Tuesday, October 12, 2021

RESOLUTION ON HEALTH CARE PLAN CHANGES – CURRENT AND FUTURE for UFT Delegate Assembly - Oct. 13, 2021

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To be distributed at the DA ----note the logos -- almost all active groups in the UFT are backing this and contributed.

Digital copy can be accessed here: bit.ly/handsoffhealthcare  

October 2021 Delegate Assembly RESOLUTION ON HEALTH CARE PLAN CHANGES – CURRENT AND FUTURE

WHEREAS the UFT stands in resistance to the privatization of Public Education and Public Healthcare, and

WHEREAS the Municipal Labor Committee (MLC) negotiates healthcare benefits for the employees of all NYC municipal unions with the NYC Office of Labor Relations (OLR), and

WHEREAS the UFT controls the largest percentage of weighted voting within the MLC, and 



WHEREAS UFT, and other NYC retirees on Medicare only discovered in mid-May that the MLC had negotiated fundamental changes to the administration of their Medicare benefits, and

WHEREAS the next cost-saving agreement between MLC and OLR is coming up as Fiscal Year 2022 approaches, and

WHEREAS at recent town halls and Retired Teacher Chapter meetings, Michael Mulgrew has spoken about upcoming changes to the healthcare benefits for in-service UFT members; changes that may result from the next MLC-OLR cost-saving agreement, and

WHEREAS negotiation of that agreement has still not been publicized, therefore be it

RESOLVED, that UFT leadership notify and inform all affected UFT members of exactly what cost-saving targets are being discussed by MLC and OLR, and be it further

RESOLVED, that UFT leadership notify and inform affected UFT members of exactly what healthcare benefit changes may result from those cost-savings, and be it further

RESOLVED, that unlike the recent experience of NYC retirees, UFT representatives to the MLC will not support a plan affecting healthcare changes without at least 6 months of debate among affected UFT members, and be it further.

RESOLVED, that UFT representatives to the MLC will not support a plan affecting healthcare changes without a vote of UFT membership.

Digital copy can be accessed here: bit.ly/handsoffhealthcare October 2021 Delegate Assembly 1 QUESTIONS FOR MULGREW, UFT LEADERSHIP, THE MAYOR AND CITY

DEFEND OUR HEALTHCARE

DEFEND OUR HEALTH AND SAFETY

Mulgrew mentioned at the last town hall that health care will be on the table in negotiations for the 2022 contract. Will there be more information given to active members about health care negotiations than the secretive and rushed conversion to private Medicare Advantage experienced by our retirees this year?

[ tinyurl.com/uftsellsout ]

What other options did you discuss rather than cutting city healthcare costs on the backs of retirees? Isn't it a conflict of interest to have Gregory Floyd, who sits on the board of Emblemhealth, cast his vote in MLC for EmblemHealth/Empire to get the contract for the MA plan?

President Mulgrew, in May, 2015, the Delegate Assembly passed a Resolution in support of the New York Health Act to establish single-payer health insurance in the state. Then, in April 2021, the UFT paid for a political ad opposing the NYHA. What gives you the right to defy resolutions passed by the UFT's highest decision-making body? What makes you feel you can spend our COPE dollars in defiance of positions adopted by the Delegate Assembly? Do you feel you are immune from accountability to support resolutions passed by the membership of this union?

[ tinyurl.com/nyhauft ]

Why, President Mulgrew, do you continue to ignore, through words and deeds, the May 2007 resolution passed by the UFT Retired Teachers Chapter, Stop the privatization of Medicare? Do resolutions passed by membership have no meaning for you?

[ tinyurl.com/uftstop ]

Based on our long-standing stance on stopping the privatization of Medicare and our commitment to providing quality, affordable healthcare to our members, should not the UFT unequivocally reject the idea of any healthcare savings that will produce higher premiums for healthcare, fewer healthcare choices, higher copayments or any other kind of diminishment of health benefits for active or retired UFT members?

Given that the raises in the last two contracts were tied to monies in the MLC’s Health Care Stabilization fund , and now we see recent changes in retiree healthcare, how will this impact the healthcare coverage and salaries of active members as we approach the next season of contract bargaining?

[ tinyurl.com/fundraises ]

Given the city’s unions claim that the change to Medicare Advantage results in 600 million dollars in healthcare cost savings for the city, how do you plan to save a similar amount of money in healthcare savings in the next round of contract talks with active working members? Are there any proposed changes being secretly discussed presently?

Can you guarantee that the Medicare Advantage plan will not lead to the privately managed system potentially engaging in pre-approval gatekeeping that might limit access to life-saving care and procedures, or will not lead to limited access to specific hospital networks? Will you guarantee this will not happen to active workers in any future changes?

The Mayor recently loosened quarantining rules so unvaccinated students will not be quarantined. Why did UFT leadership seemingly cave to the city and allow them to base decisions on convenience instead of safety, especially with breakthrough cases and the highly transmissible Delta variant?

Only 10% of consenting, unvaccinated students are being tested weekly for COVID. LA schools are testing every teacher and student every week. Why aren’t we openly pressuring the city to adopt more rigorous testing to keep us safer? Why is school staff being denied access to COVID testing in schools?

Over 4,000 classrooms only have ventilation through a cracked window and De Blasio’s boondoggle NON-HEPA air purifiers. What are we doing to protect those teachers and students with adequate ventilation? Infrastructure is crumbling around us.

Over the summer, the DOE increased classroom capacities to allow only 20 sq ft per student - this does not accommodate students at 3 ft distancing . Why did we let them get away with that? Why have we not fought harder on reducing class size given this pandemic and unprecedented funding window?

What measures and steps are we taking to address continued exposure to the virus and members who are suffering from or may suffer from the lasting, and even life threatening, effects of LONG COVID?

What are we doing to better address the full time school nurse shortage crisis in our schools? Why isn’t there any public outcry for the lack of full time school nurses who provide daily skilled nursing services to students with conditions like diabetes and District 75 medically fragile students? Agency nurses are not adequately trained or supervised by their agencies. They also have no direct access to the student’s medical records.

Why are we not fighting for a more wide ranging remote option for the medically fragile, unvaccinated and vulnerable families when many receive significantly less home instruction under the Medically Necessary Instruction program? With well over 150k students possibly staying home because of grave safety concerns should we not reach them where they are until the pandemic is over? Would this not relieve overcrowding and staffing shortages along with social distancing concerns?

Why are we not offering our cities’ families and staff increased access to the safest masks available like N95s and KN95s?

Why have we not opened more schools as vaccination hubs in our communities with the lowest vaccination rates and sought for an aggressive campaign to promote education to address vaccine hesitancy? Will we support mandated student vaccinations? Why or why not?

Many are reporting significant delays by the Situation Room and contract tracing in notifying parents and educators about positive cases? Why are we not fighting for this to be rectified?

1Today, 10/13/2021, delegates and chapter leaders stand in solidarity with our retiree and in-service family, parents and allies rallying outside of Shanker Hall. We must BE BETTER AND DO BETTER for our members and school communities.

 

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