Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Robo call last night from a few candidates

Did any of our readers get that robo call last night? It was a disguised as a Framingham Survey. The questions were about who you liked among, King, Lembruno, Pascual and Stefanini.  One question was would you support a slate of candidates that the Mayor supports. Looks like a few candidates are worried about the up-coming election and may use the results of the survey to create more problems for the Mayor.
Now with the news of Ms. Pascual being kicked off the negotiating team with the janitors I wonder if this will narrow the field for at-large.

From the Source:

FRAMINGHAM – A member of the Framingham School Committee has been removed from the negotiating team for the Unit C contract, after allegations by union members.
Five of the six Framingham Public School unions have settled their contracts. The only contracted unsettled is with Unit C, custodial employees.
Framingham School Committee Chair Adam Freudberg had appointed District 6 School Committee member Geoffrey Epstein and District 8 School Committee member Gloria Pascual to the negotiations team, along with Assistant Superintendent of Schools Inna London, Assistant Director of Human Resources Tiago Gadens, Buildings & Grounds Director Matthew Torti and David Connolly, the school district’s attorney from Morgan, Brown, & Joy.
Epstein and Pascual have been on the Unit C negotiations team since February 2018.
Today, September 9, Freudberg issued a memo to all nine elected School Committee members to say the new members on the negotiations team are Epstein and District 1 School Committee member Beverly Hugo.

“Legal counsels have indicated that this subcommittee membership appointment was a necessary and authorized action,” wrote Freudberg,
Earlier in the day, London wrote a memo to the 9-member elected School Committee, as well as Framingham Superintendent of Schools Bob Tremblay, which indicated Pascual was conducting in behavior not appropriate for an individual negotiating a union contract.
London informed the School Committee and Superintendent that “recently an employee who would like to remain anonymous for fear of potential retaliation informed Mr. Gadens, my Assistant Director, and me that a member of the School Committee, Gloria Pascual, has been going around to multiple custodians making offers about contract terms, and asking them how they feel about specific FPS employees.”

“According to the employee she referred to multiple FPS employees with nicknames which could be construed as discriminatory. Also, according to the employee she told the custodians with whom she spoke that there needs to be a complete overhaul in HR,” wrote London in her memo.
Editor’s Note: The memo is not marked confidential. It was sent to all nine elected School Committee members, which makes it a public document.
“The employee, moreover, indicated that Ms. Pascual was telling the custodians that she heard that the MOA was voted down and told the custodians to have the union president, reach out to her directly because she can give them what they want,” wrote London to the School Committee.
“The employee cited instances of complaints by multiple staff members in their notification” to Framingham Public Schools Human Resources, wrote London.
“I was surprised to learn in a group email that School Committee Chair Adam Freudberg had summarily removed me from a contract negotiation team without direct notification. His decision was based on anonymous, unfounded, and untruthful allegations which he never attempted to discuss with me beforehand. This action is in violation of the Framingham School
Committee policy Section K, policy KE – Public Complaints, which says no action should be taken on anonymous complaints,” said Pascual to SOURCE.
“The summary given to the School Committee and to the media pointedly left out my response to HR Assistant Superintendent Inna London when she first notified me of these anonymous and baseless accusations on June 20th (not last month as she stated in her email yesterday),” said Pascual on Tuesday morning to SOURCE.
The Framingham Public School District reached out to Pascual discuss the allegations made by the union members this summer.
“Legal counsel has indicated that these are serious concerns raised by FPS staff, noted they are allegations, but that this is counter to collective bargaining and ethics rules and practices, and would put the district at risk for unfair labor practice complaints and legal action(s) by the union,” wrote London.
“While there was no reason for me to debate the veracity of these claims or seek funding for a formal investigation, I felt obliged to inform Ms. Pascual herself (which I did last month) and to notify the School Committee, Superintendent, and legal counsel,” wrote London, who said she also provided Pascual with Framingham School Committee policies “which pertain to negotiations, chains of commands, as well as communications with FPS employees.”
“The District has been notified that the State Ethics Commission has been making inquiries into this matter,” wrote London to the School Committee.
“Due to statutory requirements for confidentiality that are placed on the Commission by State statute, I can neither confirm nor deny whether the Commission is reviewing any matter,” said the Massachusetts State Ethics Commission spokesperson Gerry Tuoti.
“After learning of a series of complaints this summer, school district legal counsels both independently said this change in subcommittee membership was an appropriate action to protect the school district. Acting to make this change is necessary because laws, ethics, transparency, and the integrity of the collective bargaining process matters,” said School Committee Chair Freudberg.
“Included below is my email response to Ms. London dated July 1st. The gist of my response was that the anonymous charges weren’t true and that if the HR department chose to go forward with an investigation, I asked to be notified. I never heard another word about it, and I thought the matter
was put to rest. Then there was yesterday’s shocking development which came more than two months later. The charges are false. The process that got the School Committee leadership to this decision is very flawed. The timing of this controversy is highly suspect,” said Pascual.
“I have contacted the State Ethics Commission to seek guidance on how best to address this heavy-handed attack on my personal integrity and ethics as a public servant,” said Pascual to SOURCE.
“I have written a letter to the chair of the School Committee requesting that I be reappointed immediately to the negotiation team for Unit C,” said Pascual.
 “I am the chair of that subcommittee and aware of what is happening,” said District 6 School Committee member Epstein. “There is a posted meeting of the Unit C subcommittee on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.”


At September 10, 2019 at 10:27 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow skipped the trial part and right to sentancing. And the lady never even given a chance to defend herself against an anonymous allegation. Looks like a complete fix job.

At September 10, 2019 at 11:35 AM , Blogger jim pillsbury said...

That could very well be... the timing on this is bad. Will it be resolved before the election is another question. Lot's of players involved which may not serve the interests of our city. And headlines are what people remember the most, for a while. This whole episode will make for interesting questions in up-coming candidate forums.

At September 10, 2019 at 12:09 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree, there is nothing to indicate she broke any laws. I think Lembruno recognizes this woman is tough competition and is using any means at her disposal to cast Pasqual in a bad light. No one should be judging her until we hear all the facts. I applaud MWD for waiting to have those facts before posting a story. The Source often skirts the outside edges of ethical and accurate reporting. In her effort to be first, she often gets is wrong, but then, so many of those who would be concerned about Pasqual are big supporters of the Source, which explains why she cow tows to them. I encourage residents to not get all your news from any one source. With fake news being so rampant now a days, you need to verify what you read all the time.

At September 10, 2019 at 12:12 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got that survey call last night. I did answer the questions more because I was very interested in what they were asking about in hopes I could determine who paid for it. I believe at the end I heard them say the survey was being conducted by ISG Services but I have no idea who they are. To me the most interesting questions was whether the mayor supporting a slate of candidates would influence you to vote for, or against that slate. I think whoever paid for this is trying to figure out if having the mayor support them is good, or bad, for their campaign. Just saying.

At September 10, 2019 at 1:46 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

“It’s hard to know, or hard to imagine really, that they couldn’t find the records before, but now they can find them,” said the attorney, who spoke on the condition he not be named for fear of harming his client’s case. “It’s really hard to think of a legitimate reason ... There’s got to be a story there.” Ya think!!!???? There is for certain a story here but it is doubtful we will ever know the full extent of this systemic corruption. Fire them all and start fresh. Gilpin should go. This coverup happened under her watch.

At September 10, 2019 at 2:24 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

How do we find out who paid for that survey call and how do we get access to the results of that survey or do the results only go to the people who paid for it?

At September 10, 2019 at 2:46 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lets her the candidates side of the story in full before we pass judgement. Sounds like she is not going to take this lying down, so I suspect we have not heard the end of this. Suspicious timing for this to come out now when it started last year. Why yesterday unless someone is trying to influence the election.

At September 10, 2019 at 4:14 PM , Blogger jim pillsbury said...

we won't know much if anything until the candidates file their campaign finance reports out lining expenditures which may be after the election.I'm not sure when they all have to report.

At September 11, 2019 at 11:29 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course someone is trying to influence an election. But now it shows how dirty the politics are becoming in Framingham. Now things are happening that will possibly follow this person around professionally for the rest of her life. And all without having the chance to have any say in the matter. Politics here has reached an all new low.

At September 11, 2019 at 1:48 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting timing don't you agree? THey did this after Sept. 1st so it won't show on anyone's campaign finance report until after the preliminary election is over. Which is actually sort of suspicious since none of those I suspect paid for this are running in the preliminary. Has anyone just publicly asked who paid for this?

At September 11, 2019 at 4:26 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is way past time for a municipal level independent elections commission. If there are suspicions about election fraud it could investigate such claims to see if there is evidence of fraud, meddling, or interference based on misinformation, etc. and then issue fines, refer matters to the state ethics board, AG, and/or DA. It could also set clearer and stricter rules for political spending, and other activities. Robocalls, for one, should be banned. Period.

At September 11, 2019 at 6:53 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim how ya feeling about your SC guy, Freudburg? After this whole political shitstorm, do you still trust him?

At September 12, 2019 at 11:02 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wholeheartedly agree with the previous poster, we need an independent elections commission. How do we make that happen?

At September 12, 2019 at 5:44 PM , Blogger jim pillsbury said...

I'll wait to see what the outcome is before passing judgement. He runs a good SC meeting and is a party loyalist. I would hope he has nothing to do with the Pascual thing. Someone I know talked with janitors and they said they knew nothing about having talks with them on the side.

At September 12, 2019 at 5:47 PM , Blogger jim pillsbury said...

I'm not sure the charter calls for an elections commission.

At September 12, 2019 at 10:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right. People seem too often to rush to judgment or make assumptions without knowing any of the facts. And right... the charter does not call for an independent elections commission. That doesn't mean that it precludes one from being established. The charter does not call for a local LWV chapter, but alas. And in three years there is supposed to be a charter review. Good chance to fix a lot of the flaws in it.

At September 13, 2019 at 10:12 AM , Blogger jim pillsbury said...

if we live that long. In the meantime, our city is starting to resemble our State and Federal government. Little gets done and lots of bickering.

At September 13, 2019 at 4:13 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Freudberg isn't mixed up in this then either he is too stupid to know he was used to create the public mess or hasn't shown the balls to speak up after he should have realized he was used.

At September 13, 2019 at 4:49 PM , Blogger jim pillsbury said...

someone will get to the bottom this

At September 14, 2019 at 9:47 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

But Jim will they get to the bottom of it before the election where it matters or after the election where it won’t?


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