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Steward Minutes October 20, 2020


October 20, 2020


In attendance-


D. Cicarella, P. DeLucia, M. Solli, J. Graves, C. Heiter, K. Hopes-McFadden, J. Roth,

J. Gonzalez, M. Maloney, M. Comando, J. Maselli, A. Meadows, B. Wolak, D. Low, D. Weinreb, D. Canzanella, B. Sobolisky, I. Festa, J. Dinan, J. Langlois, J. Robinson, J. Drymiller, J. P. Wilson, J. Leach, K. O’Keefe, K. Wetmore, K, Hebert, L. DellaPietra, L, Nusdeu, M. Galante, M. Seeger, M. Gallagher, M. Breuler, M. Pavano, M. Soares, R. Repko, S. Whelan, S. Davis, S. Siena, S. Flynn, S. Boutin, T. Merritt, T. Criscuolo, T. Parillo, Z. Collier



Call to Order by David Cicarella at 3:35


Motion to accept September minutes made and seconded.

No discussion and a vote to accept passed unanimously, pending two corrections in terms of attendance and adding the word “involuntary” to transfers in that section.


Welcome of new steward:  Tricia Parillo (Nathan Hale)


Old Business


Please update new membership (email) to Florence, including personal emails.


AFT Report

Marianne Maloney discussed political roundtable with Jan Hochadel and others at AFT-CT and asked members to think of Rosa DeLauro’s candidacy for 3rd District in New Haven.


An issue concerning Backus Hospital nurses and their issues with PPE was also discussed.

AFT National is keeping an eye on this issue.


Heavy burnout is reported from across the state (both AFT and CEA) hybrid and trying to respond to fully remote students, those in person, and those home alternating.


AFT National and AFT-CT are considering major actions to support teachers.

Please bring to Dave and Pat’s attention any pertinent issue of concern.


Marianne Maloney detailed workshops that are available to NHFT members  on Google Docs, Virtual Learning and strategies for students with ADHD.



          10/28  Creating Virtual Groups w Google Slides (5-6pm)

          11/5   GoogleDocs for BEGINNERS (5-6:30)

          11/19  Working with Students with ADHD (5-7pm) – have a specific student in

                        mind – concrete, individualized strategies

          12/7   NGSS K-3 (5-7 pm )

          12/16   Mindfulness (5-6:00 pm)



President’s Report



Email from Michele Sherban explaining how the goal setting is changing as well as the flexibilities allowed per the CSDE and those adopted by the NHPS.


Contract- NHFT is waiting for signatures from officials for the new contract, then it can be posted. Until then, the previous one is up and we can reference bullet points that detailed changes to the etc for details of new contract.(2020-2023).


Stewards should forward and/or confirm contractual questions to Dave or Pat before quoting information to colleagues or administrators.


Stewards also meet once a month to touch base with a principal(per the NHFT contract), so these conversations should be happening.


P/D relief on Wednesday- is the result of a joint conversation and work between Sequella Coleman, Ivelise Velasquez, and David Cicarella. Additional unencumbered prep time for teachers referenced as  “Teacher Time” was collaboratively agreed to for Wednesday throughout the school year. Memo was sent to all teachers and administrators.



Yale Fair Share-

Dave Weinreb spoke about the Yale Fair Share organization and the request to stewards to attend an informational session regarding this on October 22nd 5-6pm or anyone interested can contact Weinreb for further information.


Climate Ed- Michael Soares sought support from stewards for the New Haven Climate Change Movement.


Lawsuit- Merely as an FYI, Tom Burns has filed a civil lawsuit against AFT National, AFT-Connecticut, NHFT, and the three presidents of each union.


-ADA- Completed applications have been given a designation, (pending or approved).

Approvals are approximately at 70 of 130 requests at this point. None denied. All of the remainder are pending.


-Tech P/D payment- The NHFT was able to secure the appropriate $32/hr for summer work as opposed to the $ 15/hr that 18 teachers were paid for their work. All 18 teachers will receive the difference. It was noted, that within 2 days of the issue being conveyed to the NHFT we secured an agreement that all would be paid the difference.



-Covid and quarantine Family First Covid Response Act-if a teacher must quarantine to care for an immediate family member that tests positive for COVID, the FFCRA allows for 2/3 pay to be re-imbursed to the City and the teacher can use 1/3 of a sick day to ensure no pay loss is suffered. Maximum of 2 weeks per federal law. This law expires 12.31.2020


-Substitutes (responsibility/planning/input)—Teachers out on leave do not have to perform teaching duties. Contractually we provide five days of lesson plans, attendance sheet, directions for the substitute with pertinent classroom and student information, etc.

As a professional courtesy, teachers can be available and are encouraged to assist in the transition for the substitute. This does not include long term planning, grading,etc but rather useless information for the substitute.


Teachers do not have to go on PowerSchool to grade or perform regular responsibilities when they are absent during the hybrid or remote learning modules.


Covid testing with district leadership and union leadership to show solidarity around testing is scheduled for  Thursday at 3pm at King Robinson as a press event.


Building Inspections- OPM from State of CT, Dept of Health from Yale and Dept of Health from New Haven are checking on air balancing and ventilation systems. They are our outside agencies providing verification.


Dept of Health is conducting a flu clinic Mon-Fri 9-2:30 for flu shots by appointment.

Teachers, stewards, E-board members can check for signage and appropriate health protocols as being in place


New Business and Q and A Period


Discussion occurred on continuing medical coverage before age 65 upon retirement and as to who is covered in the household and family; Pat and Dave will clarify the response to this question.


TEVAL recommendations are clear from the CSDE, encouraging districts to avail themselves to the flexibility during this year for TEVAL.


Health and Safety Committee discussion ensued around MERV filters and 8s as being combined with 11s for filtration of Covid in buildings where MERV 13 filters cannot be fitted.


Teachers being asked to return to schools prior to November 9th is an unequivocal “no.”

Teachers can voluntarily return, but not be forced to do so. The report date for teachers is November 9th.


Wednesdays during hybrid are to be deep cleaning days and teacher time.


Some matters are discretionary in buildings, but other matters are a common consideration for the district as with Wednesdays during hybrid for teacher time, which is laid out specifically.


Discussions around Covid and quarantining were addressed as to whether a teacher could be home teaching under quarantining.


Local Health Dept will determine return to in person learning as opposed to remote, ultimately based upon Covid metrics that are rising in the state of Connecticut.


Web cameras have been ordered for each and every teacher. A discussion around what hybrid will look like by November 9th occurred as to the guidance from the district that is necessary for the transition from remote to hybrid.


A discussion around utilizing teachers as substitutes ensued and Dave and Pat agreed to discuss further with Dr. Tracey. Covering a class on occasion may be necessary for teachers, but it is more than an equity issue, it is now a health and safety issue as well.


A discussion happened concerning West Rock, Quinnipiac and Riverside as not having MERV -13  filters able to be installed into these older HVAC s and  the question as to opening windows for further filtration potentially.


Throughout the district, much of the hybrid work looks 50/50 in terms of student ratios for in person and remote.


Availability and recruitment around bus monitors for elementary, middle and high school levels is being discussed at the district level.


It was clarified that teachers get their lunch time.  There is no issue with administration requiring students to eat in the classroom.  Someone will have to cover for teachers if students are in the room, so they may receive their own contractual lunch time.


Motion to Adjourn  at 5:20pm