Friday, October 09, 2020

Letter from the Chancellor

Dear colleagues,

It is with great joy that I write you to let you know what a fabulous job you are all doing, under difficult circumstances. I know that you needed to be very nimble last March, when Blaz and I kept the schools open after having closed Broadway. Actually Broadway is still closed, and you are all dragging your sorry asses into school buildings day after day, but I digress. 

I would be remiss if I did not mention the sacrifices you make each and every day for our 1.1 million students. You know, that's a large number. If you were to go anywhere in the country and look at 300 people, one of them could be our student. And if you were to line them up in single file they would stand from here to the Joe Biden Travel Plaza in Delaware. If you were to stand them on top of each other, they would make the largest celestial ladder seen in human history. And if you were to deprive them of thousands of dollars you owed them, they'd come with torches and pitchforks and do serious damage to our fine facilities at Tweed.

This brings me to another point. Now sure, the nay sayers, the Debbie Downers, the Negative Nabobs of Neverneverland will say, hey, that Carranza and Blaz just stabbed 100,000 UFT members in the back, and sure, there will be some validity to that POV, but please try and see it from our side. Look,  I'm a working stiff just like you. Now sure, I make $345,000 a year, and I live rent free in a home the city gave me, but I had to take a one week furlough. Now that right there is 5,000 bucks out of my pocket, so I know how it feels when it's five from yours, or more likely ten. 

I certainly understand your disappointment. I know many of you maxed out your TDA contributions, hoping to save some of this money for the future. Now, not only won't you have that, but you won't even have your regular paycheck. Sure, that's tough, but we New Yorkers are nothing if not resilient. Of course I'm not actually a New Yorker, but I read that somewhere. 

And I understand some of you had this money earmarked for a new home, but hey, isn't part of the adventure of being a New Yorker living in a romantic twentieth floor walkup with a bathtub in the kitchen? Aren't you proud of being so authentic? And hey, if you had that money earmarked for sending your kid to college, are you sure it's worth it? For example, Blaz and I just scammed tens of thousands of college grads out of almost a billion dollars. Would you want that happening to your kid? Of course not.

So let's all just put on our Big Boy Pants. Mine are from Brooks Brothers and cost $600 a pair. And don't get me started on cufflinks. You know you've really made it once you wear cufflinks. I wear them on the sleeves of both my shirts and trousers just to let people know I'm serious. Listen, it's only money.

On the bright side, I'm still here, writing you inspirational letters whenever the mood strikes me. And don't get any big ideas about striking me. I'll be holed up in my office for the next year or so, and you'll have to get past security before I entertain the likes of you. I've got to scrape by on only $340,000 this year, but you don't hear me bellyaching. Of course you can't, because I'm sitting in my fancy office and you won't see me in your school until this current generation of teachers retires. Hopefully by then I'll have scored another gig, maybe on the West Coast, or maybe I can get one of those gigs like I used to see in the Sopranos sitting on lawn chairs and watching people work.

Anyway, I'm always impressed by your great dedication to the children of this city, and I'm certainly glad all of you are out there doing the work because someone has to sit in this office and get pastrami sandwiches delivered from Katz's. Remember, Rich be nimble, Rich be quick, cutting teacher pay is slick.

Please forget about the money, don't go to arbitration, and don't say bad things about us.

In unity,


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