CEA Advisor: October-November 2017

OCTOBER - NOVEMBER 2017 CEA ADVISOR 3 IN THIS ISSUE 2 LEADING In the fight to preserve education funding and teacher pensions, the state’s largest teachers union proves that its 43,000 members are stronger together. But while CEA has battled back on several harmful proposals, the fight is far from over. 4 ADVOCATING Read more about CEA’s efforts at the forefront of the fight for a fair budget and against a teacher tax. The union has also launched a TV, radio, print, and web campaign that shines a spotlight on Connecticut’s dedicated teachers. 5 PROTECTING As town after town faces drastic cuts to ECS funding, CEA leaps into action—taking the state to court to restore millions in lost dollars for the state’s public schools. 6 INFORMING A new court case, Janus v. AFSCME , picks up where Friedrichs left off—threatening teachers’ salaries, benefits, and working conditions and highlighting the need to stay stronger together. Also, hear from a teacher who worked in a state with a weak union—and how her experience changed once she came back to Connecticut. 7 ENGAGING Meet local building reps and a CEA UniServ Rep who empower teachers from their classrooms to their contract negotiations. 8-9 SUPPORTING CEA in your corner: Read how CEA’s legal team successfully restored a high school teacher’s job. 10 INNOVATING CEA’s initial investment in a Wallingford teacher’s vision has paid big dividends for students, families, and the program itself. CT STEM Academy just received a big boost to expand its program. 11 GUIDING Available to you, critical resources developed by CEA help new teachers navigate their first years, show new and veteran teachers how to ace their evaluations, and cover everything from classroom management to social media safety. 13 CEA-RETIRED At their fall conference, nearly 200 CEA- Retired members networked and caught up on legislation affecting education. And at retirement workshops across the state, teachers at every point in their career are learning to plan for life outside the classroom. 14 REPRESENTING Would you like to represent your colleagues by serving as a county director or NEA state delegate? Learn how to become a candidate for several open CEA and NEA leadership positions. 15 HELPING The 2017 Holiday Bear Project is underway and accepting sponsors for children in need. Learn how you can help students across the state this holiday season. 16 PARTICIPATING On your marks, get set…goals! Team CEF’s runners, donors, and volunteers raised money for students and teachers in need at the 24th annual Eversource Hartford Marathon. ON THE COVER CEA’s leaders, legal team, and plaintiffs hold a press conference seeking an injunction to restore millions in education funding to schools. NEWS BRIEFS The CEA Advisor is mailed to all CEA members. Annual subscription price is $7.63 (included in membership dues and available only as part of membership). Institutional subscription price: $25.00. Advertising in the CEA Advisor is screened, but the publishing of any advertisement does not imply CEA endorsement of the product, service, or views expressed. CEA Advisor UPS 0129-220 (ISSN 0007-8050) is published in August, October/November, December/ January, February/March, April, May/June, and summer (online) by the Connecticut Education Association, Capitol Place, Suite 500, 21 Oak Street, Hartford, CT 06106-8001, 860-525-5641. Periodicals postage paid at Hartford, Connecticut. Postmaster: Send address changes to CEA Advisor , Connecticut Education Association, Capitol Place, Suite 500, 21 Oak Street, Hartford, CT 06106-8001 October - November 2017 Volume 60, Number 2 Published by Connecticut Education Association 1-800-842-4316 • 860-525-5641 • cea.org CEA Advisor Production date: 10-19-17 CEA Advisor Staff Nancy Andrews................. Communications Director Lesia Winiarskyj.................................Managing Editor Sandra Cassineri................................Graphic Designer Laurel Killough...................... New Media Coordinator CONNECT WITH CEA blogCEA.org facebook.com/ CTEdAssoc twitter.com/ ceanews youtube.com/ ceavideo cea.org instagram.com/ cea_teachers flickr.com/ photos/ceapics NEW ADDITION TO CEA’S TEAM Representing Bridgeport teachers Meet Eric Marshall, CEA’s new UniServ Representative for Bridgeport, who brings a wealth of experience working with local teacher Associations and their members in contract negotiations, grievances, arbitrations, advocacy, organizing, and member engagement. Before joining CEA, Marshall worked for New York State United Teachers (NYSUT), starting in 2002 as a labor relations specialist intern for a year, then serving as a labor relations specialist. Since 2014, he has taught employment law at Baruch College’s Zicklin Graduate School of Business master’s degree program in industrial labor relations. Prior to that, from 1991 to 2002, while a doctoral student in English, he taught undergraduate English at Queens College and Kingsborough Community College. NEW ROLES FOR CEA PRESIDENT SHEILA COHEN CEA President Sheila Cohen has been tapped to serve on the National Council of State Education Associations (NCSEA) NEA Affiliate Fiscal Health Task Force, where she will • Keep NEA affiliates’ fiscal health at the forefront of everyone’s attention • Sustain a collaborative commitment to affiliate fiscal health and accountability • Provide input to the planning committees for the NEA-NCSEA Financial Forum, NCSEA Management Bargaining Conference, and NCSEA Fall Conference • Provide relevant reports and recommendations to the NCSEA Board “I am honored to serve on this task force,” says Cohen. “The continued financial stability of our state education Associations is essential to our collective ability to protect and improve our public schools.” Cohen has also been named to the planning committee for the Management Collective Bargaining Conference. CEA President Sheila Cohen issues statement on CCJEF appeal ‘Invest in our students and public education’ Connecticut Supreme Court justices heard arguments in the state’s appeal of CCJEF v. Rell , a landmark ruling that declared Connecticut’s system for funding public schools unconstitutional. The hearing came in the midst of a budget impasse in which Governor Dannel Malloy and legislators debated how the state should distribute education aid to cities and towns. “Today’s arguments in the CCJEF v. Rell case, regarding equity in funding and resources for our schools, are more important than ever,” Cohen said. “The lower court ruling in September 2016— which failed to require full funding for education —has ironically opened the door to destructive state budget proposals that would undermine schools throughout Connecticut, including in numerous high- poverty communities. These proposals provide little in new resources for the largest cities, pit other towns and communities against each another, and slash educational funding for the vast majority of towns and schools. This court decision must be overturned so that our children are not punished in a race to the bottom.” The Connecticut Supreme Court could take more than a year to decide on an appeal of the CCJEF decision, said Cohen, adding, “That is no excuse for Connecticut lawmakers to wait to act. The future of our state lies with our youngest residents—all of them—and their future depends on receiving a quality public education now. Lawmakers must take action now to invest in our students and public education.”