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Posts from the ‘BuildingReps’ Category

Union a Priority for Stamford Building Rep

Teachers are often stretched thin between planning, teaching, grading, and assisting with extracurriculars. That’s certainly the case for Stamford teacher Kate Tobin, who teaches a full load of English classes, has co-organized lip-dub music videos to enhance school spirit at Westhill High, and coordinates the Westhill Alumni Network. Despite her many commitments, Tobin makes it a priority to help her colleagues by serving as a building rep, Stamford Education Association secretary, SEA newsletter editor, and as a member of the Negotiations and Grievance Committees.

“Having a teachers union is really important,” she says. “If we didn’t have our union, teachers would be a lot more abused and new expectations and responsibilities would be foisted on us without our input or any additional compensation.”

Tobin adds, “I don’t find the time, I make the time.” Read more

ACES Building Rep Goes the Distance to Communicate With Members

“I’ve always been a big advocate for educators,” says ACES teacher Salman Hamid—and now he’s formally representing teachers in his union as a building rep.

Building reps are often a teacher’s first point of contact when questions arise—ranging from practical matters to sensitive subjects. They are their colleagues’ contract enforcer, organizer, and spokesperson.

The Wintergreen Interdistrict Magnet School sixth grade teacher tells his fellow educators, “It’s absolutely key we get involved in our union and become active and proactive. Decisions made at the local, state, and national can have a big impact on our classrooms, our salaries, and our retirement.” Read more

Unions Give Teachers a Voice to Advocate for Students, Says Building Rep

Building Rep Superhero Sara GoepfrichWhat does your union mean to you? Fairfield Ludlowe High School teacher Sara Goepfrich, who serves as a building rep in her school, says it’s easy to be an island in your own classroom and do your own thing, but that approach doesn’t work so well when it comes to protecting teachers’ rights and securing resources for students.

“The union is not some entity outside of ourselves. The union is everyone we work with, it’s us, and through our union we can advocate for our needs and for our students’ needs,” says Goepfrich. “Unions give a voice to our profession to allow us to advocate for what students need to be successful in the classroom. They also create a support system for new teachers to ask questions and gain support in a non-evaluative way. Unions allow us to advocate for things that are unpopular but really necessary for students. Things that administrators might push back against or that might be seen as making waves.” Read more

Building Rep Reminds Teachers of the Many Benefits of CEA Membership

“A union allows teachers to be stronger,” says Cooperative Education Services Education Association building rep Marilyn Della Rocco. “Together we can accomplish more and have more of a voice.”

Della Rocco, a preschool teacher at Six to Six Interdistrict Magnet School in Bridgeport who also serves as co-vice president of her local association, says it’s very important for teachers to be engaged with their union because there are many groups who seek to erode teachers’ rights.

“The rights to a half-hour lunch, being able to have prep time, having class sizes that are appropriate to the developmental stage of the children—these are all things teachers enjoy today because our union has fought for them over the years,” she says. “Without a union, things would be very different.” Read more

For Bridgeport Building Rep, History Is the Best Teacher

When Amy Broad, a building rep at Bridgeport’s Winthrop School, talks about union membership with teachers at her school, she puts it in a historical context. Without the sacrifice of the Bridgeport Education Association (BEA) members who went on strike in 1978, many of whom went to jail, teachers would not have the wages, benefits, and working conditions they enjoy today.

“A lot of people who are teaching now aren’t aware of what the strikers actually did,” the kindergarten teacher says. “We have the advantage of having prep periods, and pay, and collective bargaining, and all of that, and some teachers today don’t know where that came from. They don’t realize what was going on back before 1978, and that those things had to be fought for.”

The Bridgeport Strike was a defining moment for teachers in Connecticut, and its lessons about the importance of teachers sticking together still hold true today. Read more

Torrington Building Rep Steps Up to Give Back to Colleagues

Teachers are extremely busy people, but despite all of the responsibilities already on her plate Torrington teacher Sarah Mobley decided to step up and become a building rep in her local.

Explaining the value of union membership and the reason she’s decided to get involved Mobley says, “The union is our voice. We are stronger together, and as a collective we can do more and speak up for the change we want in our schools. That is a power that union membership provides, and it’s important to be a part of that.”

The Southwest Elementary School teacher is in her first year as a building rep.

“I stepped up because I found out that my local didn’t have any building reps who teach the arts, so as an art teacher I thought, well, if they don’t have anybody in the arts, it’s my responsibility to step forward and take that position,” Mobley says. Read more

Waterbury Building Rep Brightens Reed School for Colleagues

Building reps are often a teacher’s first point of contact when questions arise—ranging from practical matters to sensitive subjects. They are their colleagues’ contract enforcer, organizer, and spokesperson.

A building rep’s job is vital, but it’s time-consuming, and often receives little thanks.

That’s why, here at CEA, we’re recognizing building reps around the state for their dedication to their colleagues and their willingness to devote time out of their busy schedules to this important job.

Building Rep Ricardo Gibson has been a physical education and health teacher at Reed School in Waterbury for six years, but this is his first year as a building rep. Read more

Being a Good Union Member Is Being a Good Teacher, Says Waterbury Building Rep

“Union business is a professional responsibility and makes a big difference,” says Waterbury teacher and building rep Anthony Della Calce. The sixth-year math educator who teaches at North End Middle School is new to being a building rep, but not to understanding the vital role his union plays in teachers’ lives.

“Belonging to a union means we can focus on teaching rather than on struggling to make ends meet,” Della Calce says. “Being members of a union allows us to go into the classroom and be the best teachers we can be.” Read more

Haddam-Killingworth Building Rep Offers Information and Support

Building reps are often a teacher’s first point of contact when questions arise—ranging from practical matters to sensitive subjects. They are their colleagues’ contract enforcer, organizer, and spokesperson.

That’s why, here at CEA, we’re recognizing building reps around the state for their dedication to their colleagues and their willingness to devote time out of their busy schedules to this important job.

Today’s featured building rep is Wendy Adamczyk, a Haddam-Killingworth High School math teacher who has taught for 28 years and been a building rep for five years. Read more

Waterbury Building Rep Is #1 Contact for Her Members

Building reps are often a teacher’s first point of contact when questions arise—ranging from practical matters to sensitive subjects. They are their colleagues’ contract enforcer, organizer, and spokesperson.

A building rep’s job is vital, but it’s time-consuming, and often receives little thanks.

Here at CEA, we’re recognizing building reps from around the state for their dedication to their colleagues and their willingness to devote time out of their busy schedules to this important job.

This week’s building rep superhero is Debbie April, a teacher at the alternative Enlightenment School in Waterbury who has been teaching for 32 years. Read more