Monday, January 13, 2020

Hot mic at the School Com executive session

 Bob Tremblay is just saying what everyone seems to know already, the Teacher Unions are looking to lay claim to the new school funds from the State. And like most municipal unions, anything goes when it comes to getting more money for their rank and file members.

From the MWDN:

The closed meeting came after the Finance and Operations Subcommittee finished its public meeting in the same room. But the audio recorder was not turned off after that session adjourned, and the recording went on to capture the private School Committee session.
FRAMINGHAM – During an inadvertently recorded private meeting last month, Superintendent Robert Tremblay told School Committee members that a spike in union activity is linked to a wider trend not isolated to Framingham schools.
The recording, which was accidentally released by the district, provides insight into the collective bargaining strategy between Framingham school officials and the teachers union. And it comes in the wake of a major increase in the appropriation of state education funding.
During the Dec. 18 meeting, Tremblay said he recently met with a group of about 20 superintendents from city school districts across the state who came together to exchange ideas. School chiefs discussed how teachers in their respective districts have increasingly filed grievances related to unsafe work conditions and circulated surveys asking fellow educators if they feel safe at work, among other actions, according to Tremblay.
His fellow superintendents described situations that mirrored what’s been happening in Framingham schools in recent months, Tremblay told School Committee members during the Dec. 18 executive session meeting.
“Lo and behold, it’s happening across the state,” Tremblay can be heard saying in the audio recording.
These actions, the superintendents said, surmising they are aimed at salary increases, appear to be fueled by the $1.5 billion Student Opportunity Act, which was signed by Gov. Charlie Baker in late November.
In an interview Wednesday, Christine Mulroney, president of the Framingham Teachers Association, denied the claims, saying the union’s behavior is not unusual.
“There’s no wider mission here. We bring to the microphone issues we deal with as members of the FTA,” she said. “We always have campaigns to bring members to the microphone. It’s not a new thing.”
On Dec. 18, Framingham school officials retreated behind closed doors in a conference room at the Memorial Building to meet in executive session. The closed meeting came after the Finance and Operations Subcommittee finished its public meeting in the same room. That discussion of the finance panel was recorded as usual.
But the audio recorder was not turned off after the Finance and Operations Subcommittee meeting adjourned, and the recording went on to capture the private session. The full recording – with the executive session included – was later posted on the district website.
About 30 minutes after the executive session meeting, the School Committee met publicly in the Blumer Room.
While all meetings of public bodies must be held in public, certain sensitive topics can be discussed in executive session, according to the Attorney General’s Office. The law states that there are 10 allowed reasons to enter executive session, including discussing strategy related to collective bargaining. That was the stated reason for the Dec. 18 meeting, according to the agenda.
Subcommittee recordings are typically uploaded to the district website within three business days of meetings. Executive sessions are normally not recorded. The recording was taken offline about 12:45 p.m. Wednesday, after a Daily News reporter contacted Tremblay to ask about comments he made during the meeting.
In a statement to the Daily News, School Committee Chairman Adam Freudberg said he thinks “all government officials acted respectfully, professionally, and comments made focused on the agenda and issues at hand to keep moving the school district forward.”


At January 13, 2020 at 3:18 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting that this is happening in other communities. Another example of the poor management of our Government Access people that they did not shut the mic off during and executive session. Do they pay any price for this huge mistake?

At January 13, 2020 at 3:34 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just another example of why the MW Daily News is so important. They actually delve into what is happening instead of just posting press releases as the Source does.

At January 14, 2020 at 12:47 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

I'm not sure who is to blame for this. But as I and most viewers know, Media Services pays little attention to the details of any meeting they produce.

Thankfully the MWDN did a good job of getting this recording out to the public.


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