Sunday, February 07, 2010

I Am an Episcopalian ... and I am Ashamed

From the New York Daily News: "Crew of 9 at Episcopal Church Center Abruptly Fired." Go read the entire article to find out about the latest self-inflicted black eye upon the Episcopal Church.

It seems the leadership at Church Center cancelled the contract with the unionized cleaning company and entered into a contract with a non-unionized firm. I assume that decision would have been made by the Chief Operating Officer of TEC, Linda Watt.

That left 9 employees, many of whom had worked at Church Center for over 10 years, fired with not one minute of warning.

Of course, our Church's leaders are showing remarkable Christian virtue in the aftermath of all this.

"It needs to be clear that looking for a new contract is a normal business procedure," said church spokeswoman Neva Rae Fox.
And:

Linda Watts, chief operating officer of the Episcopal Church, put out an official statement: "Budget constraints have prompted The Episcopal Church to review all contracts and to implement cost-cutting measures where possible," she said. No mention of the plight of the nine men and women thrown out to the streets or of lending them a helping hand.
I must head to church, where I shall beg forgiveness for the evil we do and the evil that is done in our name.

More later, as I learn more.

16 Comments:

Blogger Ann said...

Here is some more with our GC 06 resolution

2/07/2010 9:24 AM  
Blogger susan s. said...

Your link is not working, Ann.

2/07/2010 9:46 AM  
Blogger Ann said...

http://www.episcopalcafe.com/lead/episcopal_church/nine_staff_axed_at_815_to_hire.html

2/07/2010 9:50 AM  
Blogger Ann said...

Try this

2/07/2010 9:51 AM  
Blogger susan s. said...

Thanks, Ann. I couldn't help myself. I left a snarky comment.

2/07/2010 9:54 AM  
Blogger Robert said...

I'm with you Lisa. Rather ashamed by it all. And particularly ashamed by the rather non-apologetic and non-embarrassed response by 815.

2/07/2010 11:50 AM  
Blogger Murdoch Matthew said...

Not a fan of Neva Ray Fox. When she was editor of the Episcopal New Yorker, she ran a lovely human interest story about the bishop as a family man, with pictures of him and his grandchildren. At the time, his grandkids weren't speaking to him because of how he was treating their mother -- he'd moved out and was dating the diocesan director of vocational discernments. Ms Fox must have known the facts and was knowingly covering up.

Fire a priest or department flunky; bring back the cleaning union.

2/07/2010 1:21 PM  
Blogger mojnun said...

This is not the first time a member of Church Center management has been essentially unaccountable for his/her actions and decisions; several such incidents have cost the Church greatly in many ways, not only financially. The organization's structure is simply broken, and will be until there is mutual accountability between management and the Executive Council.

2/07/2010 2:40 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Thank you for that ECafe link, Ann. I'm going to add more text.

2/07/2010 3:08 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Amen, Jan.

And here I was, thinking that the current management was merely going after the competent professionals on staff.

But, no, they're also going after "the least of these."

Perhaps they're following a new version of the Bible, which reads: "They must decrease, so I may increase."

2/07/2010 3:10 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Agreed, Robert. The heartless comments from Fox [no relation!] and Watt are breathtaking.

I can almost see them doing a self-righteous hand-washing in those comments at the NY Daily News

2/07/2010 3:13 PM  
Blogger Ann said...

notice this comment - like this is supposed to make it all better?
Enterprises, a minority-owned firm, has been awarded a one-year contract for housekeeping services at The Episcopal Church Center effective January 4, 2010.

Divide and conquer? No minority owned firms that are unionized?

2/07/2010 3:58 PM  
Blogger Jane R said...

Oh, sad. And angering.

It was already bad enough that all kinds of positions had gotten canceled and social justice programs reduced or canned or folded into other depts. Now they go, as you noted, for the least of this. This happened at our college, by the way, with the budget cuts of a little over a year ago; but there was no union; these were housekeeping staff who were already paid c**p and could least afford to lose work.

2/07/2010 6:13 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Jane, I think somepeople are going to be someWATT surprised when they hear Jesus himself read Matthew 25 to them.

I *hate* that this is being done in the name of the Episcopal Church!

2/07/2010 6:21 PM  
Blogger Catherine said...

Lisa, thank you for this piece. I know that as you learn more you will be writing more. We need women like you in our Church. God help us find a way to truth and true justice, living out our Baptismal Covenant and loving our neighbor in the best way possible. Thank you.

2/08/2010 8:18 AM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Thanks for your kind comment, Catherine. I'm continuing to write what I can on this story.
I believe there is more to be told.

2/09/2010 8:55 PM  

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