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Stewards minutes - January 26, 2021

January 26, 2021


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, I. Festa, J. Dinan, 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. Boutin, T. Criscuolo, T. Parillo, Z. Collier, K. Distante, K. Morrison, S. Raffone, V. Squeglia, K. Rodriguez, K. Cudworth, B. Sobolisky, T. Merritt, T. Harris, N. Charest

Call to Order by David Cicarella at 3:33pm

Motion to accept November minutes made, seconded and approved unanimously.

AFT Report-

 -TOWN HALL with Dr. Fauci: scheduled for TH 1/28 6PM

-“A WOLF AT THE SCHOOLHOUSE DOOR”: Wed 2/10  7-8PM—text about the future of education in the country and about what will occur under Biden’s presidency. 



      Invitation Tuesdays at 4:30

Air Quality is the principal issue that legislators are looking at, also mold etc. The issue will        be money, etc.

TRB—Change in the disbursement for retirement folks in what was left for spouses. Legislation around this is heading to the Supreme Court because changes to retirement packages should not be made after the fact.

SEL changes to the curriculum and budgets around this are happening.

SHARE MY LESSON Virtual convention will be on 3/23-3/25

TEVAL Mid-year conferences soon will be due – no numeric evaluation this year—

Two cameras instead of one may be a nice plus In terms of webcams…it’s more about getting through this year and keeping everyone healthy and successful.

Issues around audio have emerged as part of the problem as well as not seeing the teacher in terms of remote students in hybrid.

Questions and conversation emerged around vaccinations and those in the 1b category and with underlying conditions and where they fall (after 75+ year olds are being vaccinated). 

President’s Report

Nancy Charest was introduced as the President of Retired NHFT Teachers and expressed their support for our courage and work during Covid.

Contractual rights under COVID

It was clarified that there are no changes for our contract under Covid. Contractual rights are not abrogated due to Covid.

Do you have to do lunch/breakfast duty? If prep (45 minutes per day) and lunch time (30 minutes a day) are contractually satisfied , a collateral duty can be given for the extra unassigned time.

Teachers should use masks and shields as a second layer of protection, and to ask principals if they need additional PPE’s or cleaning materials.

-Stewards  cannot handle every concern from teachers in their buildings.  It’s not practical or necessary. The protocol has not changed… teachers discuss the concern with their principal/supervisor. If they do not receive a response or are not satisfied with the response/remedy  they can reach out to the steward or NHFT Executive Officers(Dave and Pat) for next steps.

 When there are staff-wide concerns or issues, the steward would  bring such concerns to a building leader/principal.

 New Business

ADA return: when/under what circumstances? The doctor determines the accommodation that is required and HR makes the determination as to whether such accommodations is reasonable as per federal law. Principals do not make the decisions about accommodations.

Transfer of Quinnipiac and  West Rock teachers will be processed before other transfers or external hires take place. They are a priority as all need new assignments.


In terms of ADA, Dave is meeting with the superintendent on 1/27 to get the issue addressed in terms of ADAs that are pending and the timetable for approval.

Times have not changed in terms of when arrival times occur due to COVID. ALl changes are subject to discussion ,negotiation, and mutual agreement.

Professional Time Plans cannot be arbitrarily changed. (the30 minute plan voted upon in each individual school) The teacher work day remains at 6 hours and 45 minutes .Covid does not change any of this unilaterally.

Questions around masks for special teachers and were discussed.

In the notes for an  absence created in AESOP, it is recommended to reference Covid if that is a reason for the absence.

Dave will discuss with the superintendent that teachers will not be cleaning bathrooms.  

 Specialty folks often get caught covering classes; high school block scheduling tends to allow greater time to preps. But teachers can be asked to cover when their prep is beyond the 45 minute prep and 30 minute lunch. What often is done is to ask case by case to get subs to fulfill their roles.

A brief conversation around “student parking” ensued in terms of moving students from one class to another class when substitutes are not available.

Concerns around special ed issues came up and maybe putting some work in the Google Class stream can be helpful to ensure that hours are met for students. Resource time is with teachers and Wednesdays can be for Lexia etc.

A discussion ensued around the one Wednesday per month whereby teachers have the Flex Time/PD  session as additional unencumbered prep time . This is in addition to the 180 minute morning unencumbered prep period. Any teacher work or collaborations with colleagues are voluntary on the Wednesdays where teachers are released fully for their prep. Refer to the October memo sent to all the assistant superintendent and Dave.

Questions around the disparity in schedules between high school and elementary schedules are resonating among parents.

Questions will be addressed to HR concerning teachers that must remain home with their children b/c their school district has quarantined a class(es) of students and their child(ren) are home on remote schedules in surrounding districts.

Can emails in terms of transparency occur around where Covid cases are emerging as they happen? This would be helpful for folks who are itinerant. Bridgeport actually has a daily running total of cases and this may serve as a model.

Conversation revolved around social media attacks on the union, our voice at BOE meetings, and how trust and transparency from central office down to principals to teachers all operating under the same protocols and understandings can bolster the whole learning community- 

Motion to Adjourn  at 5:13pm