NBFT Local 871 - December 2017 - Volume 71, Issue 2

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A Holiday Message from Union President, Sal Escobales

Union Brothers and Sisters,

On behalf of the Union team I wanted to take a moment and wish you all a happy and restful holiday break. Regardless of how you celebrate it, this time of year is always a good time to reflect and recharge a bit. For me it is always a time to make up some time with my wife and two daughters, as it seems I am on the road a lot lately and do not expect it to slow down in the new year. As always, I humbly ask that you keep in your thoughts and prayers, our Union brothers and sisters who are struggling through some tough times, not just here but across the nation. We have some members that are struggling with real illnesses and the hope is that they are able to turn a corner in the New Year.

As an organization I assure you all that we remain committed to working, in good faith, with school and district leadership, the community, and most importantly our students, many of also have some real struggles in their lives. I am always full of pride as I make my through schools and see teachers finding resources for students, bringing in coats for children that do not have one, finding, toys for students that will receive few, and most importantly giving out a hug to reassure a student that lets them know that we will be here waiting for them after the break. The power of that will most likely not be captured by T-EVAL, the public, parents or by every administrator. You should all still take pride in the fact that your colleagues see you doing the work and they know what you do for our students.

The last thing I will add is that the Union leadership team recognizes the challenges we are facing in all of our schools this year. Some schools are struggling with a bit more than others and to those members in those buildings, we are listening and we are advocating on your behalf, both on matters that are contractual and even matters that are not. The effectiveness (and even the competence) of some of our fellow members has unfortunately been called into question. Believe me when I tell you…our members are working hard. While I recognize that there are always practices to improve, our teachers are getting it done, despite the many financial, demographic, and educational challenges that we face each and every day. And yet, we still come back each day and give it another try. For that you should all be proud.

In looking at the work ahead that needs to be done, I am going to share one of my New Year resolution with you all because it is pertinent to what is going on now…As I look to 2018, I plan to make people more accountable for their words and actions as I make myself more accountable to mine…I plan to exercise that practice in all matters of my Union advocacy work…I will leave it at that for now.

Again, I wish you and your families a blessed holiday season. Please continue to take care of yourselves and each other in the year to come. I hope to see you around soon.

Sal Escobales
Teacher and Union President NBFT

Smalley Elementary

Union News

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This year Local Union 871 (NBFT) and Local Union 2407 (NBFP) will be having the "Union After Holiday Party" together! The event will take place on Friday, January 19th from 6-11 p.m. at the V.F.W. in New Britain (41 Veterans Drive). All current and former members of the New Britain school district are invited. The intent of the party, besides creating an opportunity for us all to connect with each other, is to begin to raise money for the NBFT and NBFP Union scholarships. The party will kick off the fundraising for the scholarships. We will be looking for volunteers to help put it together. Anyone who is interested in helping out may contact (Jen Meister), NBFT Social Chair Person at NBHS. Her email is The tickets are $30 dollars and include food, beverages, music and dancing. You can book a table of 8 at $25 per person. Get together with 7 of your friends and book a table! Contact Jen Meister or Sal Escobales to RSVP a table or for individual tickets. We will also have door prizes and raffles…including a Smart T.V.!

The V.F.W holds up to 400 people so let’s pack it out with one big Union Family!

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NBFT Food Drive A Success

The annual NBFT Food Drive has been a great success netting over five boxes of food! Thank you to all that contributed! There is still time to get your donations in so if you are cleaning out over the break, remember to bring it in! If you have any questions, please contact your building level representatives.

A Note of Thanks

Ava Morrell, 2016-2017 Chester Yahn Memorial Scholarship recipient, sent the Union a lovely note of thanks for her scholarship. Please see note below.


Compiled by Jennifer Meister


The Union extends its condolences to the following staff members:

Union Representative, Alicia Vargas (Smalley) on the passing of her mother and sister-in-law; Jesse Hurlburt (Holmes) on the passing of his father-in-law; Luanne Gagliardi (Slade) on the passing of her mother; Nalini Munshi (NBHS) on the passing of her father.


The Union extends congratulations to the following members:

Eric Schenfield (NBHS), a son; Mike Litke (NBHS) a son.

Well Wishes

The Union extends well wishes to the following staff members:

Jacqueline Perez (Smalley) - surgery; Marco Palermo (Smalley) - Surgery; Linda Ryba (Slade) - broken leg.

Please forward any welfare news to Jennifer Meister at

Retiree Corner

Compiled by Joan Cromwell

Anyone up for a Duckpin Bowling League?

Remember the good, old days when many teachers would gather at the duckpin bowling lanes every Wednesday afternoon for fun, conversation and a few beverages??? Some retirees were wondering if we could get enough of us together to start a morning league in the fall at the Highland duck pin lanes on Route 10 in Cheshire (Our old lanes no longer exist!). If you would be interested, please email Carol Nelson at and let her know. Also mention which morning might be best for you!

A big thanks to all who joined us at the Retiree Luncheon and we hope you have a wonderful holiday season and a very happy New year! Don't forget to join us for the NBFT and NBFP After Holiday Party Friday, January 19th from 6-11 p.m. at the V.F.W. in New Britain (see above for more information).

Retirees, please forward any information you would like added to Joan Cromwell at the NBFT Headquarters (See below for contact information).

Dear Fed

Dear Fed,

Yet another early release professional day has come and gone and yet again, I didn't get a duty-free lunch! My stomach is growling and I've got to go to a professional development meeting!



Dear Hungry,

The Local 871 Union Contract states in article 4:3 under Teacher Workday, item "a" states: The workday for teachers shall be seven (7) hours (including a thirty (30) minute, duty-free lunch). Duty-free means duty-free!! You get those 30 minutes free and clear every day. If you are not getting your duty-free 30 minute lunch every day, please see your building level representative and make sure to eat! A hungry teacher is a hangry teacher!



Please Report Name Changes!

If you have been hired at any point in the school year or have had a recent name change, you are asked to contact CSDNB Human Resources and NBFT Recording Secretary, Basia Maselek at so that the Union rolls are correct. This is important information that must be shared with AFT National to correctly calculate local, state and national dues. Thank you!
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It's your Spotlight

If you have any suggestions, additions, or features you would like to see added, please do not hesitate to e-mail the Spotlight Editor, Sara Natrillo at

Union Directory


Sal Escobales

V.P. High School

Sue Humanick

V.P. Middle School

Charles Carey

V.P’s Elementary Schools

Jackie Escales and Stephen Gray

Recording Secretary

Basia Maselek

Executive Secretary

Dan Blanchard


William Sanford


Chris Gaetano


Dave Devost

Board Liason

Laura Skinner

Public Relations

Evelyn Hudyma


Jennifer Meister


Sara Natrillo