Tuesday, October 4, 2022

UFT Ex Bd - Oct. 3 - Healthcare Mumble Jumble, Leroy Barr exonerates Unity for all election transgressions

Healthcare and the UFC election complaints dominated the Ex bd meeting, both causing those of us texting during the meeting some double LOL moments.

The uft leadership new solution to healthcare is to form an in-service health-care committee similar to the bogus retiree health committee loaded with Unity Caucus shills. Watch the new committee endorse whatever mess they are going to make of healthcare for working members in the upcoming contract. Maybe throw a silver sneaker or two at them. As one astute observer of UFT said:  GHI is dead - it will be all managed care and choice will cost you.

My head is spinning over the misinformation at the ex bd last night. Eterno has the raw facts: OCTOBER 3 EXECUTIVE BOARD REPORT  as does Nick Bacon: Healthcare, Healthcare, Healthcare – UFT Executive Board Minutes, 10/3/2022

Ilona Nanay, Ex bd HS: I stand in favor of the resolution (in opposition to the privatization of Medicare). A year ago my mother died of breast cancer and she was on a medicare advantage plan. It was virtually impossible for her to obtain care. I think it is one of the reasons that she passed. It is still extremely frustrating – every time I hear [Mulgrew] talk about the program. I would love a breakdown of why the NY Health Act hurts us as members of the union. UFT supported the NY healthcare in 2015. Why is NY Health Act antithetical to us? It would expand healthcare across the community. I can't understand why we are opposed to it.... 
....interrupted in midstream by point of order by Aqeel Williams because he noticed someone on the zoom with a sign - horrors - asked for her to be thrown out of meeting - double horrors.... oh my, someone held up a sign on zoom that few noticed but the Unity police were on the case to interrupt someone talking about their mom dying from cancer a year ago during which you didn't hear a pin drop? Oh, Akeel - you are so sensitive. 

The response from Gaglione was along the lines of - she just picked the wrong MedAdv program. -- Double lack of sensitivity for Vinny. And then later, an upset Ilona was approached by some Unity people who wanted to share how their family members also had cancer -- the very people who voted against the reso -- did they have the right MedAdv insurance?

And this-----

Gee -  someone might leave a comment in the chat that might contradict the lies and lines Unity puts out. These people must control every means of communication.

Chat room began meeting as enabled but as soon as some people began to post it was disabled.

Just a flavor of the Oct. 3 UFT Ex Bd meeting.  --Some more flavors from anonymous comments from observers:

The most fucked-up moments were... When Aqeel interrupted Ilona talking about her dead mother to complain about something that had been happening all along...When Vincent said “unfortunately you need to look at what you’re buying” after Ilona talked about how her mother’s poor healthcare contributed to her death from cancer...When people who had voted against the resolution came over to a crying Ilona to tell her about their dead and metastatic relatives...Then Melissa Williams told them off

More OMFG moments brought to us by DISUnity... Fake news moment when MM said the UFT doesn’t want to organize actions “bc they don’t want to tell members what to do/boss them around,” when really by my recollection of having been at times the only member of 193K+ to show up to the actions the UFT “organized” this summer, in truth, they are simply not able to do so... 

When asked by Lydia at Exec Board meeting yesterday about what is union doing to inform members they can attend Ex Bd meetings: Sill cracked jokes and asked Lydia what she’s doing to get folx involved?... He pulled that line twice. Once with Lydia and again with another speaker. They got "Silled" 😠... It’s pre-planned gaslighting Playbook... The Secretary and Assistant Secretary make close to a half a million dollars combined. They can at least show fidelity to our constitution which says ex bd meetings are open. Asking a full time teacher and Exec Board volunteer to do their work is patronizing.

Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022

A real healthcare debate broke out at the Ex Bd meeting last night as UFT/Unity spun double talk about healthcare costs and solutions, plus the report on the election complaints. 

Mulgrew bad omen: We have to push back against rising costs and how do we do it? We find ways to work with the city to save money --- 

Where those savings actually come from is left fuzzy. UFC Ex Bd people challenged the Unity line with a resolution that pushed back. 

Here's a piece from Nick Bacon's notes during the question period:

Ibeth Mejia: According to Article 3G1, “ The Board agrees to arrange for, and make available to each day school teacher, a choice of health and hospital insurance coverage from among designated plans and the Board agrees to pay the full cost of such coverage.” Why are we discussing limiting FREE plans when a choice of free plans is in our contract?

Response: We are championing choice.

Ibeth: Don’t we already have two not premium free plans, GHI and HIP?

Sorkin: We are looking to preserve good ‘premium free options.’

Ibeth: Presses.

Sorkin: Notes rises costs. Would love to pass costs on to members. So we need to see what else is out there. We have dictates from decades of negotiations over healthcare.

Ilona: DC37 sent out a letter to members stating bluntly that if healthcare isn’t ‘fixed’, their raises won’t keep up with inflation. In other words, if they don’t agree to lower the quality of their healthcare, one can infer that they’ll see other parts of their quality of life be reduced – income, perhaps housing, etc. In the past year or so, we’ve heard similar threats from UFT. Does the UFT leadership agree with this assessment from DC37? How will pattern bargaining affect us? And what can retirees and in-service members expect will happen to the quality or access to healthcare in the future? Will we only receive raises if we cut our benefits? Or will we fight for both.

Sorkin: Familiar with letter – speaking of cost savings not reducing healthcare. Can’t speak to UFT’s role in not negotiating until healthcare. There’s no talk of reducing benefits – just the cost.

Lydia Howrilka: Clarifying question regarding Ibeth’s question. Why has the UFT allowed the change in Administrative code 12-126.

Sorkin: Because we want to preserve choice and we want to make sure the MLC has a voice.

Alex Jallot: Mulgrew did support national healthcare. So are we only going to endorse federal candidates who support universal healthcare?

How are they reducing costs and offering us a choice only if we pay $400 a month per couple? Oh wait -- reducing costs for the city, not for us.

At 7:45 Nick raised a reso calling on the UFT to support Medicare for all - Keep Medicare as Medicare --- Vinnie from Unity gaslights - MedAdv is just part of med part c
La di da -- The benevolent UFT is calling for changes in the admin code to offer us a choice - at $400 bucks a month for couples. And those with lousy pensions who can't afford it - that's no choice.

Ibeth- Responds to Mr. Gaglione.  Supports choice. We need free choice. It would cost almost $400 a month for a retired married couple to keep what they have now. We need Medicare for all.

Another A-plus for Ibeth -- short and succinct.

No wonder Unity was desperate to keep UFC off the ex bd. Instead of rubber stamp meetings ending at 6:30 - this one ran until 8PM. I was on the zoom due last remnants of covid but that helped me notice things - with the assistance of people texting from inside.

Mulgrew: Medicare Advantage is only one piece of what has been going on, which is why we need an in-service committee. We go to the doctors more than any other employees of the City....

Is Mulgrew chastising teachers for going to doctors so often?  Like I wonder why teachers go to doctors so often? Do you think working conditions? My first two years I was sick all the time being exposed to roomfulls of children.

Mulgrew: ‘Medicare Advantage’ is still part of Medicare. We have the right to do this, so why not make our own? We want good quality premium free healthcare.

Sophistry - MedAdv is an alternative to Medicare and sucks money out of Medicare and keeps prices high through high admin costs, ex salaries, and big profits. Mulgrew actually complained about allowing them to call themselves non-profits while making high profits while at the same time trying to move retirees out of public options and into one of these plans.
Here is Nick Bacon speaking for the resolution in opposition to the privatization of Medicare he presented:(Click hyperlink to left for full text).

Bacon: Endorses resolution in opposition to the privatization of Medicare.  It was said earlier by Mulgrew that UFT supports a national single payer public option. Indeed we as a union have passed resolutions to this effect. It stands to reason that Medicare, the only current public option, which such a system would be modeled after, must be preserved. Therefore, we must resist privatization of Medicare. Medicare Advantage will get cost savings through privatization that limits access to care for our retirees (and future retirees) who dedicated their careers in service to our City and students. It will add to administrative costs and add barriers to care like prior authorizations. Medicare Advantage is much like charter schools, which we as a union also resist. Charter Schools offer to do the same as public schools but ‘better’ and often ‘cheaper’ through privatization. They erode public education by doing this. Medicare Advantage does the same to Medicare. Given our own obvious analogy in education,  our own precarious situation relative to privatization, we must argue for salvaging our public Medicare. And we owe it to the workers who have retired and one day will retire.

Sworkin: Stand in opposition. States things thee says things that are false and is misguided. ‘Sometimes we need to make tough decisions.’

Yeah, Jeff, your tough decision will end up screwing us.

Only the 7 vote and Mike Schirtzer in favor of the resolution. Unity votes down resolution.

UFT Election Complaints report by Leroy Barr:
This is part 2 of the UFT report on the UFC complaints. There's lots here to revue but Eterno and Nick cover a bunch of it. I took note of this one:
The complaint charged that UFC delegates had been shut out of making resos at the DA. Leroy reported: It is false that non-Unity members have not been allowed. November: (Bacon), Daniel Alicea (had on agenda), January (Strivers), various motions to amend also noted.
BULLCRAP - Actually, close observers have noted very clearly that after the oppo won some points at the October 2021 DA -- notably on class size - Unity shut down oppo voices for the rest of the school year. Leroy claimed Mulgrew doesn't know where people sit when insiders have told us repeatedly that they actually hold DA practice sessions with what is known as the Unity Speakers Bureau - one Unity member told me Mulgrew has a seating plan for Unity people. The LOL moment came when Leroy pointed to Nick Bacon being given the opportunity to make a reso as an example of UFC Oppo - except Nick was actually a member of Unity at the time and UFC hadn't yet been formed.
UFC HS Ex Bd Nick Bacon responded: 
Simply want to clarify that it’s unfair to say UFC was called on in resolutions. When I was called, I was a member of Unity. UFC did not clearly exist yet. When Daniel was called up his resolution had been put on the docket the previous school year, well before UFC existed. It had been on the docket so long that it was moot when he brought it up, hence him taking it off the agenda. All other members discussed did not bring up original resolutions. They simply called up amendments or other points of order, which they don’t need to be called on by Unity-elected officers in order to do.
[Note - Leroy informed me they are editing the report to take Nick's comment into account].
By the way - UFC election percentages show serious support from members who voted -- UFC should be given time and space at the DA.
Mike Schirtzer calls for lifting UFT Negotiating committee Cone of Silence a crack. 
Can we publicize contract meetings and some our demands that serve our students and parents. Get members in front of cameras to say we want what families want.
Mike did this in a good way --- pointing out that keeping negotiating issues behind closed doors is not the best way to galvanize support. Teachers major demands help children - we should be showing that.
Good for Mike ---

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