Friday, November 18, 2022

UFT Bloggers #Mulgrewcare updates, Marianne Pizzitola guest on Daniel Alicea "Talk Out of School Sat. 1PM WBAI

This week there was a Retiree Chapter Meeting - Tuesday, Nov. 15 and A Delegate Assembly, Nov. 16 - I attended the RTC meeting and was outside the DA leafleting. 
But first some exciting upcoming news from Daniel:
Sat 11/19 at 1 pm, on @WBAI 99.5 , listen to my talk w/ Marianne Pizzitola, of the Organization of Public Service Retirees abt the NYC teacher, city worker & retiree healthcare debacle. We’ll discuss Medicare Advantage & attempts to change the city code that protects HC.
Here are DA minutes from James and Nick:
I could say a lot about Mulgrew's presentation on Tuesday at the RTC -- I began writing something pointing to inaccuracies or obfuscations but other bloggers are covering some of the same ground.
One thing - Mulgrew keeps saying the judge took away collective bargaining and says the city can offer us only one plan - in fact his ruling says they can offer us the current option BUT CAN'T CHARGE US -- sure -- Mulgrew is fighting to give me the choice to pay $4500 a year for me and my wife for what we are now paying nothing. Ice water in the winter.

The  other issue I harped on was his changing his tune to attack corporate greed of private insurers while handing these private insurers an enormous contract that would suck money out of the only public option we have - traditional Medicare. He says he wants a national universal healthcare system while pushing the transfer of $600 a year out of Medicare and thus helping destroy the public option. I had my hand up for that question but somehow they missed me.  I need to trip the lady with the mic as she walks by.
I just got an email with a list of alternatives ways of paying for healthcare - I added it below the blog links.
That's all I will say for now since I can't keep up with these bloggers - James, Arthur and Jonathan -  they are on the case. So I'll just link with a few excepts below -- I have been in some contact in private chats with all of them.

Jonathan: Big Picture vs Misdirection – Admin Code 12-126

Mulgrew wants Medicare Advantage Plus. Retirees block him. He tries to change the law to “unblock” the City and the MLC (so they can force retirees onto Medicare Advantage). They block him again. He tries campaigning with members. Nope. He tries using the Campion letter to scare members into supporting amending 12-126 so he can force retirees into Medicare Advantage. Still not working.

  • Mulgrew issues a new “fact” sheet.
  • He buries the argument over 12-126 in details (it’s SIX pages. I’m not sharing)
  • He claims this has nothing to do with Medicare Advantage.

So I put it to you. After fighting for almost two years to force retirees onto Medicare Advantage, is Mulgrew now fighting, with the same people on his side, and the same opponents, but not about Medicare Advantage anymore?


Arthur: This article in Gotham Gazette -

UFT and MLC Leadership Deceived Us About Health Care...was such a dagger to the heart of UFT leadership - "Say it ain't so, Arthur" -- they reached out to him as he reports in this follow-up:

I Meet With UFT to Discuss Healthcare -

I got a little bit of flack for my Gotham Gazette piece. There were many arguments put forth. Some were more understandable than others. While they had a lot to say, I did not get a strong sense my responses were valued. 

They told me the proposed Advantage plan, which does not actually exist anymore, were it to be replaced, would do everything the current standard Medicare plan does. It's absolutely necessary to change the code, they said, or the city will place everyone in some Advantage plan or another. Some disagree. Personally, I remain unpersuaded that changing the code is necessary, and I am not eager to enable the Eric Adams administration. 



Mulgrew's new argument appears to be that we must change the law so the City-MLC can create a new cheaper benchmark healthcare plan. At that point, the City will be able to legally charge retirees who don't take their new cheap plan a monthly premium for what the City is currently illegally charging them for. 

... the judge didn't say anything limiting our collective bargaining rights. They are subject to the Taylor Law where healthcare is a mandatory subject of bargaining. Nothing on healthcare can change without union agreement. Also, remember for school district employees state law says a school district cannot diminish retiree health benefits unless they do the same to active workers.

Why the desperation of Mulgrew to giveback on healthcare?

Here is the letter to The Chief:

Please read the op-ed for alternatives to the Medicare crisis.
This letter was sent to council member Erik Bottcher by a CROC member.

Kindly note the following alternatives presented by CROC (Cross Union Retirees Committee)  in a recent letter that you might have received as a City Council Member( see below)  I am also sharing with you an excellent Op-Ed that appeared in today's The Chief issue, written by one of our incredibly active PSC retirees, Dr. Evelyn Jones Rich. It presents all the necessary background information and rationale to VOTE No to any changes to 12-126  and rather ask the elected officials and union leaders to do the right thing: looking for real alternatives that would not affect the health care benefits of the in-service municipal employees and retirees.,49283

Bottom line: what we are looking for is for the City Council as a whole to go beyond predictions, and rather stand up publicly with us now  and say that you are all committing to Vote No to any changes to 12-126 and to look for any other viable option that will not affect any of us as retirees or in- service municipal employees.

Dear                     , 

Retirees urge you to protect our healthcare. Please vote NO on any amendment to Administrative Code 12-126. 

Healthcare costs are high but we believe the City can bridge funding for the next several years by drawing on reserves in the Retiree Health Benefits Trust Fund to shore up the Health Stabilization Fund. This would allow time to seriously evaluate alternatives that the OLR and MLC have themselves put on the table.

Such long-term cost-saving measures to explore could include:
1)  Creating a city-run self-insurance plan;
2)  Negotiating aggressive hospital cost-containment measures;
3)  Consolidating and negotiating group drug plans;
4)  Auditing the membership of the insurance plans to remove those ineligible for benefits;
5)  Reining in billions wasted on bad management and inefficiencies used in healthcare plans. 

There are practical solutions that creative, competent minds can come up with. We, retirees, have thought of just a few. Retirees should not be forced to lose their current quality Medicare with Seniorcare benefits while these long-term alternatives are explored. 

Please stand with 1/4 million municipal  retirees, current municipal employees and their dependents. Do not throw us under the bus! Vote NO on any amendment to Administrative Code 12-126. 




Anonymous said...

• 2018: UFT leadership says, "We have a health care deal with the city but you don't have to see it before you vote. Trust us."
• 2021: UFT leadership says, "We have a new health plan for you that will cost less but be just as good as your old health plan. Trust us."
• 2022: UFT leadership says, "We want to take your healthcare price protections out of city law and put them in our own hands. Trust us."

That's an awful lot of trust.

Former Teacher said...

Excellent radio show. Clearly explained the situation.