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Abate reelected to HTA presidency

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20th Century Homes

On Tuesday, June 11, Rebecca Abate was reelected to serve as the President of the Hopkinton Teachers Association. 

As reported by the Hopkinton Independent, Abate received 169 votes, besting her rival HHS English teacher Michael Franchock, who received 146 votes. 

An initial election was held in May, which Abate also won, but it was contested by union members, who asserted that the election had not been conducted according to the rules of the association. It was found that Abate had supervised the election herself rather than convening a committee to oversee the process. 

A subsequent story in HopNews drew widespread criticism of Abate from parents, teachers and former students. The article was viewed more than 15,000 times and garnered 97 reader comments, notably from students who accused Abate of showing favoritism, prolifically using the “N-word” during class, and bullying students and student athletes. Other commenters came to her defense, saying the attacks on Abate were politically motivated. 

>> RELATED: Hop Teachers Union President Abate Under Fire for Allegedly Rigging Election

The teachers union will enter contract negotiations with the School Committee this fall, and Abate is expected to lead the process from the teacher’s side.

On April 17, Abate gave an interview to GBH Boston, providing commentary on the outcome of the Newton teacher’s 11-day strike earlier this year. Two months earlier a judge ruled the strike illegal, ordering the teachers to pay $625,000 in restitution.

Abate heaped praise on the striking teachers, telling GBH “What Andover and Newton got, especially the parental leave, was jaw-dropping for my members. It didn’t seem like it was in the realm of possibility, so we are going to ask for more than we would have before.”

She also mentioned that while a strike was possible in Hopkinton, she saw it as a “last resort”

Abate’s comments have led some to speculate that she’s telegraphing a possible strike to her members, and with Hopkinton ranked the #1 public school district in the state, it’s unclear if town leaders would hold the line or simply capitulate to the union’s demands. Approximately 72% of the town’s operating budget and debt service goes to support the schools.

20th Century Homes

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