Tuesday, June 18, 2024

TODAY - Final RTC Meeting under Unity control, Randi is guest, RA Press Release, NY Post article

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

It's been an absolute pleasure working with decades old Retiree Advocate/UFT group since I joined them around 2016. We've had success by working as a consensus group with the understanding that if we disagree with a general consensus we will be willing to give in the interests of staying united. We have kept our eye on the prize -- I think due to the many years of experience and learning the ropes of working with others. 

So today at 1 RA and many of its supporters (growing since Friday) will be at 52 at noon handing out a leaflet and attending the 1PM meeting, the final one run by Tom Murphy. It should be quite an experience, unlike anything we've experienced in the UFT. We expect the formal announcement of the results of the election. 

Following that there will be a celebration from 3-5 at a local joint.




RTC Membership Meeting - Tomorrow, 1 p.m. at the UFT

Tomorrow is the last RTC meeting of the year. Registration info is below, so please sign up for virtual or in-person attendance. UFT President Michael Mulgrew will be there, as well as special guest, AFT President Randi Weingarten. There will be presentations on the AFT's political priorities for the 2024 U.S. election. And there will be information on the latest retiree progams. Finally, there will be a short play written by a late UFT retiree. (There may even be an official announcement of the RTC election results!)

Date: Tuesday, June 18th

Time: 1 to 3 p.m. EDT

Where: Online or in-person at Shanker Hall, 52 Broadway, New York, NY

Click here to register for the June RTC Meeting

Join us after the meeting for some celebration and refreshment.

London & Martin Co., 6 Stone St, between Whitehall & Broad Streets. 2 1/2 blocks from the UFT.

Map to Martin & London, Co.

RA Facebook Page
RA Website

Retiree Advocate UFT · NY 11201, United States
The NYC Organization of Public Service Retirees shares the following press statement from UFT Retiree Advocate and will make a statement separately. 

Retiree Advocate Caucus Wins Leadership Election in the UFT Retired Teachers Chapter Over Michael Mulgrew's Unity Caucus

Friday’s Election Proves Actions Have Consequences

NEW YORK, June 17, 2024 — Friday's election in the Retired Teachers Chapter of the United Federation of Teachers (UFT RTC) was historic. In its over 40 years of existence, no caucus other than the Unity caucus has led this organization. The RTC is over 70,000 members strong and is the largest functional chapter within the UFT. 

Retiree Advocate's win proves that good, old-fashioned, grassroots organizing can move a mountain. Unity's efforts to privatize the retirees’ Medicare benefits and diminish their healthcare had consequences. UFT leadership cannot claw back retiree benefits and expect to get re-elected!

In the 2021 chapter election, 23,024 total votes were cast. The incumbent Unity caucus won with 70% of the vote. On Friday, June 14, 2024, the equation flipped. 28,346 votes were cast - an increase of 5,322 voters - and the Unity caucus was taken to the woodshed with a yet unofficial tally of 17,226 to 10,114 votes. A Retiree Advocate victory of 63%-37%!!

Bennett Fischer, the Chapter Leader-elect of the Retiree Advocate Chapter whose team won this historic election states, “For three years we have been fighting for our lives. Fighting for the promises made to us and the benefits we earned; fighting to preserve the public Medicare and supplemental benefits that keep us well, without networks and gatekeepers. This is an absolute win for our members and our union."

Bobby Greenberg, the Treasurer-elect of the Retiree Chapter states, “This is a new day for our union. Task one, NO PRIVATIZATION of our health coverage!”

Gloria Brandman, the Secretary-elect of the RTC states, “We deserve this victory and we will fight like heck to keep the healthcare that we have and work hard to bring democracy back to our chapter and our union! Power to the People!”

Michele Rayvid, the Assistant Treasurer-elect states, “This is a bright new beginning for our Retiree Chapter, and I am so proud to be part of a change toward a more democratic and transparent chapter that promises to listen to its members.



Media Contact

Bennett Fischer 646-591-7598



UFT Retirees Unseat the Incumbent and Founding Caucus 

New York, June 17, 2024 - The NYC Organization of Public Service Retirees congratulates the Retiree Advocate Caucus of the UFT!  Retired Labor is standing up locally and nationally against privatizing Medicare and reducing benefits for current retirees that they earned while working. This was a historic election.

The Retiree Advocate has been attacked by the UFT Unity Caucus for being 'uncivil' but what can be more uncivil than clawing back Medicare benefits from seniors and the disabled?  In the words of Charles Cogen the first UFT union president in 1959, Defending himself and teacher militancy, he said in a 1959 interview, ''Students will have more respect for teachers who stand up and fight for their rights.'' (NY Times 1998) Retired teachers are standing up for their rights!

Continuous privatization of the Federal Public Health Benefit of Medicare by Labor will have a national impact on the government being able to provide Medicare because these companies overcharge the government as has been identified not only by the Department of Justice, the Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General, and by Centers for Medicare itself. This scheme is happening from NY to Fresno, California.  Retirees nationwide are trying to fight back and sadly many cannot afford to litigate like we did.

Ill-advised union leaders who no longer represent retirees, like the UFT under the leadership of Michael Mulgrew, are forcing retirees into Medicare Advantage (MA) to secure raises for inservice workers.   MA plans are saddled with prior authorization which wrongly delays and denies care, has a narrow network of providers, and which many doctors and hospitals do not accept is criminal.  

The NYC Healthcare program was founded in choice and the UFT historically passed resolutions to protect Medicare from privatization.  No union should ever reduce a benefit, never mind the healthcare of a retired unionist, and surely never privatize a Federal Public Health Benefit.

Aetna, the latest vendor of the City's choice of MA provider announced in their last quarterly shareholder meeting that they are below profit margins and promised to concentrate on "margins over members" to recover the 3-4% loss in revenue.  No union should be forcing their retirees off Traditional Medicare. 

Marianne Pizzitola, President states, "It is a new day in the UFT, and this sends a message directly to leadership that they are not protecting retirees or keeping their promises made to them when they were in the union before retiring.  The NYS Appeals Court in Bentkowski v City of NY, affirmed that retirees were made a promise they would have Medicare in retirement and it would be to their detriment if it were taken away.  Labor helped pass the Medicare Act in 1965 and should never have put it in the hands of for-profit insurers like Aetna.  If retiree's former unions are not going to protect them, then their City and State legislatures should.  It is the right thing to do or who would want to give their lives to public service when the promise of a benefit that lured them into employment can be taken away in retirement?"

Media Contact
Marianne Pizzitola

Retired NYC teachers toss out union prez’s crew in furor over Medicare coverage

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