Saturday, December 31, 2022


Updated Video Message Updated Video Message Dec. 31


 Dec. 31


Council Member Carmen DeLaRosa, Chair of Civil Service & Labor and Speaker Adrienne Adams will bring the MLC Admin Code amendment to the floor on Wednesday January 4th. Tentative hearings on Jan. 9, 10 and Vote on Jan. 19.

We are hearing rumors from city council people that the UFT is threatening those who vote not to change the code with loss of UFT endorsements - pretty funny when Unity at a recent exec bd meeting argued that no one issue should be used to deny a politician an endorsement.

Mulgrew can win but still lose
If Mulgrew wins this he still loses support from segments of the retiree chapter, where there will be a chapter election in the spring of 2024.  Retiree Advocate received 30% of the vote in 2021, up from about 15% in 2018. If the vote gets to 40% anti-Unity, that becomes a threat to Mulgrew in the general election in 2025.
Here is an update from Jan. 2
This is your assignment.
First, it has been confirmed that the Chair of the Civil Service & Labor Committee Carmen DeLaRosa will be bringing the bill drafted by the MLC and OLR to the floor on Wednesday, January 4th at Noon.
It is suggested we go to the hearing they scheduled on January 9th and the final vote on January 19th. (SEE BELOW).
We will put out more information regarding these dates and how YOU can testify.
Lastly, because this is going to her committee, you will need to call & email them daily. The list is below.
List of City Council Members on the Civil Service and Labor to be called:

28 Speaker Adrienne E. Adams Legislative Office: 212-788-6850 District Office: 718-206-2068

10 Hon. Carmen De La Rosa Legislative Office: 212-788-7053 District Office: 917-521-2616

3 Hon. Erik Bottcher District Office: 212-564-7757

5 Hon. Julie Menin Legislative Office: 212-788-6865

11 Hon. Eric Dinowitz Legislative Office: (212) 788-7080 District Office: (718) 549-7300

15 Hon. Oswald Feliz Legislative Office:212-788-6966 District Office: 718-842-8100

21 Hon. Francisco P. Moya 212-788-6862 District Office: 718-651-1917

22 Hon. Tiffany Cabán Legislative Office: 212-788-6963 District Office: 718-274-4500

37 Hon. Sandy Nurse Legislative Office: 212-788-7284 District Office: 718-642-8664

40 Hon. Rita Joseph Legislative Office: 212-788-7352 District Office:718-287-8762

49 Hon. Kamillah Hanks Legislative Office: 212-788-6972 District Office: 718-556-7370
Copy/Paste these email addresses into your email:
The File for the List of CM is here if you want to save it:
Dear CM________,
The City Council is being threatened that if they don’t amend the statute to force retirees into the Medicare Advantage, the Mayor will do that on his own. Amending the statute does the same thing! Why should the City Council amend the law if the Mayor will do this anyway? Why do his dirty work? Let the Mayor take the political hit for hurting retirees and remove City Council Members from the ire of retirees and constituents in their next election. If the Mayor does this act, the Retirees will be able to challenge and win this in court where we have been successful because the City has violated the law and this is his way around it. If the City Council amends this Administrative Code, they will affirmatively be hurting retirees and preventing us from winning this in Court. Don’t prevent us from winning again in court. We served our time as employees and have a right to enjoy our time as retirees with proper care that we earned and paid for.
Don’t buy the Big Lie. Don’t amend the Code, protect it like every City Council before you has against a greedy Mayor. Protect 12-126. Scheinman has no jurisdiction over the City Council nor the Retirees.
We request that you do NOT support the bill being introduced on January 9th by Civil Service and Labor Chair DeLaRosa.
Thank you for protecting us from financial peril and losing our healthcare.
Name _________________, Retiree or Employee
Agency, years of service, year retired
Target Dates
January 4th @ 12pm City Hall: Bill to be introduced
January 9th @ 10am City Hall: Civil Service and Labor Committee Meeting **JOIN US AT THIS HEARING!!!
January 19th @ 1:30pm City Hall: Stated Meeting and Vote on the Bill **JOIN US AT THE VOTE

If you are on Twitter and Instagram, please comment and share our messages.
We also created an OPEN FaceBook Page

Here is one of Marianne's video from a few days ago:

Hello Everyone!  
It appears the MLC has been working overtime like the Grinch.    
This is a call to arms.

Please reserve on your calendar the FOLLOWING dates: January 4, 9, 10, 19th. YOU MAY BE ASKED TO CONVENE AT CITY HALL ON EVERY ONE OF THOSE DATES. We will update you next week.


It explains that Council Member Carmen DeLaRosa, Chair of Civil Service & Labor and Speaker Adrienne Adams will bring the MLC Admin Code amendment to the floor on Wednesday January 4th.  YOU MUST ACT NOW and tell them NOT to amend the Administrative code and remind them the Scheinman paper they all think is arbitration is NOT.   It was paid propaganda and his OPINION,  and it is NOT legally binding.   EMAIL EVERY COUNCIL MEMBER, a sample script is below!

This is the list of Council Members. Click to open!  Make sure you send emails to CM Carmen DeLa Rosa and Speaker Adrienne Adams when you email all the others!

If you are on Twitter or Instagram find us and share our message. @NYCRETIREES
Next week we will advise you the next steps. SHARE THIS MESSAGE!

Yours in TRUE Solidarity, 
The NYC Organization of Public Service Retirees

PS:   In addition to our private FaceBook Group, we created a PUBLIC Page so you can share our messages! 

If you need a sample script when emailing or calling the Council.

We have been advised that Civil Service and Labor Chair Carmen DeLaRosa and Speaker Adrienne Adams will be bringing the MLC Administrative Code Modification to the City Council floor on Wednesday January 4th at NOON. YOU HAVE HOMEWORK EMAIL City COUNCIL, especially CM DeLaRosa and Speaker Adrienne Adams (the Full list is here: ) 
A sample Email: Hi! My name is_____________ and I am a retiree/ (if you are active/in-service say that!). We want you to know the Scheinman report is NOT a “ruling”, it’s an opinion and IS NOT BINDING! It’s paid propaganda and they’re hoping the city council falls for it… it is not a decision, it is not a ruling, it is not an award!! The retirees have identified at least $300 million in savings. OMB knows about some of these savings options, and has NOT implemented them NOR informed the city council… and OMB is unaware of others! Which is worse? HOW CAN THE MAYOR OR THE COUNCIL MAKE A DECISION IF THEY ARE NOT BEING PROPERLY INFORMED BY OMB? DO NOT MAKE ANY CHANGE TO THE AMINISTRATIVE CODE! Please reach out to the NYC Organization of Public Service Retirees for real facts! The MLC doesn't want you to know they sold off ALL of our healthcare for raises! Yes, that includes you! Please remember this as we go into the New Year. Happy New Year! AND DO NOT AMEND THE ADMINISTRATIVE CODE 12-126!


Your friends, and retirees in SOLIDARITY...

The NYC Organization of Public Service Retirees


 Donations are Needed!  It is fall, copays, inflation, etc, but we need to keep donations coming in to fund our October litigation!



Donation Instructions to Support Our Class Action Suit Against the City To Protect Our Retiree Healthcare:

We worked decades for our benefits! Let’s make sure the City and the MLC don’t take them away!

A suggested $25 Donation* will help start the fight to keep our current benefits. Give more if you can, and/or often!  If you cannot meet the minimum suggested donation, we appreciate whatever you can give towards this fight for our benefits.  We also added the option to make your donation recurring (monthly) as was requested. 

The fundraiser group is incorporated as a Non-Profit. ALL proceeds go to fund the organization and its legal challenge. Volunteer retirees are running this effort.  Our 501C3 is pending.


1.Zelle using email

2. Make your check out to:
NYC Organization of Public Service Retirees PO Box 941
Venice, FL 34284 (our treasurer lives in FL)

3. Or click on this Paypal link:

4.  We Now Accept Donations via VENMO

VENMO is a Phone App or can be used on a PC or Tablet
You can download and install the Phone App from the Android Play Store or Apple App Store. There may be fees involved using this method.

Our ID is: @NYCRetirees

If you are on this list, it is because you subscribed to hear what we are doing as an organization that represents all NYC Municipal workers in protecting their Health benefits in retirement.   Currently, we have a FACEBOOK page located here:

If you are not on FACEBOOK, we will be updating you here. And Check our website for FAQ

Thank you for signing up for our newsletter and pass this to a friend to sign up too!


Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Exposing our union on privatization - RandiCare anyone? Plus Defending Our Healthcare - Bigly Raucus Retiree Rally outside UFT followed by March to DC 37

Let me start by saying last week's rally outside UFT HQ at the DA with well over 100 people was fabulous.  The outside game. I will report on the inside game at the DA separately. Below are videos, photos and other info from media on the rally. Not bad for old foggies on a freezing day - I wore 12 layers and was still chilled and ran to get the ferry home a bit early because for me a chill is an open door for getting sick.

Ok, I'm late with this and other reports. I plead LAZINESS and watching all kinds of crap on TV.

I have a number of events and their consequences to report and so much information has been coming in my problem is deciding what to include in these reports.

Tuesday, December 27, 2022 - Happy almost New Year

How does our union support corporate interests? Let me count the ways:

  • Private health care industry - Medicare Advantage
  • The educational industrial complex - testing companies, initially charter schools
  • The military industrial complex though massive defense spending - our union is fine with the current defense budget while schools are starved.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams and the heads of the Municipal Labor Committee [MLC] can expect to catch a lot more hell from municipal retirees refusing to be pushed into a for-profit, privatized, Medicare Advantage plan. Roughly one-hundred determined retirees, some of them 80-plus, rallied outside the UFT headquarters at 52 Broadway on Wednesday afternoon before marching onto the MLC offices at 55 Water Street.... Emergency Rally to Say NO to threats to Healthcare, Dec. 21, Unity machine shaky, Irony: Republican (Ariola) and Left Dems (Caban) on City Council Support Retirees, center/liberal Dems Waffle

“Fragmenting” traditional Medicare, Dr. Moore added, will only end up costing municipal retirees more money they can ill afford on limited incomes...... Work-Bites

Daniel Alicea over at Educators of NYC has done some research along with Illinois retired teacher unionist Fred Klonsky to show that privatizing Medicare to get the insurance companies richer is not just a local issue but NYC is up against a huge, national Medicare privatization push that the AFT endorses.-- ICE blog, CONNECTING THE DOTS ON WHY MULGREW IS NOT BACKING OFF ON UNPOPULAR, ILLEGAL MEDICARE ADVANTAGE FOR NYC RETIREES
Boy do we love it when dots are connected and James, Daniel and Fred Klonsky are helping make sense of what on the surface looks like a weird attempt by a public service union to undermine a major government health support network known as Medicare. 

There are deep ties to the Democratic Party corporate wing. The right wing is correct that there is corruption in the Dem Party -- they just don't point to the right type of corruption and our own beloved union at the local, state and national level. How can you be pro-corporate and pro-union? You can't.

The UFT/AFT/NYSUT leadership for decades has been married to the corporate center Democratic Party and its pro-corporate policies which often translate into anti-government. You might think it weird to bring such a charge at the supposed pro government and supposedly pro-labor Dem party. Is Joe Biden pro-labor? his predecessors, Mr. Biden effectively seeks to manage the long-term decline of labor in a relatively humane way — by making favorable appointments and enacting measures that help at the margins — but has yet to take the sorts of risks that would restore power to workers. ..Mr. Biden has “gestured in interesting ways in certain moments,” said Gabriel Winant, a labor historian at the University of Chicago. “But it doesn’t seem like he has the stomach to see the gestures through.”
By the way - have you seen any comment from our union on the railway issue? Sick days? What are sick days? Slaves to Dem Party policy. Randi and Mulgrew follow the same policy - talk a game, but do nothing. Our union no longer even bothers to talk a game.

Follow Norms dictum: Watch what they do, not what they say. UFT/AFT real policy echoes the policies of corp dems. Remember - Mulgrew was a Biden Delegate to the 2020 Dem convention - which by the way Randi joined in the refusal to include Medicare for All on the platform.

Fragmenting is a perfect word by Dr. Moore at our rally Wednesday at the UFT DA. Fragmentation is a key to the privatization movement in healthcare and other industries. Do you recognize it from the charter school fragmentation of the public school system? It's the same neo-liberal de-regulation (airlines, trucking, railroads) bug that stuck us 40 years ago under the right wing philosophy of government-bad, private- good. How's the total unregulated fragmented trucking situation working out?

Along with neo-liberalism privatization comes the destruction and undermining of unions. [See above - Biden is more humane at managing the decline of labor, which makes him more "pro-union" than Obama and Clinton.] What took place in the private union sector is hitting the public union sector, which has been the strongest part of the remnant of the union movement.

What has been fooling people is that our own union leaderships are taking the shortsighted approach of being handmaidens to private interests. Our teacher union leaders especially have been such handmaidens, even in education. For 30 years until Bloomberg went to far and embarrassed the UFT leadership by closing 19 schools in one shot, they didn't really oppose closing schools, nor did they really oppose the charter school movement, despite the obvious outcome like we saw in New Orleans of the destruction of the entire public school system and its replacement by non-unionized charters -- a wake-up call of sorts.

Do we as union members even have a say in such decisions? Not according to Mulgrew -


When an entire organization has built its image and its message on the "fact" that they have never made a mistake - well, that's where Unity has landed. Unity - according to themselves - are never wrong. They never apologize, because to admit error is to blow up their myth of infallibility.... Arthur Goldstein, Shirking--Our National Pastime

We in Retiree Advocate, the UFT caucus representing the dissidents in the UFT retiree chapter, which has 60k members. Mulgrew and Unity hacks have mocked the Retiree Advocate resistance on the healthcare issue as being a tiny dissident and even anti-union group. Really?

In the last two significant elections in the UFT, the chapter election in 2021 and the 2022 general election, 30% of the voters vote for us. That's over 8,000 in last year's election. Tiny? We've even been hearing from Mulgrew's own caucus - Unity - retirees and even current working members - that they support us even if they can't do so publicly.

So the rally we called for this past Wednesday in front of the UFT Delegate Assembly, was for me a test of sorts. How many people would show up on a cold day, a few days before Xmas? I have to admit, I was very presently surprised at the showing - around 125 people. And there were speakers using the brand new RA bullhorn. Since we heard of the healthcare debacle, RA has been outside every DA - sometimes with a few people, sometimes with large rallies. We work in consort with our United for Change friends who are delegates.

A friend who is in mid-career and active politically in the UFT half-jokingly said what's the use of these rallies since Mulgrew doesn't give a shit. He  misses the point. I don't see a rally as a means of influencing Mulgrew but as a way to build capacity of people to fight back. I'd bet if thousands of retirees showed up Mulgrew would notice. I don't expect that to happen but I actually thought we might have a dozen instead of ten times that number last week. so who knows?

 Ok, let's get to the business of the rally. Here's a short video I believe edited and produced by our leader, Gloria Brandman -- the one who does the most work.


Scores came out despite the freezing cold to yesterday's Rally and March to tell our union leaders that we will not let them take away the healthcare we'd been promised. NO to Medicare Advantage! Take a look.

Dr. Donald Moore at 12/21 Rally


Don't miss this by Nick Bacon:
Why UFT members don’t get a vote on Healthcare – Notes on the December DA There are two stories on the December, 2022 DA. One is the protest outside the DA, where hundreds of retirees and supporters gathered in front of 52 Broadw...   
And a comment from Arthur's blog:

UFT's Unity Caucus says dissidents are spreading misinformation. I guess I'm a dissident, now that I've decided retiree benefits should not be cut. Leadership's decision to encourage cuts by pitting in-service members against retirees goes against everything a union should stand for.

Leadership now cries anyone who doesn't follow the party line is a liar. This, of course, is their standard MO. And make no mistake, it's argumentum ad hominem, the practice of insulting your opponent rather than engaging in honest discourse. It's logical fallacy. That's what you go to when you do not, in fact, have an actual argument.

There's no reflection, and no introspection. There's not even the echo of a thought that anything could have been done better. This is the way it is, this is the way it's always been, and if you would only clamp down your festering gob, it could be this way forever

I expect this sort of thing from morally bankrupt politicians, the DOE and  imagination-challenged administrators. Lately, though, it's exactly what I get from my union leadership. In 2018, filled with hubris from a 2014 deal, they made a supreme screw-up, one of their very worst. Self-funding a raise is a terrible idea even if it works, as it seemed to in 2014. When it does not, like now, it's far worse.  
When an entire organization has built its image and its message on the "fact" that they have never made a mistake - well, that's where Unity has landed. Unity - according to themselves - are never wrong. They never apologize, because to admit error is to blow up their myth of infallibility.

NYC Retirees Protest Attempts to Push Them into Privatized Health Care

Sunday, December 25, 2022

Fred Smith with his annual XMAS Poem - 2022 version

All manner of assaults devastate Mother Earth.
Corporations put profits above human worth
--- Fred Smith, Xmas 2022 Poem excerpt
another year, 
another poem from Fred.
not a lot of cheer
in a dismal year. 
But we will always have Fred's
Photo with NY Jets Dancers
For Flair
--- Norm's feeble attempt at rhyme

I first met Fred, a testing expert who used to work as a statistician for the old NYCBOE, when he contacted me about getting ICE members to assist in gathering data for his exposures of the evils of testing I think sometime around 2008. He then got involved with groups like GEM and Change the Stakes and was a co-winner with me and Danny Dromm of Leonie Haimson's Skinny Award in 2018 - (June 19 - I'm a Skinny: Honored to be honored by Leonie Haimson along with the Great Danny Dromm and Fred Smith.)

Fred Smith has done it again for 2022 with is yearly Xmas specials.

Here are his previous years, each with a different theme. 2019 seems to be absent.
Fred is also a statistician for the NY Jets - don't blame him for their absence from the Super Bowl for over 50 years.

Fred Smith convincing Jets dancers to boycott field tests - he's the one in the middle


Fred Smith with his annual Xmas Poem —2022

We have to laugh and be optimistic to keep from crying... SleepyBlush

Christmas 2022 
From North Pole to South Pole, ’22’s been a mess.
‘Twas enough to leave Santa in a state of distress.                    
All-day cable kept pounding loud noise in his head;
The news sent him spinning and straight to his bed.
Reindeer were moaning and his disheartened elves    
Didn’t want to make more toys to re-stock the shelves.
The world seemed bereft of its natural rhythm.
Would this holy night be without him or with him?
All manner of assaults devastate Mother Earth.
Corporations put profits above human worth:
Ice caps keep melting; fires destroy forest ranges;
Storms pour down floods, while pols deny plague-like changes.
Polarization’s become the norm in our states;
Trash talk flowing freely in degrading debates.
Pro-life activists who are against gun restrictions,
Hold both viewpoints despite the clear contradictions.
Each hour he was hearing about war in Ukraine;
Continuous suffering and far too much pain.
Inflation and hate crimes rising without any end;
School and shopping mall murders tracking a tragic trend.
And supreme godly judges from the loftiest heights
Letting state legislatures limit people's birthrights.
Another flu cycle and Covid keeps morphing,
As we welcome winter—more folks unmasked and coughing.
So, Santa felt down and couldn’t get going,                  
Or force being jolly behind hollow Ho Ho-ing?               
Oh, how he missed Macy’s when kids had his ear,
Whispering wishes, “I was good the whole year…”
Though he twice-checked all the names on his “Nice” children’s list,
Naughty kids snuck up for presents that had an odd twist.
He recalled some notorious brats on his knee,
Whose desires foreshadowed the grown-ups they’d be:   
There was a young girl, her first name was Marjorie,
She demanded pet vipers for her menagerie.
Lindsey drawled for a Jekyll-Hyde, bobble head doll;
“Just a skunk,” Jim Jordan ordered with a snide snarl.
Mitch dreamed of an 8-Ball where all answers were “NO!”
A reply he took with him from those days long ago.
Someone pushed little Herschel to run, run and look
For an “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” pop-up coloring book.
“I need a chameleon,” Elise squealed chubby-faced.
Color-changing lizards perfectly suited her taste.
Joe humbly prayed for stamina and longevity,
Kamala waited her next—all smiles and levity.
While Eric was craving a large looking glass,
De Blas wasted his chance—late and hopeless, alas.
Andrew chose a fairy tale in which bold lying shows
A wooden boy exposed by the size of his nose.
Rudy could not understand the joy and sunshine
Santa brought to the youngsters waiting on line.
He jeered at their belief in this man dressed in red
And scoffed at the notion he flew in a sled.
Yet, when his turn came, Rudy craved a loudspeaker
And a billy club to bully those who were weaker.
Away from the crowd, a lonely boy viewed the scene;
Brooding in the back seat of his dad’s limousine.
He loathed the bell ringers just outside of the store,
Collecting coins from kind donors to help out the poor.
He had cruel disdain for social disparities,
But realized he could steal through self-dealing “charities,”
Like shortchanging workers, and rigging the tax game,
And conning saps into signing fat checks in his name.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Claus could be heard gently nagging,  
“Nicholas, get up now, this is no time for dragging.
We’re feeling despair, Dear, the most I can remember,
But that’s no excuse to stay home late in December.”
I wish this Eve’s poem could close with unrestrained cheer,
But don’t know for certain whether he’s coming this year.
For Santa’s, like Tinker Bell’s, light has grown dim.
Perhaps, the pure love of childhood will replenish him.
And his blue eyes will twinkle, and he’ll rev up his sleigh.
My heart says he’ll deliver on this Christmas Day.