NCEA Candidates for President

posted Mar 5, 2018, 4:29 PM by Vice President NCEA   [ updated Mar 5, 2018, 4:47 PM ]

Vivian Birdsall

I have had the privilege of serving as your president for over a decade and once again, I  am asking for your support for the office of President of the New Canaan Education Association. During my tenure as president I have worked closely with many of you to resolve both personal and professional concerns. In addition, I have continued to represent you on issues at the district, state and national level.

Over the past several years, I have listened to your concerns, answered your questions, and advocated for you whether it is during school hours, at night or on weekends. I am always on call for our members.

Facing us now is an attack on unions across the country from a federal court decision. This will have a great impact on all unions, including ours. This decision will require our union to have a strong voice and deliver a clear message. This requires an experienced leader who understands and has the expertise to meet this head on.

Our executive board continues to represent the members in each of our schools. And I continue to encourage any NCEA member to become involved on any level.

Leading the teachers of New Canaan is a tremendous responsibility and one in which I take great pride. I ask for your support to continue in this role.

There are 410 voting members of the NCEA. Your vote counts!

Together, we are one voice.

Jim Zambarano

Please help me become your next NCEA President.


My vision is to bring back a sense of community within our association. This is my fourth year back as a building representative, I still can’t help but notice the lack of involvement by most members. We, as an association, do a great job of signing up members but then most don’t get involved. I have a few ideas on how to put the band back together. I would like to send out weekly updates. Being informed on a weekly basis might seem like too much, but I feel most of you will be amazed at how much the union does EVERY WEEK. I would like to bring back term limits. I believe this will help foster members to get involved in leadership roles.  I feel our by-laws need revisiting to make it easier to get involved in leadership positions. Currently, you need to be a member of the executive board to even run for office. This seems to me to be a bit self-serving as no one outside the “inner circle” can run. The Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act only require a member to be in “good standing” to run for office. This means if you pay your dues you can run for an elected union position. We have too many faculty members who have never been a building rep, a negotiator, or held any elected union position. If you want to keep a great school great you need to get involved, it doesn’t just happen by itself. I’m still working on a district picnic event during convocation or during one of those first few PL days.  Last year’s opening only had one PL day which was the reason the idea was pushed off until possibly this coming year’s opening days… I’m hopeful. Whether I win or lose, I will continue as a building rep and try my best to help steer the association in a direction I feel is best. Thank you for considering me for your vote.


I have been a teacher hear at New Canaan for 24 years. I served several years as a building rep for the high school in the beginning of my career before becoming the NCEA treasurer for four years. I have also been a member of the negotiation team. I am currently serving my tenth year as the Department Chair for the Career and Technical Education Department. I have also chaired several faculty committees as well as serving on several hiring committees. If you’d like to put a face with a name, please visit the links below as I was awarded CTEEA’s 2017 Teacher of the Year.

Again… thanks for considering me for your NCEA President. Even if you don’t vote for me please get involved and vote, it’s your union.

Tips, Tricks, and Guidance for New Educators

posted Feb 22, 2018, 3:36 PM by Vice President NCEA   [ updated Feb 22, 2018, 3:37 PM ]

NEA is dedicated to helping educators at every stage of their career. The new School Me series is made specifically with new and early educators in mind. We know those first few years can be extremely challenging, so we’re sitting down with accomplished educators to discuss their unique techniques and best practices, and to get their invaluable advice in the form of blogs, podcasts, and tip videos.


posted Feb 20, 2018, 12:01 PM by Vice President NCEA   [ updated Feb 20, 2018, 12:03 PM ]

In brief the Janus case will:

Further rig the economy against working people
Limit the freedom of workers to join strong unions
Give more power to corporate special interests and CEOs

  • Further increase income inequality in our communities
  • Hurt our educators’ ability to make schools better

That Was Friedrichs; This Is Janus

posted Dec 6, 2017, 3:29 PM by Vice President NCEA   [ updated Dec 6, 2017, 3:31 PM ]

A lawsuit making its way through the U.S. Supreme Court, Janus Vs. AFSCME, is designed to weaken unions and erode many of their hard-won benefits, including rights that teachers have enjoyed for decades. The case is expected to be heard in January and a decision rendered by June 2018/

CEA Professional Learning Academy

posted Sep 25, 2017, 5:26 PM by Vice President NCEA

CEA Professional Learning Academy offers a wealth of professional development opportunities for teachers, aligned with Connecticut's professional learning standards.


  • Developed by educators with teaching and administration experience, and other experts in law and special education
  • Delivered on-site—no costly conference attendance
  • Designed to provide practical tools and build immediately useful skills
  • Customizable to your local needs, groups, environment, and circumstances
  • Continually updated to include new strategies and to address evolving needs

For more information or to schedule a professional development workshop, contact CEA's Professional Learning Academy at 860-525-5641 or at

CEA Retirement Workshops

posted Sep 25, 2017, 5:24 PM by Vice President NCEA

CEA Retirement Workshops Coming to a School Near You

by Laurel Killough on September 21, 2017

Want to learn more about planning for retirement? Comprehensive CEA workshops held around the state cover all issues related to the State Teachers’ Retirement System, such as retirement eligibility, purchasing additional service, how Social Security may be affected, retiree health insurance, and choosing a retirement plan.

CEA Retirement Specialist Robyn Kaplan-Cho will cover a wide range of issues and offer time for questions following the presentation. The workshops are held at various locations around the state throughout the fall and in the early spring.

Any active CEA member who wishes to begin planning for retirement is encouraged to attend a workshop. It is never too early to educate yourself!

Click here for more information and to register for a workshop.

The Teacher Tax

posted Sep 25, 2017, 5:22 PM by Vice President NCEA   [ updated Sep 25, 2017, 5:28 PM ]

Setting the Record Straight on the Teacher Tax

by Sheila Cohen on September 22, 2017

A message from CEA President Sheila Cohen

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.

Because of your continued outreach and strong objections to the teacher tax, there is a lot of misinformation being shared by some legislators.

I want to be perfectly clear: THIS IS A TAX ON TEACHERS.

Here are the facts:

  • The Republican budget increases the payroll tax on teachers from 6 percent to 8 percent.
  • This will cost every teacher about $1,500 per year.
  • Unlike other pension contributions, the budget counts this additional 2% as tax revenue.
  • This increase will generate almost $100 million to reduce the state’s deficit instead of reducing the unfunded liability for teacher retirement
  • None of this tax increase will go toward the state’s unfunded teacher pension liability—it will instead reduce the state’s contribution to teacher retirement.

Unlike other pension contributions, this additional 2% increase counts as tax revenue—PERIOD!

Click here for The Facts About the Teacher Tax.

Please feel free to share this information with your colleagues, friends, and family members and to post it on your social media networks.

Our voices are being heard and we will continue to speak out against all attempts to balance the budget on the backs of students and teachers. We will fight against any new proposals that include a teacher tax or a cost shift that moves the state’s share of teacher retirement costs onto cities and towns.

We must keep up our advocacy until we have a fair budget that works for all of us and invests in public education.

Thank you for your continued activism and support.


posted Apr 22, 2017, 3:36 PM by Vice President NCEA   [ updated Apr 22, 2017, 3:41 PM ]

CEA Retirement Workshops

posted Sep 14, 2016, 4:10 PM by Vice President NCEA

Retirement Information

posted Apr 7, 2016, 7:43 AM by Vice President NCEA   [ updated Apr 7, 2016, 7:48 AM ]

Check the
Teacher's Retirement Board website for information related to retirement. 
You can also check out their attached presentation.

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