Organizing can be more difficult when members can’t meet face-to-face with each other, or with town officials, but that’s not stopping teachers around the state. Farmington Education Association (FEA) members are a recent example of what’s possible when teachers commit to working together.
Thanks to teachers in Farmington and the community of parents and residents who support them, the Town Council gave up pursuing concessions for next year, and the town also agreed to greater transparency in its public meetings going forward.
“We want to thank our FEA Council and all of you for tirelessly working together to make this happen,” FEA President James McNamara wrote in an email to members.
FEA just negotiated a new contract last fall but the town came asking for concessions in order to guarantee a zero percent tax increase for the coming fiscal year. Read more
This is a stressful and scary time, which makes it all the more important to celebrate the bright spots—and Thursday night was one for East Granby teachers.
After a four-hour special Zoom town meeting, residents voted to uphold the East Granby Education Association contract 181-21.
“It was one of the high points of my 25 years teaching in this town,” says local president Kevin Iapichino-Dorr. “So many residents spoke up in support of teachers. It was the voice of East Granby saying that in this town, we’re really valued.” Read more
With less than four weeks left until Election Day, dozens of CEA members, staff, and leaders—joined by NEA Vice President Becky Pringle—came out to Danbury this weekend in a show of support for 2016 National Teacher of the Year Jahana Hayes, who is running for office in Connecticut’s Fifth Congressional District.
Congressional candidate Jahana Hayes, a former Waterbury teacher, is championed by NEA Vice President Becky Pringle and CEA President Jeff Leake.
“Everything is at stake,” Hayes told the crowd, referring to mounting threats to public education and teachers’ rights to bargain for fair wages and working conditions. “I represent a lot of people—the voices of a lot of people—who are saying, ‘No, we will not accept this. No, this is not O.K. This has to change, and we will not be forgotten.’ And there’s so much responsibility in that.”
Pringle, a middle school science teacher with 31 years of classroom experience, captured the current education struggle with the words of W.E.B. Dubois, who said, “The freedom to learn has been bought by bitter sacrifice. So whatever you might think about the curtailment of other civil rights, you must fight to the last ditch to keep open the right to learn.” Read more
East Hartford teacher Tracey Lafayette door-knocked in North Haven yesterday with Pennsylvania UniServ Rep Justin Battalini (at left) and Massachusetts Regional Manager Victor Rosado.
What’s the biggest issue in your school or district for you as a teacher? How can your union help support you?
These were some of the questions posed to CEA members in New Haven County yesterday afternoon and evening as teacher union members and staff knocked on doors at educators’ homes.
Members and staff from NEA affiliates around the Northeast are gathered in New Haven this week for an organizing institute. The institute focuses on helping emerging leaders gain skills to build relationships and strengthen their local Associations. Door-knocking at CEA members’ homes was both a way to practice those new skills and find out what’s on teachers minds as they prepare to head back to school shortly.
CEA members and staff discuss what they learned from members while door-knocking.
Though the institute ends tomorrow, the focus on organizing for locals here in Connecticut continues. Local leaders who have held one-on-one conversations with members have found them to be a very effective way to gather information, identify teachers’ concerns, and ultimately effect positive change for members.
If your local Association is interested in organizing training, or any other training from CEA, contact your local president or UniServ Representative.
Teachers, parents, and students in Vernon are gathering for a show of solidarity and a “walk-in” at Rockville High School tomorrow to draw attention to the need for the state to fully fund education for all students.
It’s part of a nationwide effort to support public education. Schools in Manchester and Bridgeport will also participate in the walk-ins sponsored by NEA and the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools.
Burlington, VT teacher Andrew Styles and Vernon teacher Peter Borofsky (right) stopped to talk to East Haven teacher Kathleen Pyne at her home this summer to find out what issues are on her mind.
The Vernon Education Association (VEA) expects teacher participation to be high—but that’s not due to luck. It’s because of CEA support for the local Association’s efforts to listen and respond to members’ concerns.
“After we learned how to hold organizing conversations last year from CEA Training and Organizational Development Specialist Joe Zawawi we went out and talked to a significant number of our members,” said VEA President and Rockville High teacher Peter Borofsky. Read more
“You’ve made a difference in the lives of so many children,” CEA President Sheila Cohen told more than 100 retirees at the CEA Retired Annual Spring Meeting at the Aqua Turf...