Teacher Tax Update

A MESSAGE FROM CEA PRESIDENT SHEILA COHEN:
SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT ON THE TEACHER TAX
Thank you for your advocacy and activism in fighting back against the teacher tax and the cost shift proposals. The Republican budget that passed the legislature contained a teacher tax, but no cost shift. However, the governor has said he will veto that plan, and that would mean legislators once again will be considering both issues to try to solve the budget deficit. We must stand strong and ready to fight back against both the cost shift and the teacher tax because they hurt students, teachers, and public education.

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Budget Battle


Throughout the state budget process, CEA members have been strong advocates. In just the last three days, more than 4,000 emails were sent by CEA members to their representatives and state senators. Here’s what happened at the Capitol yesterday:


Democrats were expected to pass their budget.
In the State Senate three Democrats—Paul Doyle, Gayle Slossberg, and Joan Hartley—all voted for the Republican budget. As a result, the Republican budget proposal passed by a vote of 21 to 15.
In the House, six Democrats voted with the Republicans to adopt the Republican budget as the amended budget—Pat Boyd, John Hampton, Lonnie Reed, Kim Rose, Danny Rovero, and Cristin McCarthy Vahey (McCarthy Vahey, later switched and voted against it). It passed 77 to 73. The governor has said that he will veto the budget.

A bi-partisan budget–different than the one passed yesterday–could be a good solution for Connecticut, but only if it does not attack public education, students, teachers, and essential collective bargaining rights that protect employees.

What does the Republican budget do as to collective bargaining and education?
It imposes a 2% increase in teacher contributions to the retirement fund, which would cost the average teacher $1,500 per year.
It does not impose a cost shift of teacher retirement responsibilities onto towns.
It ends collective bargaining for state employee pensions, imposes changes in their pensions after 2027 (when the current labor agreement expires), and starts counting those savings in the proposed biennial budget. For example, the budget banks $270 million in savings in the next two years based on savings that are projected to occur after 2027. And that assumes that ending collective bargaining as to state employee pensions withstands a legal challenge.
Allows towns to override arbitration decisions with a 2/3rds vote of the local legislative bodies (i.e., two out of three selectman, six out of nine city councilors).

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Welcome Back

Welcome Back! The WHEA wishes you a wonderful 2017-2018 school year!

We know that your first day went well and you enjoyed greeting your students.
As you settle into your school year, please take the time to get to know your WHEA Representatives.
They are available to support YOU! They can help to answer any questions you may have in regard to working conditions, workload, scheduling, etc.
If you are not sure who your representatives are … there is a section in the Staff Directory that lists them or you could ask a teammate if you have not already met your building representative.
All the Best,
Theresa McKeown
President WHEA