Tuesday, May 25, 2021

SOME QUESTIONS ON THE POSSIBLE EARLY RETIREMENT INCENTIVE; PLEASE SIGN PETITION OPPOSING MEDICARE PRIVATIZATION (MULGREWCARE)

My understanding from a report from the Executive Board and the last UFT Town Hall is that the sticking point on the Early Retirement Incentive becoming reality is that the city wants to offer the ERI to only certain teacher certification areas but they want to exclude other certification areas. This is from our report from Mulgrew's May Town Hall:

Question: Early Retirement Incentive, is it for all titles?

Answer: City wants to set a precedent that they can pick teachers by certification area. We can't let them do that. This may be a big ugly fight. We don't want to pit people against each other. We can't agree to subjects rather than title (teacher). Paras would be included if we do ERI.

I just read the bill that is now state law again and of course, I preface my questions and comments by saying I am no lawyer and don't pretend to be one. That said, I can read and it clearly states in the law that it is up to the employer to decide whether or not to offer the ERI. 

From the bill summary:

The  ERI  Program consists of two parts and is contingent upon the employer's election to participate in the Program.

It doesn't say that the ERI is subject to collective bargaining unless I am missing something. It's up to the employer. Why can't the city just offer it to the licenses they want to and let the UFT object in court that everyone, including those in shortage areas, should be included? I also see this line from the bill:

A  participating employer may deny participation in the retirement benefit provided by subdivision a of this section if such employer makes a determination that the employee holds a position that is deemed critical to the maintenance of public health and safety.

Couldn't shortage area people be deemed critical to the maintenance of public health and safety? Again, I am no lawyer but why is this subject now to collective bargaining? Isn't it up to the mayor? Put it on him.

As for the UFT claiming that they could not set a precedent because we are one union so all titles stick together, that is rather odd. The UFT allowed for several buyouts for Absent Teacher Reserves since the 2005 Contract. The UFT also negotiated weaker due process rights exclusively for ATRs in the 2014 Contract and the Union agreed to rotate ATRs weekly to different schools, to give ATRs fewer program preference rights, and the Union was on board with other humiliations exclusively for ATRs. These provisions are in the Contract and other ATR agreements. Mulgrew's solidarity ship sailed years ago. To his credit, it is admirable that at least he is trying to recover this now.

The deadline for the Board of Education to accept the ERI is May 31.

If an ERI is finally accepted by the mayor, more UFTers and other city workers will be eligible for Medicare. It is important for all of us to sign the petition to oppose Medicare privatization (Mulgrewcare) no matter what our age is. 

This is from the Professional Staff Congress Retiree Chapter:

PETITION ON THE MLC NEGOTIATIONS. We have been working with the Council of Municipal Retiree Organizations (COMRO) on mobilizing municipal retirees in response to the proposed move to Medicare Advantage. COMRO has an online petition addressed to the mayor and the MLC entitled “Preserve Medicare Part B for NYC Retirees.” As of 5/6 it had 11,000 signatures. The more signatures gathered, the stronger the impact. To view the petition and add your name, click here.

It's up to over 13,400 signatures now.

Finally, please tell your friends not to forget to vote for Retiree Advocate in the Retired Teachers Chapter election.

65 comments:

waitingforsupport said...

Thank you so much. I signed and shared it with 30 people.

Thall67 said...

Signed the petition.

If we let the mayor offer it and let him take responsibility for it like you said then it is on him not us. Im willing to accept it. But it should be offered so at least some of us get to take advantage of it.

Anonymous said...

Jesus H. Christ. If the friggin' Mayor will only offer an ERI to certain titles, Mulgrew should take it. We all know a ton of teachers who want out. Be happy if some of us can finally leave this shitty job. If Mulgrews refuses, he is screwing over a lot of of our fellow colleagues. Be happy that some of us can get the hell out. This, "All or Nothing" mentality is ancient history. In the DOE it is every man and women for themselves.

Anonymous said...

As a rule I don't believe a word Mulgrew says. He consistently works against members. What's in it for him to sell us out yet again?

Anonymous said...

Are other unions also involved like DC37? I guess the Mayor has the right to choose which titles in non DOE agencies. I can’t imagine what that would look like. The same title, one Agency can offer it and the other not. Seems like a nightmare for the retirement system not to mention union members in the same title. I would be angry if I was the unfortunate one not selected. Seems cruel and unfair. I can see the discrimination lawsuits now.

Anonymous said...

Where does DC37, PBA, Firefighters Union , sanitation stand on this? Have we heard from them? Are they selling there retirees out too?

Anonymous said...

The PBA and Firefighters are not part of this ERI.

Thall67 said...

James thank you for keeping us updated. And providing a link to the petition. Your blog is the only place I have to find out any kind of information on this ERI. I appreciate the effort Brother!

Jmac said...

ERI was discussed all last year with the threat of laying off 22,000 employees. You would think they had all there ducks in a row
The Gov was on board. The city counsil, the #s $$ were run. Through the actuary. Biden gave money from stimilus. Whats the problem ???

EC said...

Absolutely
Why should everyone suffer? It’s truly ridiculous

EC said...

Absolutely
It’s the right thing to do

EC said...

Thank you so much for this
If only you could fight for us

Anonymous said...

You want uft members to oppose something you call Mulgrewcare. That says a lot. Uft members vs uft president. Pro union, right James. And we have to make our own petition? And you need to update us on the ERI?

EC said...

Me too
Let’s hope there’s others like you with a voice of reason and this goes through

Anonymous said...

I am not old enough so early retirement incentive would not help me. But I do say this to all those whose titles would be eligible I wish them well and hope the best for them. I say this even if I was in position to be helped by this incentive. I would not want to see everybody not get it because I would be ineligible. It may not be fair to all but I would wish my fellow colleagues the best in taking it.

Not will to die yet said...

Mulgrew always frames things so it shines a positive light on him. Typical politician. He is a liar and blow hard.

diBlasio has to figure out his next move when his term as mayor is over. He is not capable of figuring out how to move on the ERI.

What a total joke. These two assholes can not figure this out. The incompetence is smothering .

Not will to die yet said...

I am thankful that James posts about this ERI.
The United Federation of Teachers should be the one as that update us.
Instead they claim to be in negotiations with city hall yet don’t let us know how things are trending.

Anonymous said...

Talking about the Medicare bullshit. Where are the other unions on this?

Anonymous said...

The ERI deadline for the teachers is May 31st. The deadline for the other agencies is the end of July.

Anonymous said...

The ERI needs to be across all titles. We preach equity - then we need to stand behind it. If you want to prevent teachers in shortage areas from being included in the ERI, then those teachers should be paid more to stay. Who would agree to that? I myself have was eligible to retire in February. Deblasio needs to do the right thing - show teachers, secretaries and paras some respect - offer the incentive to all those that meet the eligibility requirements.

Anonymous said...

And so the drama continues for yet another day. I also want to echo the sentiment that if it were not for this blog many would not know what was going on. Friends who work in other agencies get no information from their unions. This resources is gold! Thanks.

waitingforsupport said...

@9:13pm...vote. If you don't like how the union is being run by the CURRENT leaders vote in NEW leaders.

Anonymous said...

I fully agree. I am not a teacher but work for the DOE (District) and frequently visit this site. Kudos to James for all his efforts. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Would an ERI also include pension credit for any teacher that is currently eligible to retire? Why these veteran teachers still wouldn’t retire regardless of any ERI incentives is a little baffling -especially during the challenges of the pandemic era—unless they really enjoy what they are doing—or aren’t simply prepared to retire yet.

Unknown said...

So it seems the mayor is milking the situation to extract promises or concessions from the unions. Financially the city is now in a position to take it or leave it, but the union wants it. That puts the mayor in a stronger position. If your reading is correct the union is acting as little more than a lobbyist, albeit a lobbyist with something to barter.

Not will to die yet said...

8:43
A lot of teachers are institutionalized.
They fear their next move. They can not imagine spending their days in drab buildings with idiot administrators peering at them.

That’s why they don’t retire.

Not will to die yet said...

8:43
A lot of teachers are institutionalized.
They fear their next move. They can not imagine spending their days in drab buildings with idiot administrators peering at them.

That’s why they don’t retire.

Can't wait for Mulgrew and crew to GO said...

ERI should be available to all DOE employees. Don't separate us.

We all need to band together to vote Mulgrew out. We need fresh leadership that puts members needs first. We need a UFT president that understands we fund their salary. Our needs and wants are always last with Mulgrew. Mulgrew is dishonest sells us out at the drop of a dime.
We need fresh new leadership.

waitingforsupport said...

@10:29 am...amen to that. Vote the slate that James is on. One "X" and done. Clean sweep. Keeping it simple. Tell a friend or two,too. Vote Mulgrew's entire slate OUT. This madness has to end

Anonymous said...

NY Times article today-State Revenues Pour In, Raising Pressure on Biden to Divert Federal Aid.
Unexpected receipts, driven in part by taxes on high earners riding a hot stock market, have prompted Republicans to push the president to spend on infrastructure instead.
The Mayor’s spending spree may be over very soon. He’s already spent so much that he is leaving the bank empty for the next Mayor. Layoffs will likely be threatened again in 2022.
Mr. Mayor should be singing a different tune today and approve the early retirement incentive ASAP. The City will need the savings.
Mulgrew you reading this? Now you have the upper hand.

Not will to die yet said...

diBlasio did not budget , he spent like a drunk in a bar.
The next Mayor will be forced to layoff many members of the city workforce when the federal money from President Biden’s bailout is not there in the future.

Come on Bozo , agree to the ERI !!!

Anonymous said...

The Mayor is in trouble if the DC gravy train gets cut off. He’s already spent so much stimulus money. He’ll need to approve the ERI to reduce headcount and expenses to cover all his expensive initiatives meant to bring business back.

Anonymous said...

The mayor needs to save money. Needs to keep the money train rolling for the useless positions he gives his wife and her friends.

Watch Mulgrew will give something else up-he should have negotiated this when he agreed to letting the city keep our back pay for yet another 10 months. What did we get for that-Nothing

We are reminded constantly that we are lucky to have a job- He should be reminding Mayor they are lucky to have us!

Mulgrew I pray your days are numbered-we need a leader who has balls. You sir sing opera.

Anonymous said...

The City Council did not enact the Local Law today for the early retirement incentive for non DOE agencies. It was not even on the agenda and the City Council does not have another meeting scheduled for the month of June. It makes my wonder if this is a precursor of things to come. I would imagine Mulgrew and DC37 are negotiating as a team. Mulgrew has until Monday to get an agreement and DC37 until June 30. I figure if there was an agreement the Local Law would have been on today’s City Council agenda.

Not will to die yet said...

More layers of bullshit.

Not will to die yet said...

More layers of bullshit.

Anonymous said...

If this BS gets dragged out into the weekend and the outcome is no deal, UFT and DC37 members are going to lose their minds.

Not will to die yet said...

What will the out come of losing our minds ?
Nothing at all.
I want the ERI so I can walk.
I have a year or less depending on if Mulgrew and diBlasio can get it done.

Anonymous said...

I’m taking what I’m hearing with a grain of salt. I think the ERI is a long shot. However, the Senate is trying to pass an infrastructure bill and the Republicans want to take away stimulus money from cities and states since apparently they don’t need the money. Revenues ere much higher than expected. Mitch McConnell is looking to divert unnecessary stimulus money to the infrastructure bill. If the Democrats agree, NYC will be in trouble as deBlasio has spent all the money he has gotten. Therefore, layoffs will likely be on the table again in 2022.

Michael Gatton said...

McConnell wants to poison the well so take everything he says with a giant salt lick.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/mcconnell-says-100-of-his-focus-is-on-blocking-biden-agenda-11620257305

James Eterno said...

Let's try to stay on topic which is the ERI, not Mitch McConnell.

Thall67 said...

Same BS “update” from Mulgrew As a Chapter Chair at a large campus High School I will tell you this... if this ERI does not get passed I will lead a cadre of faculty members on a crusade against Mulgrew and eventually I will be the first Chapter Chair that I know of that will leave the UFT for good. I’ll save my dues. This guy strings us along every time never telling us how we can play a role or how we can help. Apparently he doesn’t trust us as much or more than we don’t trust him and all Unity.

James Eterno said...

Thall67, I printed your comment but please no opting out comments. We closed that debate last week and we may have lost a few opt out anti-union folks but my blood pressure has since dropped and we seem to have picked up some new readers. The topic is the ERI.

James Eterno said...

Oh yeah, and Medicare privatization. What I call Mulgrewcare.

Not will to die yet said...

I am starting to think the ERI is a long shot.
Was it down to the wire when Gov. Patterson pushed the last one through ?

Anonymous said...

Agreed Thall67, it’s not only UFT members that will be on a crusade, it’s DC37, CWA, etc. We have all been fed BS since September, 2020. If this is all a horse and pony show then Mulgrew gets the Oscar. The other unions are so tight lipped. A crowbar could not pry anything out of them. If there was good news they would not be able to stay so silent.
After Monday, the excuses will be flowing like Niagara Falls. Then we will have to listen to how hard they all worked. Mulgrew already set the stage by saying he won’t accept a deal unless everyone was included. The other unions will say the same.
Time to move on from the ERI, what’s the next bone of contention?

Anonymous said...

So we have just one more day, since 31st is a holiday. If we hear nothing tomorrow, then is there an extension? Since DOE has to approve it by May 31st? The other Agencies have until June end! Its coming down to the wire.

Prehistoric pedagogue said...

It always comes down to the wire. If they really want to get it done, the time wil be extended. Remember when we needed 180 days or it wouldn’t be a legal year? That was written in stone till enough people in power decided differently

Anonymous said...

Hizzoner will surprise us on Memorial day. LOL.

Thall67 said...

Got it. No more I promise

Anonymous said...

Hope for the best today and expect the worst. Folks have to temper their expectations. It will be tough not to be disappointed but I believe there is no urgency for the City. They made a deal that Mulgrew won’t accept. I don’t see the City changing their position since they don’t have to from a budgetary prospective. Not sure what the deal is with the non DOE agencies and if they are negotiating their own ERI deal.
I do think that if the UFT does not get the ERI than the other unions are not getting it either.

Not will to die yet said...

Mulgrew chooses this point to stand his ground ?

Zero planing by Uft and diBlasio.

Get ready for lay offs next year.

Anonymous said...

The NYC Public School: The Good, Bad &the Ugly FB page posted that the ERI decision has something to do with the City Council and a vote. Does anyone know what the City Council has to do with the DOE ERI? I know the City Council has to enact a Local Law for non-DOE agencies. Besides, there are no meetings scheduled in the City Council today. Just curious since I found this odd.

Anonymous said...

The NYC Public School: The Good, Bad & the Ugly FB page posted that the ERI decision has something to do with the City Council and a vote. Does anyone know what the City Council has to do with the DOE ERI? I know the City Council has to enact a Local Law for non-DOE agencies. Besides, there are no meetings on the City Council calendar today. I thought it was up to the Mayor and Chancellor.

Anonymous said...

Well, it’s 5pm. Do you know where your early retirement incentive is?

Not will to die yet said...

Awesome like 5:02.

Did you think that one up on your own ?

Anonymous said...

I doubt anyone is negotiating anything given this is a holiday weekend. I guess it’s safe to assume that the ERI is not happening. Mulgrew is going to play his fiddle until one minute to midnight on Monday to officially put the ERI to rest. Can’t wait to hear what he has to say for himself on Tuesday. The other unions hoping to have gotten the ERI don’t have to wait until June 30 to find out they are not getting it either. The torture is over for NYC union members and we can all go back to our regularly scheduled lives.

Anonymous said...

Maybe another ERI in 2 years. That time for real, under new management. LOL.

Anonymous said...

The last ERI that applied to all agencies was approved by the Governor on 5/20/2002. The open enrollment dates were in mid June though. Here’s the link to the PDF details. Bd. of ED had an earlier date of course than NYCERS. https://www.osaunion.org/online/jul02/2002Incentive.pdf

Anonymous said...

Let me start by saying this has been a year like no other, and all the NYC Civil Service Workers did their job well during this scary pandemic! They are all heroes in my eyes!

I remember being a young teacher during 9/11 in 2001! Many teachers stayed after school until late in the evening that day hoping the children will get picked up by their family. It was a day like no other, until COVID 19 came along!

Following 9/11, the veteran teachers were offered an Early Retirement Incentive in 2002. This alleviated the financial crisis and made more jobs available for new young teachers. At the time, there was a critical shortage area of ESL, science and math,and so they had pulled teachers who were certified in other subjects to teach ESL,science and math. Those teachers didn't want to teach out of license, but had no choice! Then Mr. Bloomberg came in and made sure those teachers who taught those critical shortage areas became "Excessed from their school." Those teachers lost their identity and then became an ATR for life, which destroyed their teaching career.

Nobody knows what the future holds, and if whether there will be another variant this winter. Will we have another replay of March, 2020? The data proves people who are most at risk for getting severely ill are people 50 and older because their immune system is not as strong as a young person. There are many older teachers who have other medical conditions and are close to retirement, but need a little extra service time to retire.

Having an Early Retirement Incentive which many elected officials endorsed would make room to hire new teachers and train paras to become teachers. I am sure some teachers would be more than happy to return to work during retirement to support schools.

All through my years of teaching we have always had subjects labeled "Critical Shortage Areas" in the New York Public School System. It never stopped the mayor in the past from denying hard-working, middle-age teachers from passing an Early Retirement Incentive bill. I have never heard of any regrets from the past mayors, when these Early Retirement Incentive bills were passed and they lost thousands of experienced, civil service workers. All the schools survived and all the children learned whether their teachers were certified or not!

NYC Civil Service workers deserve this Early Retirement Incentive bill! All the city workers gave blood, sweat and tears this past year. We don't know the future of this virus, so please give them your blessings and support this Early Retirement Incentive!

Please pass this bill and put it in the state budget, Mayor De Blasio!

Anonymous said...

Since UFT membership has apparently lost out on the early retirement because the City wanted to choose which specialities and Mulgrew said no. Let this be a lesson to Henry Garrido and the negotiating team at DC37. Half a loaf of bread is better than no loaf at all.
Yes, unfair, but when the ball is not in your court, you can’t shoot for the basket. Take what you can get.

Not will to die yet said...

If this Early Retirement Incentive does not get agreed on , it is the equivalent of not being able to get laid in a whore house with a stack of 100s.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the DOE does not get approved, would the same apply for the other agencies even though their deadline is 6/30? I have friends in other locals whose leadership are very sure that it will get approved by early to mid June. It'll be interesting to see what happens.

Anonymous said...

Interesting 9:06. People I know in other unions are not getting information from their leadership. When you say “very sure” that is a strong statement. I hope for their sake it is true but my understanding is that the Mayor wants to pick and choose tiles in each Agency. Much like what he wants to do with the teachers in selecting certifications. To be continued.

Anonymous said...

I'm in DC37 and we have our local meeting in about 2 weeks, so we'll see how it goes. Many employees are counting on this, I know a few who rescinded or put their retirement on hold just for this. I know we've been told that titles maybe be narrowed down but we were told in the last meeting that it would only be those that bring in revenue, like tax auditors, but even those maybe. Time will tell.