As many as 500 Framingham teachers and other school staff members will rally this afternoon outside Framingham Town Hall to support speedy and fair union contract negotiations with the town.
Educators in the Framingham Teachers Association, the union representing Framingham schools' faculty and staff, will gather outside the town hall on Concord Street at 4:30 p.m.
The contract between the teachers' union and the town expired on Aug. 31 last year. Educators have been fighting to get a cost of living increase on par with inflation – which they did not receive in the last contract – as well as language in the agreement that clearly defines the teaching work day. The teachers are also hoping to make limited class sizes a priority.
As negotiations have stalled in recent months, teachers say they are growing restless for a contract, and town officials are pledging that they will try to reach a timely agreement.
However, Framingham officials previously told the Globe the town might not be able to afford some of the stipulations demanded, such as a substantial cost of living adjustment.
“We have the utmost respect for what our teachers do, but we are restricted,” said David Miles, chairman of the Framingham School Committee. “We are a town department. We only have so much money.”
Sam Miskin, president of the union, said in an email on Monday that he plans to speak at the rally.
“Our working conditions directly impact our students’ learning environment,” Miskin said. “We aren’t asking for the sun and moon, just some small improvements that will benefit the students of Framingham and the greater school community.”
The rally is one of several public demonstrations by the teachers.. Dozens of teachers picketed outside Framingham High School in single-digit temperatures last month, and many also attended a School Committee meeting in December to advocate for their cause.
"The teachers have met with the mediator since the picket but unfortunately, we are not settled," Miskin said in his email. "We still have more dates scheduled and hope that we will be able to finish up soon."
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