The CEA will be hosting a short series of retirement workshops, starting early next month, which will be taking place around the state. An overview of the teachers’ retirement system will be provided, with a focus on pension issues for teachers in the first half of their careers. But all are welcome! See the details below.
As the state looks for ways to close its projected $1.5 billion budget hole, the governor has proposed a new system whereby towns would beginning contributing to the teacher pension fund, shifting that burden away from the State. As reported by Patch,
Currently teachers contribute 6 percent of their salary to the fund while the state’s share equals 30 percent of salary. Under the new proposed system towns would contribute about 10 percent of teacher salary. Teachers would continue to pay six percent. Read the full article here.
As CEA President Sheila Cohen noted, this plan must be viewed with extreme caution, not to mention a healthy dose of skepticism. While the plan recognizes the state’s financial obligations to teachers, forcing municipalities to contribute to the pension fund could have serious, unintended consequences, possibly resulting in cuts to classes and other educational programs, teacher layoffs, reduced salaries in subsequent contract negotiations, and larger class sizes for our students.
We’ll be keeping a close eye on this proposal and CEA’s response to it as budget talks progress.
If anyone is interested in going to our County Forum meeting next week, February 1st, please register. It will be held at Baci Grill, 134 Berlin Road, Route 372 in Cromwell at 4:30. Elementary schools have parent conferences on the 1st, so I would urge someone other than elementary to go. In fact, any member may attend. The topic proves to be most interesting: Workplace bullying and your rights.
If you are a first time attendee, MEA will reimburse you the fee ($30).
In response to the election of a presidential candidate who repeatedly vowed to deport all immigrants who are here illegally, the NEA has put together an FAQ sheet regarding what it would entail for local school boards to adopt Safe Zone resolutions. The NEA has also drafted sample language for how such a resolution might read.
If you’re a new or non-tenured MEA member, please join us. It’s a guaranteed good time!
The election results for next year’s slate of MEA officers are in. Here’s who was voted into office for the 2016-17 school year:
President – Michael Ginsburg
Vice-president – Mary Ellen Babik
Treasurer – Steve Isleib
Secretary – Erin Smith
At yesterday’s meeting, members in attendance also voted unanimously to approve next year’s operating budget.
In addition, the Executive Board also used a new process for the first time yesterday whereby Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) between the BOE and the MEA are voted on by our rank and file members. The two MOU’s on the table were unanimously ratified by those in attendance.
One MOU allows for the flexible scheduling of workday start and end times at Polson Middle School. This MOU was developed in response to some teacher and parent child care/supervision concerns related to the later start time at Polson next year.
The other MOU concerned the temporary teaching of an extra class by members of the Spanish Department at Polson. It also was ratified unanimously.
Thanks to all who came out to vote!