On November 16, MEA members voted overwhelmingly (96% yes to 4% no) to ratify a negotiated settlement agreement for a new three-year contract that will go into effect July 1, 2019, pending the outcome of the Board of Education’s ratification vote at its next meeting. If ratified by the BOE, the new contract will reflect a total of a 8.6 percent increase in the total salary budget over three years, with step movement all three years. At the time of this settlement, the average 3-year salary increase negotiated this year in the State of Connecticut is 8.48 percent. There will be a 2.87 percent total wage increase in the contract’s first year with step movement and an elimination of the current Step 1. In the second year of the agreement, there is a total wage increase of 2.84 percent with step movement. In the third year of the agreement, there is a total wage increase of 2.89 percent with step movement. Due to our high step increment costs (2.5%) with nearly two-thirds of our members moving up the steps, for members on the top step of the salary schedule, there will be wage increases of .75 percent in Year 1, 1 percent in Year 2, and 1 percent in Year 3.
Regarding health insurance, your Negotiations Team held firm in keeping our deductible at $2,000 for individuals/$4,000 for families and having the BOE continue to contribute 50% of the deductible to our Health Savings Accounts. This, despite trends across the state that see deductibles rising and Boards of Education contributing less than 50%. There will be no increase to our premium cost share in Year 1, and increases by 1 percentage point per year in both Year 2 and Year 3.
For details on this contract, including language changes, please see one of your building reps.
THE CHILDREN’S FUND STILL NEEDS YOU!
For 24 years, The Hands Across the Green Golf Tournament, which is the main support of The Children’s Fund, has raised funds to help countless students receive the necessities and services they so desperately need to be ready to learn in the classroom. Leaders, please encourage your members to participate, and for more information go to: http://www.cea.org/cef/hands-across-the-green/
BE AN ASSOCIATION PATRON: Help sponsor a foursome to play. Cost includes green fees, cart, lunch, and hors d’oeuvres/open bar/dinner buffet. As an Association Patron, your association will also receive a complimentary golf hole sponsorship. The cost of a foursome is $700 for afternoon or $600 for a morning tee time.
BE A HOLE SPONSOR: You or your association may sponsor one or more golf holes. Each sign is only $100.
BE A GOLFER: Cost includes green fees, cart, lunch, and hors d’oeuvres/open bar/dinner buffet. It is $175 per player or $150 per player for a morning tee off.
Afternoon spots will fill up quickly so please consider playing in the morning.
BE A DONOR: Donate a raffle/auction item. The raffle is held during the dinner program and it helps raise additional money for The Children’s Fund. You may donate such items as a gift certificate, a gift basket, tickets to a special event, or any other item you feel people would enjoy. If you are unable to participate, but would like to make a monetary donation to The Children’s Fund, please make checks payable to CEF – Golf Tournament.
For more information please contact Chip Karkos or Mary Behrens at 860 525 5641 or 800 842 4316.
The topic of handling and preventing student assaults has been brought up by some of our building reps, and there is a workshop coming up on January 30 in North Stonington for anyone who is interested. It is run by CEA’s Robyn Kaplan Cho. It would be great if we could get one or two people to attend this conference. See the flyer below for details.
As the demands to address all of a student’s academic and emotional needs have increased, it is vitally important that all teachers are informed of their legal rights and duties related to assaults by students.
In this timely workshop, you will learn:
- What preventive actions you should take to protect yourself and your students before an incident occurs.
- What procedures you can and should take in the event you are assaulted by a student.
- What actions you are allowed to take under Connecticut law if self-defense is necessary to prevent further injury to yourself or to other staff or students.
- Why it’s important to report any assaults or threats of assaults to your principal â€“ and the reporting requirements of principals if there is an assault.
- What your Association can do to help you take whatever steps are appropriate to protect your rights as an employee, including measures to provide a safer workplace for everyone in the building.
- What safety provisions can be negotiated in your collective bargaining agreement related to student assaults.
Workshop Length: 2 hours
Polson Middle School English teacher Martha Curran was honored as one of the state’s four finalist this fall at Connecticut’s Teacher of the Year ceremony. We are so proud of Martha, who did a great job representing the incredibly talented teachers we have throughout the district. Read the full story here.
As you probably know by now, the governor signed into law a state budget, passed with bipartisan support, that restores ECS funding to cities and towns but that imposes an unfair tax on teachers. While lawmakers tried to portray teachers’ increased pension contribution as anything but a tax, it is just that–a 1% tax on teachers that will cost the average teacher $750 per year, collectively raising $38 million in additional teacher payroll taxes. This increase does not ‘strengthen’ the teacher retirement fund or add to the fund at all. It simply increases the share that teachers pay into the Teacher Retirement System, and reduces the state’s share by the same amount.
Read CEA Present Sheila Cohen’s statements on the new budget here and here.
In other budget news, we received the following message from Ms. Cohen regarding the TEAM mentoring program:
SDE says 100% of TEAM funds were cut in the new state budget ($3 million). That includes all state funds for stipends, for training and RESCs, and other programmatic costs. The budget was not released for public scrutiny until the legislature was voting on it, so SDE is now unpacking all of the implications of cuts that were not vetted by the department. Unfortunately, the TEAM program line item in the budget was apparently called “Talent,” and legislators thought the $3 million was not earmarked for critical programs.
As a result, SDE is saying they will not be able to pay stipends for mentors, nor pay for the scoring of the five reflection papers–so they are waiving that requirement. SDE is not happy about this and is trying to determine how the TEAM program can be salvaged between now and next session, when there could be a request to restore the funding.
That is what we know at this point. We will keep everyone apprised and current as developments occur.