When the dust settled, I was willing to believe the contract decision may have been just. Unfortunately, I know enough of Linda Watt and her lackies that I'm more inclined to believe the union reps than to believe the Watt Corporation. It grieves me to say that, as a paid-up Episcopalian who loves this church.
What left me livid? This above everything: CEO Linda Watt and and our "communications department" come off sounding more heartless than Pharoah or Pontius Pilate. The union reps came off sounding more charitable and humane than did Watt & Co. Our purported spokespeople seemed utterly deaf to how a church should communicate with its members and with the world.
TEC issued an interim report from the Executive Council meeting and now a final report from this week's meeting of the Executive Council.
What did Executive Council do about our miserable communications? The Executive Council passed a resolution "reconstituting the Board of Governors of Episcopal Life into the Episcopal News Service Advisory Committee." Did they call for accountability? No. Did they ask why most of the real journalists have left our Church Center? No. Did they address the miserable failure of our church's communications? No. They simply rearranged the deck chairs, giving a committee a different name.
But is anyone noticing how many of our finest journalists have left in the last couple of years?
Several members of Executive Council said they would delve into the matter of how our church cancelled the cleaning contract and – more importantly – how our church communicated/defended this decision. Are they doing so? Not that I can tell. As far as I can tell, no one in our church's leadership cares that our communications staff is virtually impotent.
I appreciate [Chief Operating Officer Linda Watt's] report, but it does not dispel my ongoing concern for workers' rights and human decency, nor does it ameliorate, in my opinion, that communication about the situation was (to say the least) very poorly handled. I expressed that view, as did others, and I and others will be continuing to monitor the situation and strive to support workers' rights. I want to thank those people who hold my and others' feet to the fire about this. Keep it up! This is important stuff.