After determining that no portion of the 18% 2010 UJC Budget reduction would come from the salaries of the most highly compensated at UJC, 31 professionals and support staff were fired last week. The CEO expressed his "personal pain" in a bizarre Howard's View last week that somehow compared the anguish of a terminated UJC staff member engaged in the sacred work of community to that being felt by employees of Pontiac Motors!! Very compassionate...very. Here is Howard's warm message in relevant part: "As hard as it is to tell someone they are losing their job, it is infinitely harder to receive such news, and this time, those who will be joining the ranks of the unemployed will be doing so at a time of deep recession. For them, finding mew employment will be a real challenge." No comment necessary.
When it turns out that all those fired at 25 Broadway were women, given prior actions by this management, serious questions have to arise. Let's look at the record of last week's atrocity:
~ One of the those let go in the mailing list area had been a responsible staff member for 30 years...she and two others...gone.
~ The Network Director, a serious professional with a most difficult assignment which she handled with care and in which she worked assiduously to grow the financial resources without much support...gone.
~ The Speakers Bureau Director, who was one of the few direct points of UJC contact with the federations, and who had directed this area with great skill even with a declining Budget for many years...gone -- and I would guess with no "heads up," no prior discussion with Network lay leadership.
~ A wonderful professional, who worked with UJC Direct (one of the few areas of UJC interface with its owners, shut down last week as well) and had received the UJC "Customer Service Award"...gone.
These are but examples of dedicated staff members some or all of whose jobs might have been saved had UJC's Budget Chair and leadership approached their responsibilities differently. At a time that federations' staff (and even at law firms) across the country are reducing their compensation so as to save the jobs of others, at UJC...nothing. It's not their fault, you see; or their responsibility it appears.