Bristol Federation of Teachers

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AFT’s Teacher Stress Survey — May 29, 2017

AFT’s Teacher Stress Survey

We need your input. You’ve been selected to participate in a study of how educators’ working conditions affect their health and well-being. The survey results will be used to address stress and to fight for programs and policies that have the potential to improve educators’ quality of work life and, ultimately, the quality of their work.

Your voice counts—please take 10-15 minutes to share your experience.

The AFT is partnering with the Badass Teachers Association to release the second Educator Quality of Worklife Survey. The more than 35,000 educators who completed the survey last year made it clear that we needed to probe further to understand and respond to these issues.

The results of last year’s survey revealed a profession under siege. Educators are being forced to do more with less—shouldering growing responsibilities, expectations and challenges with fewer resources, less control over what happens in the classroom, and inadequate support from school administration. But some schools are doing things differently. Innovative programs like community schools show that there are alternatives to the status quo. This survey will help us understand what is working for educators and our students.

Take the survey and tell us about your working conditions.

The survey is anonymous and individual responses will be kept strictly confidential. If you have any questions about the survey, please contact

In unity,

Randi Weingarten, President
American Federation of Teachers

BOE Budget Cuts – Update — May 24, 2017
BFT Social Committee — May 21, 2017

BFT Social Committee

In an effort to bring teachers together outside of the work environment, and build a sense of camaraderie across schools and grade levels, the BFT is looking to form a social committee. The committee would develop a plan of activities for members to enjoy in the 2017-18 school year.

Some starting points might be: to continue or discontinue the Happy Hours; to hold an annual event at Nuchies, or Lake Compounce; to have a picnic, etc.

Interested members should contact BFT Treasurer Paul Pinette (via paulpinette123 at gmail dot com).

AFT Opportunity for PD This Summer — May 18, 2017

AFT Opportunity for PD This Summer

Have you heard? We’re doing something different this year at AFT TEACH 2017. We’re offering rich, two- and four-hour boot camp sessions that will give you time to dig deeper and develop tools to take home to use in your school. Also, attendees this year will select their sessions in advance. Here are the topics the boot camps will cover:

  • Advocating for Public Education
  • Content-Based Classroom Tools
  • Collaboration and Teamwork
  • Professional Practices
  • Racial Equity, Social Justice, and Educational Justice
  • Safe and Welcoming Schools
  • The Teaching Profession

Here’s a preview of the sessions specific to content-based classroom tools:

  • English Language Learners 101: What Works?
  • How Diverse Thinking Creates Powerful Learning in Mathematics
  • How to Spot Fake News and Train Students to Be Educated News Consumers
  • Using Children’s Books to Develop Social and Emotional Learning
  • Writing Instruction Done Write

Descriptions are available on the TEACH 2017 website and in the Scheduling Guide. Attendees are required to select boot camps in advance, so get your spot now!

We hope to see you this summer at the TEACH conference, July 20-22, in Washington, D.C.! Visit for more details and to register! Early bird registration ends June 1!


Trump Plans to Slash Education Budget; Expand Charter and School Choice —

Trump Plans to Slash Education Budget; Expand Charter and School Choice

After President Donald Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ education budget was leaked yesterday, it’s no secret that they are out to get public education. In their quest to disinvest in public services and destabilize our public schools, they have proposed to slash vital investments, which would increase class sizes, cut professional development and reduce support for educators to zero.

Write your members of Congress and urge them to reject Trump and DeVos’ cuts to education funding.

The Trump and DeVos agenda takes a meat cleaver to public education and directs funds to vouchers, private schools and charter schools at the expense of public school students across the country. What Trump and DeVos don’t seem to understand is that, regardless of how people voted in the election, people love their neighborhood public schools and want to see them supported.

Don’t let Trump and DeVos strip our schools of vital resources and investments they need to succeed. Write your members of Congress right now.

In 2015, in a remarkably bipartisan reauthorization process, Congress enacted the Every Student Succeeds Act. Title II of ESSA is a direct investment in teachers, paraprofessionals, principals, school staff and the students they serve, and the consequences of eliminating Title II funding would be disastrous: Class sizes would balloon in the poorest and most overcrowded classrooms with the students who most need individual attention, and educators would lose access to professional development and support throughout their careers. Further, any cuts to this program would leave states unable to implement ESSA and effectively meet the needs of the students and communities they serve.

We can’t let this happen. Write your members of Congress today and urge them to fully fund Title II and implement the bipartisan education law, to ensure every student has access to a high-quality public education regardless of ZIP code.

In unity,
Randi Weingarten
AFT President

P.S. Check out this article from The Washington Post detailing Trump and DeVos’ proposed cuts to education.

Budget Vote Postponed — May 12, 2017
Bristol Education Budget to be Voted Upon — May 11, 2017

Bristol Education Budget to be Voted Upon

At City Hall on Monday, May 15 at 5:30 PM, the Board of Finance will vote to recommend a budget (both city and BOE) to the Joint Board (which is comprised of the BOF and City Council). This is the penultimate step to finalizing the budget.

Attendance is encouraged, especially those who work or have children in the Bristol Public Schools.

Teacher Pensions on the Chopping Block — May 8, 2017

Teacher Pensions on the Chopping Block

AFT Connecticut has joined with our colleagues in the Connecticut Education Association (CEA) to urge legislators take action to fairly fund public education and teachers’ retirement security. Some are considering several misguided proposals to shift the state’s obligations onto struggling communities that will hurt our students’ future learning opportunities.
We’re mobilizing for a major rally at the State Capitol in two weeks in support of these efforts — and you are invited:
  • WHEN: Thursday , May 18 beginning at 5:00PM.
  • WHERE: North lawn of the State Capitol Building, located at 210 Capitol Avenue in Hartford (buses are being organized from around the state and street parking is available in the area).
  • HOW: Click here to RSVP and let us know you’ll be joining us.
As union members, we know that only through demonstration of our strength will legislators understand the consequences of proposed cost-shift schemes. They must see the very people who will be affected by it: teachers and support staff, our students and their parents — and the constituents they are accountable to.
Join us on May 18th at the State Capitol for this important rally — your voice will make a difference.
More to come, and in solidarity,
Shellye Davis

Vice President for Paraprofessionals and School-Related Personnel (PSRPs), AFT Connecticut

Patti Fusco
Vice President for Teachers, AFT Connecticut
Jan Hochadel
President, AFT Connecticut
Connecticut State Budget — May 7, 2017

Connecticut State Budget

Will you take two minutes to tell your elected representatives in the General Assembly that they cannot cut their way to prosperity?
Our members for months have been advocating for a budget that’s not balanced on the backs of working or middle class families. But lobbyists for hedge fund managers and big corporations have been relentless in pressuring lawmakers to tax labor before wealth.
Together, let’s make sure our elected officials understand that workforce layoffs and service cuts threaten public health and safety, our children’s education and Connecticut’s quality of life.
More to come, and in solidarity,
Ed Leavy
Secretary-Treasurer, AFT Connecticut
Jean Morningstar
First Vice President, AFT Connecticut
John Brady, RN
Executive Vice President, AFT Connecticut
Jan Hochadel

President, AFT Connecticut

P.S. Click here for our recent update on the negative impact of state workforce layoffs, in case you missed it.

Legal Affairs Workshop for Teachers — May 4, 2017

Legal Affairs Workshop for Teachers

Union members who are PreK-12 teachers, paraprofessionals or school support staff are invited next month to attend our popular training workshop on legal issues facing educators:
WHEN: Tuesday, May 9, from 5:00 to 7:00PM.
WHERE: The 2nd floor Soifer conference room of AFT Connecticut union headquarters, located at 35 Marshall Road in Rocky Hill (free parking is available).
HOW: Click here to register online — a light dinner will be provided so be sure to let us know you will be joining us.

Topics covered include work-related injuries, obligations as a mandated reporter, and what to do or not do if under Department of Children and Families (DCF) investigation. The presenter is former New Haven Public Schools teacher and AFT Connecticut legal counsel Eric Chester.

Click here for more info, including a flyer you can print and share with fellow union members.

In this ever-changing environment, make sure you know where you stand and what rights you have to union representation.

In solidarity,
Jennifer Benevento
Professional Issues & Development Coordinator, AFT Connecticut