Tell Mayor Walsh: STOP CORPORATE CONFLICT of INTEREST in our SCHOOLS!
|Text of Petition:To: Mayor Martin Walsh
cc: Boston City Council, Boston Interim Superintendent of Schools John McDonough, Massachusetts Congressional Delegation, Governor Baker, Labor Secretary Perez, President Obama, members of the media
STOP CORPORATE CONFLICT OF INTEREST IN OUR SCHOOLS!
The new Transportation Director for Boston Public Schools (BPS) was formerly a top executive with Veolia Transportation – the private contractor for the BPS buses!
You couldn’t have a more obvious example of the fox hired to guard the henhouse!
Not only that: Fully aware of the appearance of favoritism, Jonathan Steketee the Transportation Director actually changed his name from Jonathan Sanders – his name as Veolia Assistant General Manager!
Sanders/Steketee also violates the position’s residency requirement, which Mayor Walsh is required to enforce. The Transportation Director is required to be a resident of Boston. But Sanders/Steketee lives in Quincy.
What else is Sanders/Steketee hiding?
Sanders/Steketee apparently got the name-change idea from Veolia, whose international reputation — as a corrupt corporation responsible for union-busting and customer gouging and as a supporter of apartheid settlements in Palestine — is so bad its executives recently changed its name to Transdev.
Veolia/Transdev relies on cozy relationships with city officials to help it reap tens of millions in bonus incentives structured in its contracts. Obviously, it is in Veolia’s interest to have an insider manage a contract that can yield such fabulous payouts. The BPS Director also decides on Veolia’s contract renewal.
Fact is, Sanders/Steketee was General Manager on the scene at Veolia on October 8, 2013, when he illegally locked out 800 drivers instead of simply agreeing to a meeting. Sanders/Steketee then presided over the frame-up and firing of 4 school bus union officers. He constructed a contract proposal to the drivers full of labor concessions and givebacks, and gave false testimony to police in the union-busting frame-up charges against the union’s Grievance Chair.
Sanders/Steketee and Veolia/Transdev’s conflicts of interest and anti-labor stance may result in the first school bus drivers’ strike in 24 years.
Veolia/Transdev has been booted out of whole countries and cities and lost contract bids in others. At a minimum, I call on the Mayor to fire Sanders/Steketee and replace him with someone who can place the interests of Boston’s 33,000 schoolchildren above personal gain and Veolia/Transdev’s union-busting agenda.
I further call on the Mayor to dump Veolia/Transdev for breach of contract and to use his authority to reach a just settlement with the bus drivers.
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