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Posts from the ‘CEA Messages’ Category

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September 4 Is National #RedforEd Day—Please Join Us

While we remember the history of the labor movement this weekend and the sacrifices of generations of union members who went before us, this Labor Day weekend we also stand with our colleagues in Arizona and around the country whose plight shows so clearly why unions are still so vital today.

In places like Arizona, where unions have been weakened, teachers’ voices have been silenced, salaries and benefits have plummeted, working conditions have eroded, class sizes are higher, and outcomes for students are often lower. Many students in Arizona are not receiving the high-quality education they deserve because Arizona’s public schools are severely underfunded. Read more

A New Year, A New Beginning

CEA’s new leadership team welcomes you back to school with a fresh perspective on Connecticut public education and our future.

Supreme Court 5-4 Decision Seeks to Undermine Worker Rights

Photo by Kate Mereand-Sinha via Flickr.

In its decision in Janus vs. AFSCME, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down nearly four decades of precedent and legal protections established by the unanimous decision in Abood vs. Detroit Board of Education. The Janus decision attempts to suppress teachers from speaking out for the needs of their students, public education, and their profession.

“This is an attack on children, teachers, nurses, firefighters, and this nation’s middle class,” said CEA President Sheila Cohen. “There would be no middle class without unions who protect their rights.”

The Janus case revolved around the issue of whether nonunion members should benefit from the wages, benefits, and protections negotiated by the union without paying the cost of the negotiations. The case was funded by corporate billionaires and special interest groups pushing their elitist agenda to take away workers’ rights. Read more

Heartless Assault on Immigrants Must Stop

The following op-ed by CEA President Sheila Cohen was published by CTNewsJunkie today.

Border crisis FBWe’ve all seen the heartbreaking scenes of parents being arrested along our country’s southern border as their sobbing and traumatized children are stripped from their mothers’ protective arms and taken away by border patrol agents. These children were sent to detention facilities that look like prisons, complete with chain-link fencing and locked gates.

Aptly described as “government-sanctioned child abuse,” these actions cause severe, irreparable harm to children. This is not a political issue. This is a moral crisis. This is cruel and inhumane treatment. This is not the America I know—the land of the free and the home of the brave. This undermines the values of our diverse and welcoming nation. It destroys the fabric of our democracy and tarnishes our nation’s legacy of freedom and justice for all. Read more

Pressure from Superintendents May Lead Governor to Veto Aggressive Student Behavior Bill

Governor Malloy is deciding whether to sign or veto Senate Bill 453 An Act Concerning Classroom Safety and Disruptive Behavior, now called Public Act 18-89, and unfortunately, some superintendents are lobbying him to veto it.

The bill helps stem the tide of student assaults by making classrooms safer and providing appropriate supports and interventions to disruptive students.

CEA leadership met with the Governor’s staff to explain the bill, which

  •         Reduces discriminatory discipline
  •         Emphasizes supports and assistance to students in need
  •         Provides special education students with greater protections than currently exist

We need every teacher to reach out to the Governor asking him to sign Public Act 18-89.

CLICK HERE to send a message to Governor Malloy, or call him at (860) 566-4840.

Teachers Elect New Leaders

In contested races, 428 teacher delegates elected a new president, Jeff Leake, and vice president, Tom Nicholas, to lead the Connecticut Education Association for the next three years. The election took place on May 19 at the 170th CEA Representative Assembly (CEA RA). The president and vice president’s three-year terms begin July 15.

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Current CEA Vice President Jeff Leake and Treasurer Tom Nicholas were voted CEA President and Vice President at the CEA RA today.

In addition, in uncontested races, delegates elected directors to represent them on the NEA Board of Directors. Vernon teacher David Jedidian was elected NEA director, and Tara Flaherty, a teacher at Shepaug Valley School in Washington, was elected NEA director alternate. Their three-year terms begin September 1.

Read more

Retired Teachers Applaud Legislative Funding, Ready to Stay Active and Engaged

CEA Executive Director Donald Williams thanked CEA-Retired members for reaching out to their legislators in such great numbers.

“Those of you who went to retired lobby day, who reached out to your legislators, I can’t thank you enough,” CEA Executive Director Donald Williams told members of CEA-Retired gathered for their annual spring meeting this morning. “You made a tremendous difference and had a big impact on the legislature this year.”

In the budget that passed the Connecticut General Assembly late last night, legislators designated $16 million for the Retired Teachers’ Health Insurance Fund—contributing their full share for the first time in many years. While the state is supposed to contribute one-third of the fund’s actuarially required amount and retired teachers and active teachers each contribute one-third, the state has not been funding its share recently—putting the fund on the precipice of bankruptcy.

“Full state funding for the Retired Teachers’ Health Insurance Fund has been one of our top priorities in recent years,” Williams said. “Thank you for your great work.” Read more

National Teacher Appreciation Week

Teacher Appreciation FBToday begins National Teacher Appreciation Week in recognition of all that is outstanding about public education in America and in Connecticut. Teacher Appreciation Week honors excellent teaching and learning. Each day of the school year our students come to us with a wealth of experiences, an enthusiasm for learning, and a genuine respect for education.

Throughout the year, anyone entering our school buildings and our classrooms observes genuinely dedicated, highly qualified, and infinitely caring teachers who make meaningful connections between teaching and learning. I once heard a teacher say, “Teaching is not what I do. It is who I am.” This statement had a profound effect on me for, I believe, it speaks directly to you, Connecticut teachers. In Connecticut, teaching is not what we do, it is who we are. Read more

The Impact of Complex Trauma in Schools

2018-04-17_15-36-24In this timely workshop just for CEA members and presented by CEA’s Human and Civil Rights Commission, you will learn

  • the definition of complex trauma,
  • how it manifests in school-age children,
  • its impact on learning, behavior, and social-emotional functioning,
  • how a trauma-sensitive environment can help, and
  • what strategies you can use in your classroom.

Click here to register. Read more