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Teacher's Union Votes to Continue Negotiations; Not Change Work Schedule

Some parents and Framingham High students were worried teachers would vote this week to leave school when the bell rings at the end of the day and not offer help to struggling students.

The Framingham Teachers Association voted Tuesday not to change its existing work habits and hours and to continue negotiations with the Framingham School Committee and administration.

Some parents and Framingham High students were worried a Dec. 11 vote by the Association could mean the end of after-school help for struggling students and the end of Framingham High clubs, that had unpaid faculty advisors. Some parents were worried teachers would not write recommendations for college applications due for seniors now.

Editor's Note: Framingham Patch received dozens of calls, texts and emails about the matter from parents and students.

The Association has been without a contract since August.

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Framingham Teachers Association President Sam Miskin, a Framingham High mathematics teacher, said Tuesday night "the membership of the Framingham Teachers Association met this afternoon to update staff on the progress of negotiations and to discuss potential future actions. As a result of this meeting, the staff have authorized the negotiations team to call on membership to engage in different work actions, depending upon the progress of the negotiations as the teachers certainly want to settle a fair contract and to settle it in a timely manner. The Association hopes to continue to engage the community in a dialogue around the issues that are important to us, and in turn important to the education of the students of Framingham Public Schools."

The vote on Tuesday basically keeps everything status quo, for now. Teachers, who want to stay after school to help students can, explained Miskin in a phone interview with Framingham Patch on Wednesday.

"Any teacher at the high school has the right to set their extra help hours as they see fit and, as of now, the Association is not asking teachers to not meet with students outside of these hours," said Miskin. "The staff of Framingham Public Schools does not want to harm any student by our actions, but we need to continue to to be sure the School Committee is moving in the right direction."

Miskin said during Tuesday's meeting, the Association's membership  authorized the the leadership of the Association to make a decision on "work action" if negotiations breakdown.

"We want to send a strong message to the School Committee, but we also don't want to hurt the students," said Miskin.

Miskin said the union is hopeful that "work to rule" action won't be necessary.

He said the Association and the Schools had a "productive" mediation session last week.

And yesterday, Miskin, Superintendent of Schools Stacy Scott and Lisa Zanella, a McCarthy Elementary School teacher and the lead negotiator for the Association met.

Contract negotiations are not done publicly, but behind closed doors.

The next meting of the two sides is not scheduled until Jan. 7.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Cindi Muller December 13, 2012 at 11:56 AM
Strange because my Fuller student told me that teachers would be leaving at exactly 2:55 and would no longer be available for extra help beyond those hours. That leaves to him only 30 minutes to get any help he needs which is often not enough time.
Tch_yr_kids December 13, 2012 at 04:53 PM
@Mr. Rivard. Well put. My only wish is that Sudbury had more people that thought like you as opposed to the five or six haters who have done a lot of destruction to public support for public education in this town.
Reality Check December 16, 2012 at 08:03 PM
Mr. Rivard has a clear understanding of the hours many teachers put in beyond their contract time. Most stay well past the set work hours, give up lunch periods and come in early to meet with students. In any other profession, a worker would be compensated for that time, but not education. Teachers consistently put the needs of their students first, even when that means working without pay. The occupation related benefits mentioned above such as smaller class sizes provide a great deal of benefit to the students. Less students per class mean more personal attention from the teacher. How is that a bad thing for students? I am glad some community members are recognizing the hard work and dedication of the amazing staff in Framingham.
Brad Evans January 24, 2013 at 01:37 PM
All of us with salaried positions are asked to work longer than expected without additional money. If the teachers would like to go an hourly based pay, then we can talk about additional pay for additional time, but so long as the teachers want to be viewed the same as those in the private sector, they should work under the same constraints. If I have to work past 5 on a given day because of some work assignment/project, I don't get any extra pay - nor do I expect it - it is part of the job.

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