A vote for Retiree Advocate is a vote to protect your health plan.
Ballots are out and here is the chance for retirees to send the UFT leadership a message that they are not happy with the way secret negotiations have taken place to push a quarter million municipal union members out of the public Medicare and into a privatized Medicare Adv program.
Numbers count -- Retiree Advocate had 450 people register for its webinar a few weeks ago -- UFT leaders took notice.
The same with this vote -- the more we get the better the chance to influence the leaders. No, we don't expect to win but a serious improvement on our usual 20% will serve notice not to tamper with retiree benefits, especially since Unity Caucus uses retirees to hold on to power. Even a 10% shift in this election might cause a shift in next year's general UFT election. If Mulgrew totals every dropped below 70% of retirees, the UFT elections become more possible for the opposition.
In response to the health care issue:
RA PRESS CONFERENCE ON MEDICARE CHANGESMONDAY MAY 24 12 NOONLOCATION: PARK ROW NEAR CITY HALL ACROSS FROM B'KLYN BRIDGE
We have an amazing list of 130 candidates, including UFT activists and superstars going back a half century - some of whom I didn't speak to for decades. OY! Strange bedfellows, indeed. You should see some comments on the Retiree Advocate listserve. I love open debate which you can't find in too many places in today's world, both left and right.
Why so many candidates? We could have run 300.
We are voting on a retiree chapter leader, ten officers, a 25 member retiree ex board (not to be confused with the regular UFT Ex Bd), and 300 delegates to the Delegate Assembly - another key element of Unity control. It's winner take all so even if we got 20% we get no delegates or ex bd members.
Taxation (dues) without representation
So we are entitled morally and democratically to 20% of the delegates - 60 - and don't think having 60 retired activists in the DA wouldn't have an impact. And of course Unity will never give. But our voters get no representation at all at the DA. We need to throw the tea bags at the retiree meetings into the ocean.
But this time we asked Unity for a measly 5 delegates. And of course they said no --- all their 300 positions were filled.
Unity delegate banned for vote at DA
But then we found out that Unity delegate Dave Pecoraro who blew up the April DA by opposing Unity endorse Corey Johnson and was one of the 300 that morning, was tossed off the Unity slate - past the deadline for submission - after the DA -- supposedly at Mulgrew's orders. He Mulgrew -- I'll take Dave's place.
Unity even cheats on leaflet enclosed with ballot -- prints RA on cheap paper
Did you notice our leaflet that came with the ballot -- went out to all 70,000 retirees. The Unity leaflet in on yellow heavier bond paper, while ours is on cheap white paper --- but I still like ours better -- and I modestly claim to have played a major role in producing it. And I loved the collaborative effort working within the RA Organizing committee. The leaflet reflects our general leftist positions but not over the top with the usual rhetoric -- I am making war on leftist rhetoric - though some may have slipped through. We have an article on why unions shouldn't opposed universal health care, a move the money from defense spending article and a stock transfer tax article.
GET OUT THE VOTE FOR RA - TELL ALL YOUR FRIENDS.