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;

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


BFT Contract Survey — June 5, 2014

BFT Contract Survey

Below is the link for the survey that will be used to advise the BFT when negotiations for the next contract begin in August. The next contract will be effective July 1, 2015 to June 30 2018. All BFT members are asked to complete the survey before June 20, 2014.

What issues are important to you? Rank them in order of importance and make additional comments. The survey is designed to take 5 to 10 minutes.

Here is the link:

City Budget Passes; Full Day Kindergarten Moves Ahead — May 20, 2014

City Budget Passes; Full Day Kindergarten Moves Ahead

BRISTOL — The city adopted a $185.1 million spending plan Monday that will raise property taxes by 3.3 percent, fund full-day kindergarten and push more money into road repairs.

The budget was passed at a joint meeting of the City Council and Board of Finance by a 14-1 vote, with only City Councilor Henri Martin opposed.

Officials allocated enough money to allow the Board of Education to cover rising expenses without resorting to layoffs, add Sunday hours at the main library during the winter and pick up the pace on the replacement of municipal vehicles.

While some cringed at the tax increase required, most voted for it anyway.

“Is it higher than I’d like to see? Absolutely,” said Mayor Ken Cockayne, who embraced the spending plan as his own.

Martin said he voted no because he thought the school system “jumped the line” in pushing through full-day kindergarten less than a year after raising the idea. He said many other necessary items remain on hold.

Martin, a Republican running for state Senate, said many residents “are upset they have another tax increase during still tough economic times.”

Another city councilor, Democrat Calvin Brown, called Martin’s stand disingenuous. He said good leadership can “foresee the benefits” involved even if some voters don’t understand the issue completely.

“I don’t even think it’s particularly controversial,” Brown said.

The new budget increased the property tax rate from 33.50 to 34.61 mills, up 1.11 mills, or $110 per $100,000 in assessed value.

The median home value in Bristol is about $230,000. Its assessment — based on 70 percent of the value — would come to about $161,000.

The tax bill on that house would rise under the new budget from $5,393 to $5,572, or about $180. About a third of the increase is the direct result of the extended kindergarten slated for implementation in the coming academic year.

AFT Lesson Database — March 26, 2014

AFT Lesson Database

AFT’s Share My Lesson” is similar to “Teacher’s Pay Teacher’s” except free. The AFT is promoting this lesson material database in the hopes of getting 500,000 participants. Currently there are 300,000.

We’re helping make things easier for you with a Teacher Care Package. Just like the ones you received in college, enclosed in this Care Package are supplies to support you through the end of the school year.

In each package, you’ll find direct links to the Common Core State Standards for both math and ELA by grade. Additionally, we’ve collected our favorite classroom resources and categorized them by grade as well. This Care Package makes it simple and easy to find what you need most.

Let us care for you as you continue to care for our students.


Kindergarten Care Package

First Grade Care Package

Second Grade Care Package

Third Grade Care Package

Fourth Grade Care Package

Fifth Grade Care Package

Sixth Grade Care Package

Seventh Grade Care Package

Eighth Grade Care Package

Ninth and Tenth Grade ELA Care Package

Eleventh and Twelfth Grade ELA Care Package

High School Science Care Package

High School Math Care Package

High School Social Studies Care Package

2014-2015 BOE Budget — March 21, 2014

2014-2015 BOE Budget

Both the Hartford Courant and Bristol Press have articles on the Board of Finance workshop where the 2014-2015 Board of Education budget was presented. The proposed addition of full day kindergarten is a separate budget item, to be considered in addition to the regular budget. Both drew scrutiny from city officials.

The nine-member finance board will begin paring the spending requests at its March 31 workshop. BFT members are encouraged to attend. It may hold further workshops.

The finance board plans to adopt a tentative budget on April 22. It would be approved at a joint session with the City Council on May 19.

Members of the Board of Finance and their email addresses are listed below. BFT members are encouraged to contact them and express support for the proposed BOE budget.

Jake Carrier
Lisa Casey
Ken Cockayne
Derek Czenczelewski
John E. Smith
Cheryl Thibeault
Paul Tonon
Robert Vojtek
Arthur J. Ward
Meet Local Legislators at the Bristol Labor Council Breakfast — March 3, 2014