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.
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.