In an unprecedented multi-Union display of solidarity ICE members joined the Coalition Against Privatization on Friday to rally at the Superintendent of Insurance and HIP offices against the proposed merger of our largest medical insurance carriers. While the rain came pouring down protesters' spirits were not dampened. Their chants to the Superintendent of Insurance and HIP workers caused wide-spread reaction from the evening rush hour crowd in downtown Manhattan. Beside the UFT members from the Transport Workers' Union, DC 37 and other municipal unions were in attendance.
Protesters criticized the failure of our unions and the insurance carriers to fully disclose their plans. While the UFT and other municipal union leaders may benefit from the conversion of these not-for-profit health care insurance carriers into for-profit entities it is clear that our members will be exposed to increasing co-pays, out of pocket expenses and diminished medical coverage as the proposed entity will seek to maximize profits. Ironically our Union has consistently criticized the Bush proposed and enacted privatization provisions of Medicare as being against the interests of our retired members.
What are our leaders planning to do with the windfall that the proposed conversion will net the Union? Why isn't this being discussed? Why have our resolutions calling for full and frank discussions about this monumental change been consistently tabled?
What is our leadership afraid of?