Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Pakter on Callaghan: UFT Canned Its Conscience When It Fired Jim Callaghan

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Friday,  September 17, 2010  Edition 
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UFT Canned Its Conscience -
When It Fired Jim Callaghan

To the Editor:

There are no words that can adequately describe the level of deceit and viciousness displayed by the United Federation of Teachers when it fired the last person in its midst who possessed any real integrity.

All the years I, a former Teacher of the Year and whistleblower, did battle with the city Department of Education and Joel Klein, Esq., the epitome of charlatans and phonies, it was Jim Callaghan who was the sole reporter within the UFT who followed my story, wrote about my journey through “the belly of the beast” of the DOE and refused to be a part of a vast cover-up within the union that my story was best swept under the rug —the better to keep things quiet for DOE’s benefit.

Through years of hellish indifference by the union to my fate, it was Jim Callaghan who doggedly pursued my story and was able to get witnesses to speak and testified at my Teacher trial, thus acting as a major force in my ultimate exoneration, proving the school Principal and others had lied through their teeth while under sworn oath to tell the truth.

Jim Callaghan was the sole voice of truth for years within the UFT.

Like Edward R. Murrow at CBS, Jim Callaghan was the conscience of a vast organization not always up to the task of exercising “due diligence” in investigating the ongoing abysmal and even legally criminal treatment visited upon dedicated NYC Teachers.

UFT members have been forced to suffer for years at the hands of Chan- cellor Joel Klein’s vast armies of lackeys, enforcers, stooges and vicious lapdogs who go after and visit misery and undeserved punishment on any Teacher who does not grovel at the feet of his well-paid taskmasters, whose primary mission is not so much to educate and protect New York City’s one million public school children but to crush by any means necessary any and all dissent that might arise.

With Jim Callaghan’s very unfortunate and indeed tragic departure from the UFT, there is now nothing remaining at a once-great labor organization but smoke and mirrors.

Please do what you can to pay homage and indeed take up the cause of a fellow reporter and most-ethical journalist who, like the immortal Shirley Chisholm, could not be bought and would not be silenced.

It is time The Chief probed deeper into a story in which the true facts have not yet seen the light of day and have yet to be heard.


Editor’s note:
Mr. Pakter was honored for Exceptional Achievement in Education at City Hall by former Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I spoke with a staff writer for the NY teacher and he said he was supportive of Callaghna and tried tO cover for what he called "hyper-sensitivity" and improper actions by Callaghan. He said he was a "horror" to work with and constantly complained about editing his pieces. I have no doubt that the staff writers are seriously "controlled" and have no freedom to write stories as they see fit. Callaghan was probably very frustrated in that atmosphere, and I think he may not have deserved to be fired for complaining about it. The way he was fired was horrible and it says something about the UFT.