Danbury Tutors File Suit Against the City of Danbury Over Pension Benefit
The Danbury Tutors, represented by CSEA SEIU Local 2001 held a press conference on Monday with supporters to discuss the Complaint they filed against the City of Danbury.
HARTFORD, CT – On Monday, November 16th the Danbury Tutors joined together with approximately 100 supporters to hold a press conference regarding the filing of a Motion for a Declarative Judgement that was filed yesterday against the City of Danbury. As full time employees, the plaintiffs are asking the court to confirm what is already clear in the Town’s Pension Ordinance; specifically that the tutors, like all other Board of Education employees, are entitled to a pension benefit. Speakers included Hank Murray (Attorney), Barbara Sabo (one of four plaintiffs), Victoria Kenyon, AJ Ceylan (former student) and State Senator Julie Kushner.
The work of the Danbury Tutors can often be physically grueling, emotionally draining and thankless, but these city employees understand the value they provide their community so they continue to come to work day in and day out, even with many making less than $15/hour and no retirement benefit.
A 26 year resident of Danbury, Jacki Trofa has dedicated 16 years as a Tutor with the Danbury Public Schools and has spent countless hours going above and beyond for her students, “As a Special Education Tutor, we do more than follow lesson plans, we build confidence, make them feel important, teach life skills, and show our students how important learning is. We spend time understanding student’s needs and finding ways to impact their lives beyond the classroom.”
As both Danbury Tutor and a parent of a former student, Vicky Ceylan understands the roles and responsibilities as well as the value and impact, “Any parent worries about their child. Yet when you have a child with special needs, the worry is indescribable. When you send that child off to school, you wonder if the school will know how to handle your child, if they will keep them safe, if they will love them.
“When my son was with his tutor though, I never had to worry. I not only knew he was safe, I knew he was loved and happy. If you are a parent, you know how much that means. Our children are our lives. So when you have a capable, intelligent, hard working tutor with them at school, you are okay.”
Missy XXX is the President of the Danbury Paraeducators and Tutors Chapter, “As a paraeducator and sister to our tutors, I fully support the efforts of obtaining pensions for them as well. We have always stood firm on our contract and it’s language which includes them in this benefit. We all work hard and should be acknowledged as stated.”
Danbury Tutors are confident in their case and, after twenty years, are hopeful they will be finally entitled to their modest monthly retirement benefit.
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Danbury Tutors Contract – Under Paraeducators, (Pension Information – Article 5.6 on Page 17)