The Framingham Teachers Association sent an email to its members this week indicating a planned "stress" attack on the Framingham School Committee members.
"We, as an Association, have been through a lot in the past year: rallies, pickets, school committee meetings, etc. Over the course of the past few months, we have taken up different work actions that illustrate all that we do for our students, our schools and our community. The parents have heard our message loud and clear and they have offered support by speaking at school committee meetings, emailing school committee members and engaging in debates with some of the less informed members of the community. As all of this is going on, the school committee has been distancing themselves from the issues trying to stay protected. This cannot happen anymore. We must change our approach to focus directly on those individuals that are responsible for settling the contract, the school committee," wrote Framingham Teachers Association President Sam Miskin in an email sent Monday to the Association members.
"Many of us have felt some degree of stress in coming to work due to the contract struggles and it is not right that the committee put this on us. For all of the stress we have felt, we owe it to the committee to return the favor. It is time that we start focusing our actions specifically on the members of the Framingham school committee. They need to feel the same level of stress that we have been for the past year," wrote Miskin, who is a Framingham High School teacher and Framingham resident. "The actions that the Association will engage in after Wednesday will be a different approach. The focus will now be on making the committee feel the same stresses that we have."
Attached to the email was a survey for members of the Association to fill out to get personal information about the School Committee—where they work, where the spouses work, names and ages of their children, the School Committee member's place of worship, etc.
"I need any/all information you know about each of the school committee members. Having as much information as possible about their lives, activities, and daily routines is crucial to design actions that will truly impact them," wrote Miskin to the Association members.
To view the survey, click here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1S_feIWMktKTmDUC7MbUIKtmxMwsuRkOSZl8hhFPmGxU/viewform
School Committee Chairman David Miles said he is aware of the email and that all of the School Committee members are aware of it, too. (Editor's Note: School Committee policy only allows for the chairman to speak for the Committee.)
Miles said this is not the first time the Association has turned its attention to School Committee members. He said a handful of years ago, the Association picketed outside his home. He was not home at the time but his wife and children, who were and still are a part of the Framingham Public Schools, were home.
Miles said the Association can picket in front of his house, but he did think asking about his place of worship, his children and his specific day-to-day activities was more than what had been done before. If the Association pickets in front of his house, Miles said he would not call Police.
All of the School Committee members except Michael Bower have children, and five of the seven School Committee members, currently have children in the Framingham Public Schools.
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The Association has held public protests and rallys since June of 2012. They have become more frequent since December 2012.
The Framingham Teachers Association has been without a contract since August. They are seeking a new contract and want three key items:
- Limits on Class Sizes
- A Well-Defined Work Day
- Fair Cost of Living Adjustment
Framingham Superintendent of Schools Stacy Scott said his fiscal year 2014 budget will address and fix the issue at Cameron Middle School.
Money for a cost of living adjustment (COLA) has already been set aside for the Association.