NORWALK, Conn. – Leadership of the Norwalk Federation of Teachers was reelected Tuesday in what is described as s “strong show of support.”
This comes as the Board of Education threatens to lay off teachers, as the union refuses a request to change its health insurance plan. Leadership assumed their current roles after the sudden death of former President Bruce Mellion in September 2015.
A statement from NFT President Mary Yordon, sent Wednesday afternoon, said:
“In a strong show of support, Norwalk’s teachers re-elected Mary Yordon as President of the Norwalk Federation of Teachers on Tuesday June 6 at the final General membership meeting of the school year. The Executive Board was also unanimously re-elected. NFT member Jayne Sardella spoke of her appreciation of the important work done by the Federation during her long career, especially during the recent challenging years, and the steady leadership provided by officers. NFT member Debra Schneider described how we have a contract that is of value because our previous members fought for it and defended it. Dr. Adamowski’s assault on contract rights in Norwalk has resulted in unprecedented numbers of grievances and Labor Board complaints. Federation members discussed challenges this year that include misleading and sometimes even vulgar social media posts from Board of Education members.
“The NFT remains committed to delivering the very best education to the students of Norwalk. Our goal is to help our students grow despite the challenges placed before us. The teachers of Norwalk will continue to pursue our passion of educating Norwalk’s children and creating stronger communities.”
The BoE has requested that teachers join Connecticut Partnership 2.0 for their health benefits rather than the “self-insurance” plan that Norwalk Public Schools provides. Funding from the city for the 2017-18 NPS operating budget was predicated on an assumption that the switch would be made. NPS Chief Financial Officer Thomas Hamilton estimated recently that 75 teacher layoffs would be necessary if the switch is not made.
The BoE Finance Committee is set to make budget cut recommendations Thursday during a meeting scheduled for 6 p.m.
Yordon said she was was first elected in a special election in the weeks following Mellion’s death, then in a standard election in June 2016.