State news roundup for August 3, 2013


Connecticut – WDRC’s Brad Davis supports CEA’s Sandy Hook memorial sculpture: It’s emotional, passionate, and a tremendous gift to the state

Some of the donations to CEA’s Sandy Hook Memorial and Scholarship Fund are going toward the creation of a bronze sculpture memorializing the heroism and sacrifice that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School. For more information, visit
CEA’s Sandy Hook Memorial sculpture memorializes the heroism and sacrifice that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

CEA Vice President Jeff Leake and Marilyn Parker Thrall, the artist creating the CEA Sandy Hook Memorial sculpture, were guests on the Brad Davis Talk of Connecticut Radio Show on WDRC this morning, discussing the latest on the memorial sculpture.

“It’s going to be a tremendous gift to the state, all of us, and the country,” Davis told his audience. “It’s going to be loved and cherished because it’s about children and teachers.”

Davis said he was touched and moved by photographs of the bronze sculpture that memorializes the heroism and sacrifice that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

“It’s very emotional and passionate,” he told his listeners. He said he “just lost it,” when he first looked at the photograph of the sculpture that includes four life-size bronze figures—a teacher and three children—on a circle of stone, surrounded by a circular stone wall. Thrall says the design captures the innocence of youth and evokes a “trusting feeling.”

Read the complete story at

Illinois – Columbia College Chicago new part-time faculty contract

Illinois-IEA-logo 06-30-12After a long and often contentious bargaining process that spanned three and one half years, the Part-Time Faculty Association of Columbia College Chicago (P-Fac) is very pleased to announce it has reached a tentative agreement on a new labor contract with Columbia College.  The four-year agreement was reached after working through a marathon weekend of non-stop negotiations.  It was achieved through the diligent and dedicated work of the negotiating teams of both P-Fac and Columbia College, who focused on their common desire to building a strong, vibrant and inclusive college community.

The changes made during the course of the negotiations include expanded rights for a large portion of the part-time faculty to receive class assignments. This tiered system for course assignments creatively provides for administrative flexibility while acknowledging faculty commitment and service to the college.  The agreement confirms the college’s desire to have P-Fac join and participate in a number of college governance committees that will help shape the future direction of the college. A new evaluation program was adopted, and improvements were made in the Professional Development Fund which will assist part-time faculty in research and artistic expression.  The contract also provides a three percent retroactive pay increase for the year 2012 -13 and the possibility of additional increases over the upcoming four years.

P-Fac President Diana Vallera stated, “This moment is far more than a potential four- year contract. It reflects the success of a truly collaborative effort that creatively recognizes a vast array of perspectives joined by a shared interest in quality instruction. Perhaps most importantly, it reflects a constructive working relationship between P-Fac and the college under the new leadership of Dr. Kim, which points to a positive future together.”

Visit to find out more about the new contract.

Wisconsin – Betsy Kippers is the new WEAC President

Betsy Kippers WEAC PresidentRacine teacher Betsy Kippers is the new president of the Wisconsin Education Association Council, effective Thursday (August 1, 2013). In assuming the duties of president, the Racine physical education teacher vowed to keep WEAC strong by meeting the needs of members at the local level.

“Our union plays a more important role than ever in preserving high-quality public education and working with members at the local level to protect their rights,” Kippers said. “In our new environment, it is critically important that educators work together through their local union, with support from their region and the state level, to collectively advocate for quality public education for children, good working and learning conditions, and fair treatment of educators.”

Kippers, with more than 30 years of teaching experience, succeeds Wisconsin Rapids teacher Mary Bell, who completed the maximum two three-year terms as WEAC president. Joining Kippers on the new leadership team is Vice President Ron Martin, an Eau Claire middle school teacher, and Secretary-Treasurer Arlene Braden, an education support professional in the East Troy Community School District. They were elected to their new posts at the WEAC Representative Assembly, where about 900 member delegates set policy for the association.

You can read more about President Kippers’ priorities for her tenure at

Massachusetts – MTA Retired Gathering set for Tuesday, September 24

MTA 6-9-12The MTA Retired Members Gathering will take place on Tuesday, September 24, 2013 at the Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel and Trade Center, 181 Boston Post Road, Marlborough. Workshops cover a range of subjects including elder law, Social Security 101, important facts about pension funds, professional license renewal, reverse mortgages and political activism.

Register by August 30 and pay $30. After August 30, the fee increases to $40.

Space is limited and this event fills up quickly, so please consider enrolling soon.

Visit to find out more about the event and register online.

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