Bristol Federation of Teachers

Contact us at

Free Books for New Bristol Teachers! — October 16, 2019

Free Books for New Bristol Teachers!

Thanks for a partnership between AFT, First Book, and Dalio Philanthropies, teachers hired in Bristol since January 2019 are eligible for this wonderful opportunity!

Get books & resources at up to 90% off the retail cost!
The First Book Marketplace is full of specially curated books, school supplies, basic needs items, and other educational resources on relevant themes — all available at a discount every day exclusively for those serving kids in need.

To support schools and programs like yours in Connecticut, AFT Connecticut is excited to share a special opportunity to choose $50 of FREE books from the First Book Marketplace! This offer expires November 15, so don’t delay.

Use code: AFTCTOMG

How to choose your free books:

1. Sign up here:
to become a member of the First Book community if you do not already have an
account. Feel free to refer to the First Book OMG Webinar for assistance!

2. Choose books for your school or program and add them to your shopping
cart. Feel free to explore the popular categories below! While you are welcome
to add other items — such as basic needs or school supplies — to your cart, this
funding will only apply to books (including eBooks and audio books).

3. Use promo code AFTCTOMG at check out to take $50 off your order.
Please note that this code will only apply to orders shipping to Connecticut.*

4. Keep an eye on your email later this fall! Thanks to support from Dalio
Philanthropies, new member educators will have the opportunity to receive an
additional promo code for books and resources from First Book.

For Bristol Teachers On the Cusp of Retiring… — October 15, 2019

For Bristol Teachers On the Cusp of Retiring…

The AFT CT is hosting a pre-retirement seminar on October 26 at H.C Wilcox Technical High School located at 298 Oregon Road in Meriden. This seminar is for teachers who may retire in the next few years.

Due to limited spacing, and to discourage unnecessary “no shows,” there is a $10 per person deposit to hold a seat at the event, but this is REFUNDABLE on the day of the event for those who attend.

Please call 860 257 9782 or visit

After registering, send checks payable to AFT Connecticut to 35 Marshall Road, Rocky Hill, CT  06067

BFT FALL HAPPY HOUR! — October 9, 2019


Starting to feel a little rundown, overwhelmed and stressed.

See the source image

GOOD NEWS! The BFT is hosting a Happy Hour Friday, October 18 from 2:30 to 5:30 at Nuchie’s Restaurant (164 Central Street, Bristol)

Come down to de-stress, socialize with colleagues, talk to the Board of Education Candidates running this November and most importantly relax. Hope to see you next Friday!

NGSS Training from AFT CT — October 7, 2019

NGSS Training from AFT CT

We are excited to be offering kindergarten through grade 6 educators who are members of AFT Connecticut-affiliated local unions professional development on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). This engaging new workshop is an opportunity to align teaching by reasoning, analyzing and synthesizing evidence to construct explanations of core science and engineering ideas:
WHEN: Wednesday, October 16 from 5:00 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 register to attend this free course (light dinner is included).
The presenter is our own Meriden Federation of Teachers local union member Maura Graham-Vecellio. She will “walk through” tasks for workshop participants appropriate for K-6 students to to help them become familiar with performance expectations.
We hope you can join us later this month in Rocky Hill for what will be a fun and informative new workshop to help you align your teaching with NGSS.
AFT CT Survey for PD — October 6, 2019

AFT CT Survey for PD

We are once again asking you to help union leaders better meet the professional development needs of PreK-12 educators like yourself. Will you take a moment to complete our brief online survey?
The survey should take you less than two minutes to complete and your responses will help us plan workshops, training sessions and courses that will be of the greatest benefit.
More to come, and in solidarity,
Mary Yordon
Vice President for Pre-K-12 Teachers, AFT Connecticut
Jennifer Benevento
Professional Development Coordinator, AFT Connecticut
Forging a new path and moving forward — August 26, 2019

Forging a new path and moving forward

As summer comes to an end, in the upcoming days you may experience one or all of the following:

  • Frequent back to school nightmares
  • Frequent spells of feeling overwhelmed by a growing list of things to do
  • Frequent urges to buy school supplies everyday
  • Frequent checking your classroom roster on PowerSchool to count how many students you have then texting fellow teachers throughout the district to compare numbers
  • Frequently staring at your teacherspayteachers/Pinterest cart trying to delete items only to add a few more 

STAY CALM! This is perfectly normal!

Here are some quotes from the book, No Complaining Rule: Positive Ways to Deal with Negativity at Work by Jon Gordon that will hopefully help you stay positive this school year.

  • “Trust in the bigger plan”
  • “Find strength in adversity”
  • “Failure today leads to success tomorrow”
  • “Positive or Negative. The choice is ours”
  • “Obstacles and struggles are part of life and only serve to make us appreciate our success”
  • “If everything came easy, we wouldn’t know what it felt like to truly succeed”

I hope this school year is your least stressful and most productive. 

NBC School Supply Survey — August 9, 2019

NBC School Supply Survey

In conjunction with AFT CT and CEA, NBC 30 is conducting a school supply survey of Connecticut teachers to uncover how much of their personal money they spend on supplies for students and school.

Please take a minute to complete this survey and share with fellow teachers. It will help make the general public (as well as BOE members and legislators) aware of how much teachers pay out of pocket to subsidize education.

Click here for the survey.

Teachers with Student Loans — July 23, 2019

Teachers with Student Loans

Two weeks ago, the AFT filed a lawsuit against the Department of Education pertaining to Public Service Loan Forgiveness. This was a program that was created in 2007 and meant to be an incentive to enter public service and bring relief to public employees with student loans. The basic premise was that they had to make the monthly minimum payment for 10 years (while working in certain professions of public service, such as teaching), and the debt would be erased.

However, predatory lenders have used loopholes and technicalities to deny those who have applied. In the past 2 years, many have applied, but less than 1% have been approved. Instead of addressing the issue and helping to bring relief, the Department of Education under Secretary DeVos has impeded efforts. Hence the lawsuit.

Here are the relevant articles, and advice on how to seek relief if you are one of those impacted.

The complete 111 page lawsuit can be found here.

AFT press release regarding the lawsuit.

Washington Post article that summarizes the issue.

Video of press conference with Representative Joe Courtney, Attorney General William Tong, and AFT Secretary-Treasurer David Hayes.

An FAQ fact page created by Joe Courtney’s office, with many useful links, that helps borrows find answers.

This issue is getting the attention of Congress, but achieving relief may take time. In the meantime, if you are initially denied, apply again and again!

New BFT President — July 8, 2019

New BFT President

At the beginning of July, The Executive Committee (BFT Officers) recommended Mike Reynolds to assume the role of BFT President. Next, the BFT Constitution called for a vote of the Executive Committee (BFT Stewards and Officers) to complete the transition process. Now the vote is official and Mike Reynolds is the new BFT President. The BFT would like to thank David Hayes not only for his exceptional service as BFT President for the past 9 years but also for his several years of service as a BFT steward. He put in countless hours representing Bristol teachers and his work ethic goes unmatched. He will be truly missed, even though David remains a Bristol teacher, and of course will be available for advice and consultation. Hope everyone is resting, relaxing and most importantly enjoying their summer.

BFT President Replacement Procedure — June 11, 2019

BFT President Replacement Procedure

Since BFT President David Hayes is resigning his position effective 6/30/19 so he may take over as Secretary-Treasurer of AFT CT, the following procedure from the BFT constitution shall be used to replace him:

Special elections will be held for the purpose of filling vacancies. Open positions will be posted at the appropriate level for a period of two weeks. Any member wishing to submit their name must do so in accordance with the election procedures established by the Election Committee. At the close of that two week period, a special election will be held with the following parameters;
-Steward—in coordination with the Election Committee either a steward or an officer
shall conduct the election.
-Grade-level V.P.—in coordination with the Election Committee an officer shall
conduct the election.
-At-large V.P.—the Election Committee shall conduct the election.
If no names are submitted then the position shall be filled by vote of the Executive Council upon nomination of the Executive Committee.

Those wishing for their name to be considered by the Executive Committee as the next BFT President should email by 6/25/19