Thursday, December 19, 2013

Letter to Staff, 2:16 PM Today

Dear colleagues,

I am home today, recuperating from a minor medical procedure. I just received an email that we are naming our college office after the sitting chancellor. This is the first I've heard of it, and our consultation committee, which met yesterday, was not apprised of it either.

Chancellor Walcott is an integral part of a team that denied all of us the 8% raise that FDNY, NYPD, SDNY and almost all city unions received, with virtually no givebacks, in the 2008-2010 round of pattern bargaining.

Walcott has demanded that he alone arbitrate cases of accused sexual abuse, and has repeatedly collaborated with the Daily News when they published cases and names of accused teachers. I am familiar with precisely one of these people. This person was not guilty of sexual abuse, had his name repeatedly dragged through the mud for years, and after years wasted in the rubber room, now works as an ATR. Anyone guilty of sexual abuse of children belongs in prison. However, being accused by the DOE is not tantamount to guilt.

Walcott was part of the team that jettisoned the APPR agreement with the UFT. Neither UFT nor the DOE wanted teachers observed six times a year, but because of his intransigence, John King got to singlehandedly write an evaluation system so ridiculous even the supervisors seem to hate it.

It's hugely disappointing that administration has unilaterally decided to pay tribute to a man who has worked tirelessly to make our jobs less professional, who has vilified us at every turn, who has refused to offer us the compensation he saw fit to give other city employees, and who has supported every baseless corporate reform that has come down the pike while he occupied this office.


Arthur Goldstein, UFT Chapter Leader
Francis Lewis High School

Note: Forgive me for calling Sanitation Dept. (DSNY) SDNY, and for whatever I left out, like the $3 billion for class size reduction Walcott left on the table.
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