The Framingham Teachers Association has a one year contract set to expire Aug. 31 and they want a new three-year contract.
The Association is frustrated at the lack of progress by the Framingham School Committee. The Association said in order for the Framingham Public School District to do well, it is essential for the system to hire and retain good teachers.
Hundreds of teachers attended Tuesday night's School Committee meeting. This was the first public indication by the Association that negotiations are not going well.
Teachers are frustrated with the decrease in funds and steady decline in salary that has been taking place over the past few years, said Sam Miskin, president of the Association at Tuesday night's meting.
"If you do not retain and recruit talented teachers, what happens to Framingham?" said Association negotiating team member Lisa Zanella, who teaches at McCarthy Elementary School.
Zanella called for greater respects for the professionals by settling a fair and equitable contract.
Miskin, a math teacher at Framingham High School, asserted the importance of hiring and retaining excellent educators.
"As educators, we all want Framingham to be the best district," said Miskin. "We are just looking for some recognition."
Generally, teachers in the Association have contracts for three years, but this current one is only a one-year contract. The Association is pushing for a three-year contract and an increase in salary.
Miskin said the Association is concerned the Committee would not consider a COLA or cost of living allowance for the Association members.
Currently, teachers are making less than they were two years ago, according to the Association.
Miskin said statistics show the average teacher graduates college with $27,000 of debt. Plus, teachers today are required to have a Master's degree, pushing the debt to almost $40,000.
Based on the salary schedule on the Framingham Public Schools website, for the past school year the starting salary for a teacher with a Bachelor's Degree is $44,399 and $47,662 for a teacher with a Master's.
Citing the arrival of a new superintendent and new teacher evaluations, Miskin said, "The challenges educators face now are very different that they were before."