10.01.172017 CEA Holiday Bear Project

The Connecticut Education Foundation's (CEF) Holiday Bear Project is our holiday gift-giving project that links CEA members, the public, and businesses with needy public school students. Bear down for a worthy cause by sponsoring a needy Connecticut child. Your efforts will help the child bear up during the holidays.

More than 10,000 Connecticut public school students have benefited from the holiday program since it began in 1998.

Click "Launch Related Site" for more info.

12.21.15 2016-2019 NEW Teacher Contract - Summary of Highlights

1. Wages - 9.6% TOTAL INCREASE TO SALARY ACCOUNT

* General wage increase in year one for all teachers, step advancement in years two and three for all teachers not on top step.
* General wage increases for all three years for teachers at top step.
* 2% Increase to Sports and Advisory stipends in year three.
*No increases to length of workday/work year.

2. Insurance Changes –Health Savings Account/High Deductible Health Plan (HSA/HDHP).

* Effective September 1, 2015 - HSA/HDHP becomes primary plan, same plan as BOE administrators and other Waterbury employee groups. Teacher share of premium cost drops to 16% in year one, 18% in year two and 19% in year three (compared to current PPO now at 22%). HSA plan coverage is identical to current PPO plan coverage.

* Health Savings Account – Every Teacher Participating in HDHP Plan will be provided by the Board a Health Savings Account (HSA). Board will contribute 60% of plan deductible into the HSA in year 1 and 50% of plan deductible in both year 2 & 3. Funds in account are 100% owned by the teacher and can be accumulated year over year.

* CIGNA will be scheduling presentations throughout the spring 2016 to disclose details of the plan and answer questions.

* PPO plan (OAP) will continue as a buy up option.
* Prescription co-pays will be $5 for generic, down from the current $10 for generic.
* Dental Insurance premium cost will remain at 20% for all three years.
* POE plan eliminated effective August 31, 2016.

3. Major Language Improvements

-Ten (10) sick days use for adoption/paternity leave.
-Greater funeral leave flexibility for out of state or extended period of burials/ceremonies.
-No staff meetings on Fridays or day before scheduled day off, holidays or vacation.
-Reduced timelines to address class overages.
-Reduced teaching time for athletic directors.
-Added new stipend positions (unified sports coaches, robotics, assistant JV soccer, indoor track, assistant cheerleading).

FULL CONTRACT PRESENTATION WILL BE CONDUCTED IN JANUARY 2016

WTA Negotiations Team:

Kevin Egan, Ray Santovasi, Ryan Sullivan, Pat Ospalek, Maryellen Massimo, Lori DiTillo, George Flaherty, Tom Northrop, Fran Mullen, Doreen Lopez, Kay Barbieri, Leslie Dempsey, Lisa Ieronimo, Maureen McCasland, Andrew Luchina, Steve Tansley, Scott Schulte, Michele Brittingham, Diana Gavrilis, Jim Tessitore (CEA UniServ Rep)

10.28.15WTA releases its 2015 PAC Endorsements for upcoming election.

-FOR IMMEDIATE OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE-

On behalf of the one thousand six hundred members of the Waterbury Teachers Association, it is with great pleasure that we announce our organization’s official endorsement of the following City of Waterbury candidates in the upcoming election on Tuesday, November 3, 2015:

Mayor: Neil M. O’Leary (D)

Board of Education:
Liz Brown (D)
Anne Sweeney (D)
Chuck Pagano (D)
Jason Van Stone (R)
Bryan McEntee ( R)

Board of Aldermen: Ron Napoli, Jr. (D)

The public school teachers of Waterbury are an integral part of the City’s continuing drive towards educational excellence in public school education. Through the combined efforts of our teachers, school officials and elected leaders we continue to work together to positively transform the educational environment in Waterbury for the betterment of our students.

The candidates endorsed by the Association have demonstrated a profound commitment to support Waterbury’s teachers in our continuing quest to provide Waterbury’s students with a sterling educational foundation that our great City can be proud to support. The strength of our teachers lies in the strength of public education.

Sincerely,
Kevin Egan
President
Waterbury Teachers Association

09.28.15Are you considering retirement?

2015-16 Retirement Workshop
Wednesday, SEPTEMBER 30, 2015
Kennedy High Auditorium
4:15 pm - 6:30 pm

Understand and Plan Your Retirement! Workshops are held around the state in the Fall and in early Spring . Any CEA member who wishes to begin planning for Retirement is encouraged to attend. It is never too early to educate yourself.

Click "Launch Related Site" to register.

08.19.15Join Your CEA & NEA Colleagues to Protest Failed Vision for Public Education

Tired of listening to so-called experts pontificate on “fixing" education? Want to help reject the test, label, and punish ideas of so-called education reformers? Want all students to have a real opportunity to learn?

Join us in Londonderry, New Hampshire on Wednesday, August 19, to support education reform done right.

Teachers need to send a message to anti-public education reformer Campbell Brown and the Republican presidential candidates speaking at the Ed Summit 2015, that we are tired of their failing vision. Help us lead and define a new vision for public education by joining our CEA and NEA colleagues from across New England in protesting the views of the candidates listed below who are scheduled to “perform."

Join us and together we can fight for our students’ futures.

When: Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Where: Meet at your choice of two commuter parking lots for a bus ride with other CEA members to Londonderry, New Hampshire to show you are empowered, energized, and committed to making a difference for our students and our profession.

Take a bus from one of two locations:
1.Connecticut Commuter Parking lot in Southington. I-84 @ Route 10 (Exit 29) by 8:00 a.m.
2.Connecticut Commuter Parking lot in Windsor. I-91 @ Route 75 (Exit 38) by 9:00 a.m.

The bus is free, but you must sign up to ride the bus by emailing CEA Vice President Jeff Leake and indicating your bus location choice.

Here’s what the candidates scheduled to appear at the summit have said about education.

Jeb Bush: “Low standards are a tactic that takes pressure off teachers’ unions by accepting mediocrity and failure for kids." Pushed for vouchers in Florida’s schools, co-founded a charter school, and believes NCLB helped push states that “refused" to reform education.

Carly Fiorina: “There’s no connection between spending more money in our nation’s capital and a better school system." Advocate for open enrollment and charter schools. Believes NCLB helped set high standards for students.

Bobby Jindal: Pro-charter schools. Stated, vouchers “let the dollars follow the child" to alternative schools. Restricted teacher tenure in Louisiana and proposed the largest higher education budget cut in U.S. history.

Scott Walker: Called school choice a moral imperative and worked to expand charters, virtual schools, and vouchers. Wants to eliminate seniority-based tenure, evaluate teachers by standardized test scores, and weaken college tenure.

Chris Christie: Worked to expand charter schools. Called preschools “glorified babysitting." Signed a law making teacher tenure more difficult to obtain. Quoted as saying: Teachers’ unions deserve “a punch in the face. They’re not for education for our children. They’re for greater membership, greater benefits, greater pay for their members. And they are the single most destructive force in public education in America."

John Kasich: “More choice, more accountability, more dollars in the classroom instead of bureaucracy will improve our schools." He believes charters improve school quality and he supports merit-based pay for teachers.

03.31.15 Personnel Policies Committee (PPC) Starts soon!

Personnel Policies Committee (PPC)

Get involved and join your colleagues who will create and vote on all proposals that will be brought forth by the Negotiating Team this Fall 2015. We encourage teachers from all disciplines to become involved!

Members of the Negotiating Team will be elected from Personnel Policies Committee.

The meetings are scheduled for Tuesday nights on the following dates:
March : 31st
April : 14th , 21st and 28th
May : 5th, 12th , 19th and 26th

Meetings are in the Kennedy H.S. Media Center from 6-8 p.m.

Cannot miss more than two meetings.
Cannot miss more than two consecutive meetings

10.16.14WTA Press Release - Gubernatorial Election

As one of the largest local teacher unions in Connecticut, the Waterbury Teachers Association (WTA) has always considered its role as spokesperson for our 1600 members to be of paramount importance. When this role extends into the political arena, we strive to ensure that our membership’s opinions are carefully considered when endorsing candidates for office. After careful polling of our entire membership and with the full support of our WTA executive board and our local political action committee, the WTA has decided that no endorsement will be offered to any gubernatorial candidate. Our philosophy has always been that a candidate must demonstrate a prolonged and consistent support and respect for the ideals and professional standards that we cherish as educators. The past four years of state leadership have created unnecessary challenges to our professional standards, calling into question the work ethic, commitment, and skill level of teachers throughout Connecticut. Many of these challenges took the form of dubious educational reforms quickly thrust upon our profession, seemingly without any forethought as to their true implications and potential for success. When we consider these policy decisions in light of the best interests of our students, the approach taken becomes even more disconcerting. The WTA supports candidates that value public school education and recognize that public school teachers are not part of the problem, but an integral part of the solution. We believe that a successful gubernatorial candidate must embrace a collaborative policy that provides for significant teacher input to ensure success, an approach, which at its core, reinforces and stabilizes the public school educational model that our country was built upon, with appropriate resources and positive recognition of the role our teachers fill in this historically successful model. Our students deserve no less from our leaders.

09.08.14K-3 State Mandated Bienniel Reading Survey Overview

Summary Of K-3 State Biennial Required Reading Survey:
Section 13 of Public Act 13-245 requires that, commencing in the 2014-15 school year and biennially thereafter, any teacher during the 2014-15 school year who holds an Elementary Education, Integrated Early Childhood N-3 teaching in Grades K, 1, 2, and 3 will be required to complete the survey.
Who must take it:
Any teacher holding a certificate endorsed in one of the following areas and serving in a position requiring such an endorsement and teaching in Grades Kindergarten, 1, 2 or 3 must complete the survey during the 2014-15 school year:
 Integrated ECE/Sped. Nursery–K and Elementary 1-3 (#113)
 Elementary education (#001, 002, 003, 004, 005, 008, 013, or 305)
 Bilingual elementary education (#009, 902)

Teachers exempt from survey in 2014-2015:
Any teacher who took and passed the Foundations of Reading Test will be exempt from taking the survey this year. Teachers who hold more than one certification endorsement in addition to the above and are not serving under the above endorsements will not be required to complete the survey.

When & how will the survey be administered:
The survey will be delivered via internet-based website link. Teachers must use their school or district computer sites to complete the survey. The survey will be administered in two windows: Window 1—September 15 to November 14, 2014; and Window 2—January 5 to February 6, 2015. The second survey window may be extended or a third window added to accommodate teachers who could not complete it during the designated dates. District liaisons will receive from the Connecticut Department of Education a list of teachers who are required to complete the survey based on holding the above criteria.

05.05.14WTA Retirement and End of Year Celebration

Be sure to make plans for our WTA Retirement and End of Year Celebration happening on Friday, June 6th. Once again, it will be under the pavilion at the La Bella Vista Catering Hall on 380 Farmwood Road in Waterbury. This event is FREE to all WTA members, so we encourage you all to attend. The party will run from 2:30 pm to 7 pm. Please look for an email invite from Kevin to respond.

10.30.13WTA Candidate Endorsements

-FOR IMMEDIATE OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE-

On behalf of the one thousand six hundred members of the Waterbury Teachers Association, it is with great pleasure to announce our organization’s official endorsement of the following City of Waterbury candidates in the upcoming election on Tuesday, November 5, 2013:

Mayor: Neil M. O’Leary (D)

Board of Education:
Karen Harvey (D)
Felix Rodriguez (D)
Charles Stango (R)
Ann Sweeney – Petitioning Candidate
Thomas Van Stone Sr. (R)

Board of Alderman: Ron Napoli, Jr. –(D)

The public school teachers of Waterbury are a critical component in the enhancement of the City’s educational and cultural environment. Each and every one of our teachers strive to promote standards of scholastic excellence for the students of our great City and will continue to do so for generations to come.

These candidates have demonstrated a positive commitment to ensuring that those in our teaching profession have the necessary support to continue the noble mission of providing great education to the great citizens of Waterbury.

Sincerely,
Kevin Egan, President, Waterbury Teachers Association

08.24.13CT SDE Circular Letter C-3 regarding requirement of Reading Survey

Click link contained in title above to read the full SDE letter regarding the requirement for Survey or testing on Reading Instruction.

07.11.13CEA Participates in Key Flexibility Decision on Teacher Evaluation and Student Testing

CLICK LINK CONTAINED IN TITLE ABOVE TO READ GOVERNOR'S FULL PRESS RELEASE

Student state test scores will not have to be included in teachers' 2013-14 evaluations if a plan announced today clears a few hurdles this summer.

The plan was unveiled by Governor Dannel P. Malloy as he explained that he is also offering school districts the option to administer the Common Core-aligned Smarter Balanced assessment rather than the CMT and CAPT in 2013-14.

Specifically, the governor's plan is to seek the U.S. Department of Education's authorization to provide Connecticut school districts flexibility on two fronts: administering just one test to students during the next school year, and giving local school districts the power to decide whether or not to include that test data in teachers' evaluations. State officials said that districts will have to include evidence of student learning in evaluations in the absence of test data.

Governor Malloy said he unveiled the waiver idea before the state Performance Evaluation Advisory Council (PEAC) because it is the state panel that developed Connecticut's framework for the educator evaluation and support system. CEA and other education groups are members of PEAC.

Today PEAC approved the Connecticut waiver application. The next hurdle is review, and, hopefully, approval by the State Board of Education on Monday. After State Board of Education action, state officials can make the formal waiver request to the U.S. Department of Education. Governor Malloy hopes to hear from Washington by September.

Governor Malloy emphasized that he hopes his action will encourage districts to forge ahead with the new Common Core-aligned Smarter Balanced assessment testing. "Let's get one under our belt before we have to. If I were a school superintendent, I would want my students and teachers to have more time with the new test before it becomes a requirement," the governor said.

At least twenty percent of Connecticut students will have to participate in the new tests for Connecticut to be eligible for the waiver, according to state officials.

CEA President Sheila Cohen said, "Never before have teachers been confronted with so much change all at once. While our front-line educators have stepped up to the challenge, we have consistently cautioned that Connecticut must get reform done right. In that spirit, we have collaborated with top state officials and are pleased with today's announcement from the governor. Our goal has been—and will continue to be—to advocate for the policies, resources, and support students and teachers need to meet world-class standards."