Tuesday, February 27, 2024

ICE Met, ICE Talked, ICE Ate - And Other News

Feb. 27, 2024

Last Wednesday, ICE had another in-person meeting, the second this year: ICE Gathers  - James Eterno Legacy, Retiree and TRS Election - is Tom Murphy Toast?, Whither COPE

Sixteen people showed up, some original ICErs from its founding over 20 years ago, and some newcomers. 

We met for 3 hours and everyone got a chance to talk about the retiree election, the TRS election, a PhD student talked about his thesis on the UFT, Chicago and LA. I have always learned new things at ICE meetings and the congeniality is affirming. We will meet next in person during spring break on April 24  - Bring your own Matzoh. 

Of course there was sadness over the death of core ICEer James Eterno, whose funeral was the day before. Many of us saw each other at the wake. So there was some communal feeling.We talked about a possible memorial for James. Maybe even see if UFT was willing to take part. But the key was the decision to keep ICE going as a tribute to the efforts James put into ICE. This reso was presented and there was agreement on going forward. Over the years, James maintained the blog and I did the listserve and handled meetings. The blog is a key and we are hoping people will step up and contribute. Send me something if you have something to say. Once things settle down in the Eterno household. we hope Camille will take on some role.

Resolution for the Independent Community of Educators to Continue the Work of James Eterno

Whereas the late James Eterno was a co-founder of the Independent Community  of Educators (ICE-UFT), was a UFT Presidential candidate in 2010, was part of the committee that formulated the extensive 2010 ICE-UFT platform 

(http://uftelections2010.blogspot.com/), a long time Chapter Leader, a 12-year member of the UFT Executive Board and fierce advocate of labor unions,

Whereas James was determined to keep ICE  as a vibrant group that meets regularly and continues to contribute its experience in organizing in the UFT and fighting for a better, militant, democratic UFT,

Whereas  James  was a key organizer in the United  for Change coalition in the 2022 UFT election, ran as an Executive Board candidate in UFT elections over 25 years for UFC, MORE, ICE/TJC and New Action as a strident supporter of opposition groups within the UFT, while being a fervent advocate for union, 

Resolved that ICE will continue to meet on a regular basis, maintain its email list serve and the ICE blog in order to continue the work James did,

Resolved  that ICE will continue to be open to all UFT members, regardless of caucus affiliation, political persuasion or otherwise

Resolved that ICE will continue to serve as venue for civil, open discussions, where union members can respectfully disagree, yet still find common cause in fighting for strong unions and good public schools for all,

Resolved that ICE will continue to demand and advocate for a UFT that embraces a variety of viewpoints, open debates on collective strategies, militant unionism, responsive union leadership and engages an active membership,

Br it further resolved that ICE will continue to support and participate in union elections as members of coalitions and caucuses that fight for; responsive leadership, engaged membership, and rank and file militant union.



Here is some other important news with links to what is going on - so much I would have to spend the day working on it but it's beautiful out, so here's all I got.


Statement on ASFCME Trusteeship of the Retirees Association of DC 37 




Hey, union family:

I’m inviting to join me for a very special broadcast of Talk Out of School on WBAI 99.5 FM.

I speak to retired educator and union activist, Bennett Fischer.

Bennett, along with over 300 retirees, is running on the Retiree Advocate slate to lead the Retired Teachers Chapter within the United Federation of Teachers.

Retiree Advocate (RA) is political caucus in the Retired Teachers Chapter (RTC) of the United Federation of Teachers (UFT).

They will challenge Michael Mulgrew’s deeply entrenched Unity caucus with a full slate of three-hundred retired educators — teachers, paraprofessionals, therapists, counselors, nurses, secretaries and other UFT titles - in the triennial chapter elections this spring.

For nearly three years, Retiree Advocate/UFT and our allies from across the spectrum of NYC municipal unions, have been fighting to preserve our traditional Medicare benefits, as they face attacks from the mayor's office, the Municipal Labor Committee, and Mulgrew, the architect behind the city’s privatized Medicare Advantage plan (MAP).

Health care decisions should be between us and our doctors. Big private insurance corporations should not profit at the expense of our health. Thankfully, RA and NYC retirees are fighting to preserve and strengthen NYC laws that protect our benefits.

This upcoming spring retiree chapter election may have a big impact on our union leadership in regards to the fight to stave off attempts by the city to force all Medicare eligible city retirees into the highly litigated and much maligned MAP.

Learn more about RA

In the second segment, I speak to Marianne Pizzitola, president of the New York City Organization of Public Service Retirees. Her organization, comprised of NYC retirees from our city’s unions, has been leading the fight against the city and the top establishment union bosses who are partnering in cost savings healthcare givebacks that endanger the healthcare benefits of retired and active city workers.

She will share updates on the fight the NYC retirees are waging to preserve their hard earned benefits. We also have an very interesting conversation about the upcoming RTC election and the history behind the misuse of the Healthcare Stabilization Fund.

Learn more about NYC Retirees

You don’t want to miss tonight’s broadcast! You can listen to the livestream on your computer or mobile device at wbai.org

The show will be available to download as a podcast on Apple, Spotify, and here, at The Wire.

Listen live

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DC37 Retirees Robbed of Voice

Union bosses prevent them from fighting for Medicare.


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