While continuing to deliver essential services to students, members of the Mansfield Educators Association voted to stop engaging in volunteer activities to demonstrate their frustration over working without a contract, which has now gone unsettled for nearly 150 days. This is the second consecutive time teachers have been left working for a long stretch without a contract, which damages the town’s ability to attract and retain the best educators, according to MEA president Scott Cohen.
“Educators have been bargaining in good faith, sensitive to the community’s needs and constraints,” Cohen said. “We have even been publicly praised by the school administration for our abilities to do more with less, yet that praise rings hollow when the school committee fails to settle a contract with us.”
Teachers are at the point where this inability to reach a fair and equitable agreement can only be seen as disrespectful of the work educators do throughout the district, Cohen said.
“Because the school committee and its negotiators cannot see fit to move forward, then we too must take a stand as educators and will be working to the exact terms of the previously negotiated contract, he said. “Every teacher will fulfill his and her obligations to the students in Mansfield. But we will not engage in the myriad volunteer activities teachers undertake throughout the year.”
Cohen pointed out that teachers will still deliver vital services to students such as writing college recommendation letters, but educators will not be arriving to school early or staying late.
“Teachers now are working harder than ever,” Cohen said. “There are many new state initiatives we must meet in addition to the day-to-day needs of our students and goals we set for ourselves.
“We have shown our willingness and dedication to settle an agreement that best serves students, teachers, and the community as a whole,” Cohen said. “I’m asking not just parents with children in the public schools, but all Mansfield residents to urge the school committee to resolve this issue.”
FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION, CONTACT MANSFIELD EDUCATORS ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT SCOTT COHEN, (Scottmeaprez@gmail.com, 508-269-7924)