March Rep Council Notes

Submitted by Maria Ryan

Rep Council Meeting March 7, 2017

Present: Charley Marenghi, Tracy Theroux, Cathy Lungarini, Maria Ryan, Ed DeCosta, George Macary, Jenn Barbarito, Kathy Nauber, Deb Rutigliano, Cheryl Campbell, Karen Schiaroli, Melissa McInvale, Mary Johnson, Alice Unschuld

Secretary’s Minutes (with addendum) – Maria Ryan: Motion made to accept by Kathy Nauber with a second by Deb Rutigliano. Approved.

Secretary’s Correspondence – Maria Ryan: None at this time.

Treasurer’s Report – Deb Rutigliano: Report was reviewed. CEA suggests all organizations conduct an audit. Does anyone have the name of someone who can conduct an audit? Ed DeCosta made a motion to accept report with a second by Melissa McInvale. Approved.

President’s Report – George Macary:

Reorganization of the NHS Administration: There will be the following five positions: principal, associate principal, two deans and one person as director for athletics and several other departments combined.

New Haven County Forums: March 23 for presidents, forums on April 26.  

Legislative Agenda: One proposal is to shift responsibility of teacher pensions from state to towns: move money from richer towns to economically challenged towns, etc.

Website – Nancy Janis: naugatuckteachersleague.com has included current legislative issues concerning statewide education.

Nominations: Nominating forms have been sent out to all buildings for officers, reps, negotiating, CEA/RA and NEA/RA. All nominations will be sent to Maria Ryan.

Committee Reports

Grievance – Charley Marenghi/Mary Johnson: None at this time.

However, there was a caveat reminding all reps to be sure that the time allotted for parent/teacher conferences is equal to release time. Maria will send out an email reminder.

Membership – Cheryl Campbell: A lot of changes over the last few weeks with staff leaving and their replacements arriving. Let Cheryl know of any changes. NHS had a “coffee and” with CEA literature which was very successful. Cheryl provided the CEA literature for all reps to take back their buildings for these touch-base meetings that make our members aware of what the union does for them.

NTL Concerns:

Professional conduct: District decides how our days are organized. At the high school the principal met with department chairs about schedule changes, such as number of periods and their lengths. The language is the contract considers common planning time as part of the school day. Any additional hours would have to be paid. Therefore the schedule will change for next year to a seven period day with a rotating block. As a result, there was much confusion and angst at the high school which the NTL “coffee and” meeting helped to alleviate.

Director of Security: This position has been eliminated. The ramifications of this decision were discussed as to how it affects all the buildings. A motion was made by Ed DeCosta with a second by Cheryl Campbell to draft a “letter of concern” from the union expressing student and safety concerns. Ed offered to help draft the letter with George. It was noted that each building should have a working safety committee.

TRB: Many discrepancies found in Teacher Retirement Board reports. Even though there are a series of checks and balances within the district to make sure the information the district sends to the state is correct, these are not always being utilized.

Elementary Concerns: No budget allotment was given to specials teachers in one building for their supply order planning even after a specific request for one was made. Charley will investigate the problem.

Intermediate Concerns: None

Middle School Concerns: Only a few days were given between grades closing and grades due, which was difficult.

High School Concerns: (See above – Professional Conduct)

New Business

New Teacher Meeting on April 1, 2017 Be sure to tell all teachers who have been teaching six years or less that this workshop is available.

PDEC – Met and found that we should be doing things differently, so these issues are being dealt with by this committee.

CEA workshops: Low attendance so there is a need for strategic planning of topics for workshops.

Motion to adjourn made by Karen Schiaroli with a second by Tracy Theroux. Adjourned at 5:21pm

 

Get Up! Stand Up! Rise Up!

edjustice

On May 1st in cities, towns, and communities across the country, activists will Rise Up to demonstrate the power, resistance, and strength of a social  justice movement that is gaining strength and influence by the day. Change is happening – in town halls, in school board meetings – and in the streets of America.

Will you Stand in Solidarity with your fellow educators, students and communities?

NEA is partnering with community groups and activists across the country to “Build Schools, Not Walls.” Educators will join together with neighbors, friends, and allies to raise awareness, educate, and mobilize. We will Rise Up  to ensure that we have welcoming schools that support immigrant students and their families. We will Rise Up to speak out against hate and bias. We will Rise Up to demand the resources for schools and opportunities for all students no matter where they live or what they look like.

 

DREAM

   

 
Want to do more? Marches, Walk-ins, Rallies, and Town Halls are happening all around the country. Click here to find an action near you.
 
Are you organizing a May 1st Rise Up event? Tell us about it.
 
We can’t wait. We won’t wait. – Education Justice Starts Here.
 
Thanks,

The NEAEdJustice Team

Test scores eliminated from teacher evaluations

CEA Urges Action on Supreme Court Nominee

Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch’s record of siding against students with disabilities is troubling enough. But when senators on the Judiciary Committee confronted Judge Gorsuch about it, his responses raised more serious concern:
 
Exposed! Supreme Court nominee wrong for students


We can’t have a Supreme Court justice who believes students with disabilities deserve the bare minimum when it comes to education and then isn’t forthright about his rulings when asked.

Senators are voting TODAY to advance Gorsuch’s nomination out of committee. It’s more urgent than ever to email to tell your senators to vote NO on Neil Gorsuch.

 

Judge Gorsuch has ruled against students with disabilities in 8 out of 10 cases. InMuskrat v. Deer Creek Public Schools, he held that confining disabled students in a windowless closet as a form of punishment did not “shock the conscience.”

See for yourself. Watch and email your senators now.

The bottom line is that Judge Gorsuch’s rulings have made it harder for students to get the services and learning environment that are most appropriate for them. Our students deserve better.

Take two minutes to send an email to your senators. Tell them to vote NO on Neil Gorsuch.

Alice O’Brien

NEA General Counsel

CEAGo April 3, 2017

PEAC ACTS ON TEACHERS’ CONCERNS REGARDING EVALUATIONS

A shiny apple to PEAC members who acted on teachers’ concerns by voting to remove state mastery test scores from teacher evaluations. The Performance Evaluation and Advisory Council made that recommendation to the State Board of Education, who will vote on the issue on April 5.

Read CEA’s statement and what this means for teachers.

Read the “purpose of the state mastery test” statement.

Watch some of CEA President Sheila Cohen’s comments at the PEAC meeting.


DON’T MISS THIS…
AN ILL-CONCEIVED PLAN THAT WOULD HURT TEACHERS AND STUDENTS IS GAINING SUPPORT FROM LEGISLATORS.

The plan would shift teacher retirement pension costs to cities and towns, leading to cuts in our schools. Speak Out. Attend a CEA County Forum and tell your legislators what you think about plans to balance the budget on the backs of students and teachers.

Read CT Mirror article

LEGISLATORS STICK IT TO STUDENTS AND TAXPAYERS

A rotten apple to legislators who don’t care about students or wasting millions of taxpayer dollars earmarked for classrooms. These legislators voted against a bill that would require charter management organizations to stop operating under a veil of secrecy and profiting off taxpayer dollars meant for students.

See which legislators didn’t stand up for students or taxpayers.

Read CEA’s news release: CMOs Cheating Students and Wasting Connecticut Taxpayer Dollars.

CMO executive pay increased $100K in five years.

Read CT News Junkie Article.


WHAT DO GORSUCH, SPECIAL EDUCATION & CCJEF HAVE IN COMMON?

They could be at the center of a Connecticut Supreme Court ruling. Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision that rejected one of Judge Gorsuch’s rulings against students with disabilities, and repudiated his reasoning in the case. The high court’s decision could impact the CCJEF appeal here in Connecticut. Read the story on blogcea.org.

APR Planning Your Retirement: It’s Never Too Early

Learn what you need to know about your retirement. Attend a CEA Retirement Workshop and hear about retirement eligibility, how Social Security may be affected, retiree health insurance, and choosing a retirement plan. Visit cea.org for more information.

CHECK OUT THESE NEW CEA MEMBER DEALS & DISCOUNTS

The Paper Store—a gift, fashion, and home decor retailer—now offers a discount program for CEA members. Register at www.thepaperstore.com/teacher and save 10% off all your in-store purchases, plus receive other special discounts and event invitations throughout the year.


THEATER, ANYONE?

CEA members save 10% to 30% on all Broadway shows at the Palace Theater in Waterbury. Use promo code CEA at palacetheaterct.org. Upcoming shows include Annie, Once, and Phantom of the Opera.