryl Thibeault  –

Ron Burns –

Orlando Calfe –


Calvin Brown –

Anthony D’Amato –

Mary Fortier  –

Jodi Zils Gagne –

David Mills –

David Preleski –

Layoffs Averted – For Now — March 29, 2017

Layoffs Averted – For Now

Hartford Courant article

NBC 30 Video

Tonight the BOE voted 5-4 to postpone issuing layoff notices until at least the April 5 regularly scheduled BOE meeting. This will allow the BOE and Board of Finance to meet on Monday, April 3 and discuss the budget.

Pending the outcome of that April 3 meeting, which will be held at City Hall starting at 6:00 PM, the BOE revisit the issue.

All teachers are strongly encouraged to attend that Board of Finance meeting.

BOE Meeting – Layoffs Possible — March 8, 2017

BOE Meeting – Layoffs Possible

A special BOE meeting was held Wednesday night, with a “go forward” budget approved that would fully fund district programs and staffing. This calls for an almost 7% increase in spending. This budget must now be presented to and approved by the combined City Council and Board of Finance; this is an approval that is highly unlikely, since the BOE budget rejects funding cuts proposed by the Board of Finance.

Earlier in the evening, the BOE initially considered a budget which demonstrated the impact of funding cuts. The reductions directly affecting BFT members of that budget, should it be enacted, can be seen here:

-1 K5 Assistant Principal

-8 high school teachers

-4 elementary teachers

-2 high school guidance counselors

-1 middle school guidance counselor

-12 gifted coaches

-10 kindergarten para-professionals

-16 Department Heads

-3 middle school world language teachers

-2 high school world language teachers

Although these cuts have been rejected by the BOE for now, there will be push back from the Board of Finance as the entire city budget is developed and continues through the approval process. BFT members are encouraged to call and write to Board of Finance members, and attend BoF meetings. More details will follow tomorrow.

Supporting Bristol’s Education Budget — February 28, 2016

Supporting Bristol’s Education Budget

Although the proposed 2016-17 School Budget is still a few days away from being unveiled, it it obvious to those who teach in Bristol that the district has been underfunded and understaffed for most of the decade. Below is the contact info for Board of Finance and City Council members who will vote on the eventual budget. Please take a moment to share with them your view that past budget cuts have had on students, and encourage them to support the budget put forward by the Superintendent and Board of Education this Tuesday.

Board of Finance

Jake Carrier

Ken Cockayne;

Derek Czenczelewski

Mike Fiorini

Mike LaMothe

John Smith;

Cheryl Thibeault

Ron Burns

Orlando Calfe

City Council

Calvin Brown

Anthony D’Amato

Mary Fortier

Jodi Zils Gagne

David Mills

David Preleski;

BFT President’s Letter to Hartford Courant — August 25, 2014

BFT President’s Letter to Hartford Courant

At convocation today, Mike Wasta referenced a letter written by Dave Hayes. Below is the letter published in the Hartford Courant last week.

Departure Overdue For Unqualified Education Chief

The announcement that state Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor will be leaving in the near future may leave education reform advocates in tears, but it is welcome and overdue news for public school teachers and administrators across the state [Aug. 19, Page 1, “Pryor Leaving At Year’s End”].

Wrongfully championed as a visionary outsider who would courageously fix perceived education flaws, he exemplified the idea that someone with limited or no actual teaching experience can guide the profession to success. Instead, his legacy will be one of taking the already problematic state Department of Education and making it absolutely dysfunctional, where indecision, dither and delay became the norm, even after his being on the job for more than three years.

Like many reformers, he has padded his resume and will move on, leaving us to pick up the pieces.

David Hayes, Torrington
The writer is president of the Bristol Federation of Teachers.

Negotiations for Next Contract Underway! — August 18, 2014

Negotiations for Next Contract Underway!

Today, the BFT negotiation team met to finalize proposals for the successor contract. The team consist of Dave Hayes (Edgewood teacher and BFT President), John Stavens (BEHS teacher and At Large VP), Sandy Adams (Ivy Drive teacher and At Large VP), Mike Reynolds (SSS teacher and At Large VP) Vince Jennetta (NEMS teacher and BFT Secretary), Paul Pinnette (BCHS teacher and BFT Treasurer), Bob Merrick (CHMS teacher and Middle School VP), Kathryn Morales (preschool teacher and Elementary VP), Eric Steinfeld (BEHS teacher and steward), Ray LeCara (BEHS teacher and steward), Dave Lattimer (BEHS teacher and steward), and Dave Luchina (NEMS teacher and steward).

Although the contents of negotiations are kept confidential until over, overall progress will be updated here regularly.

Garcia Labor Complaint Dismissed — July 24, 2014

Garcia Labor Complaint Dismissed

Today the Connecticut State Board of Labor Relations dismissed a complaint against the union filed by High School Vice President Edwin Garcia. The complaint was filed more than a year ago, with several labor board hearings held to hear testimony and consider the complaint.

Here is the complaint submitted by Mr. Garcia in June 2013.

Amended Garcia Labor Complaint

Upon the conclusion of the hearings in the winter of 2014, each side submitted a brief in lieu of a final oral argument.

Brief for BFT

Brief for Garcia

Here is the actual Labor Board decision handed down on July 23, 2014.

Labor Decision 4751


July BOE Meeting – Cafe Fight Continues; Superintendent Contract Extended; New OTL Director — July 10, 2014

July BOE Meeting – Cafe Fight Continues; Superintendent Contract Extended; New OTL Director

The July 9 BOE meeting, delayed from July 2, was full of developments.

– The BOE voted to continue its legal battle to privatize the cafeteria workers. See article here.

-Superintendent Ellen Solek has had her contract extended through June 30, 2017.

-Pam Brisson has been chosen as the new Director of the Office of Teaching and Learning.

The entire meeting can be viewed online. Go here and click “watch now”

Malloy Announces Plan To Assist With Common Core — June 26, 2014

Malloy Announces Plan To Assist With Common Core

Malloy Announces Plan To Assist With Common Core


The Hartford Courant

6:27 PM EDT, June 26, 2014

Calling it the “Connecticut Core Initiative,” Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced plans Thursday to follow recommendations made by a task force to help implement the new academic standards known as the Common Core State Standards.

“Figuring out the best way to move forward is what the challenge has been,” Malloy said at a news conference at Annie Fisher STEM Magnet School. He said the task force has give us “great advice about how to proceed.”

“This is not an end point, this is just more response in the continuum of discussion, ongoing dialogue to make sure that we’re getting it right and bringing everyone along as we do it,” Malloy said.

That has been a problem for Malloy who established the task force of educators and parents in March because of considerable opposition to the new standards and concerns that teachers had not been adequately prepared for them. In February, a state teachers union leader called the roll-out of the standards “botched” and said teachers needed more time to learn about the new standards.

But on Thursday, Mark Waxenberg, executive director of the Connecticut Education Association, and Melodie Peters, president of the American Federation of Teachers Connecticut accompanied Malloy and showed their support for the initiative.

“We look with great enthusiasm and optimism to be to be able to help implement the recommendations that the task force has put forward today,” Waxenberg said.

Peters said the new initiative to implement the Common Core is “a wonderful beginning … because it was inclusive.”

Malloy announced plans to direct $2 million in state education money to fund 1,000 professional training days for teachers and another $2 million toward professional development for teachers, concentrating on English and math.

The new funding will also be used to assist special education teachers and teachers of English as a second language.

And Malloy has asked the state Department of Education to create an advisory committee to award up to $1 million in mini-grants to get additional resources aligned with the Common Core into classrooms and the community. Teachers and parent groups will be able to apply for the grants.

Malloy is also asking the state to provide “back to school kits” to superintendents and school leaders to provide jargon-free communication with parents and the community about the new standards.

In addition, Malloy said $10 million from the capital budget will be used to upgrade school technology needed to support the transition to the new standards.

The new initiatives didn’t stop Malloy’s political opponents, however. Both Jonathan Pelto, a petitioning gubernatorial candidate, and Sen. John McKinney, a Republican candidate for governor, issued statements calling for elimination of the Common Core State Standards in Connecticut.

Copyright © 2014, The Hartford Courant

Middle School Survey — June 23, 2014

Middle School Survey

To inform the committee that will revise the middle school program, a survey has been created by OTL for middle school teachers to complete. The survey can be found at:

The committee, formed of nine teachers and nine administrators, is still seeking teachers to volunteer, one in science, the other social studies. Meetings are currently scheduled for several Wednesday afternoons in July and August. Those interested should contact Andy Lees at Central Office.