Monday, July 12, 2021

PSC CALLS FOR POSTPONEMENT OF MLC VOTE ON PRIVATIZING MEDICARE

 This is from the PSC:

PSC Call for Postponement of Upcoming Municipal Labor Committee Vote on Changes to Retiree Health Insurance

Updated: July 12, 2021 

NEWS RELEASE

Contact: Fran Clark, fclark@pscmail.org

CUNY’s Professional Staff Congress Issues Statement Calling for Postponement of Upcoming Municipal Labor Committee Vote on Changes to Retiree Health Insurance

New York, NY – Only days after announcing the proposed contract, the Municipal Labor Committee (MLC) is poised to vote on a measure announced in conjunction with the NYC Office of Labor Relations (OLR) to move more than 250,000 municipal retirees from a traditional Medicare plan administered by the Federal government to a Medicare Advantage plan managed by private companies. The Professional Staff Congress - representing 30,000 faculty and staff at CUNY - urged the MLC to delay the vote scheduled for July 14 and issued the following statement from James Davis, President:

“Our members are deeply troubled by the MLC’s rush to vote on this proposal. Five days is not enough time to consult on such a consequential decision. Although the MLC agreed to work with the City on healthcare savings measures in 2015 and 2018, this vote to seek savings through the retiree medical plan comes at a time when the City can well afford to pursue alternatives. This austerity measure opens the door to further cost-cutting and diminished benefits in future contracts.

“We are concerned by the closed nature of the negotiations. Municipal retirees should have a chance to review the agreement and engage with their representatives to the MLC before a vote. MLC unions have not been provided with a copy of the contract with the proposed vendor.

“The MLC and OLR could pursue alternatives to achieve healthcare savings. While a single-payer healthcare system that recognizes the contributions of municipal employees would be ultimately better for all New Yorkers, including our members, other more immediately achievable measures could substantially reduce health care costs without placing the quality and affordability of retiree healthcare at risk. Skyrocketing hospital costs and prescription drug charges are two areas where the MLC and OLR could exercise stringent accountability and achieve savings.

Retirees need to know how this change will impact their health coverage. They should understand which doctors and hospitals they will be able to visit and what costs they are likely to incur. The details of the proposed agreement, the role of federal subsidies in incentivizing privatization, and the rationale for rejecting alternatives to a shift to Medicare Advantage should all be reviewed.

“Whatever its provisions, a plan to shift the cost-saving burden to union members and municipal employees does not bode well for the future. Higher costs may be demanded of union members down the line. The answer is not privatization. It is to continue Labor’s fight for a single-payer public healthcare system and a system for New York that serves municipal workers fairly. Until then, it is important to take a step back and look at options that can make that goal a reality.”

12 comments:

waitingforsupport said...

Thank you for this information James.

Anonymous said...

The MLC should outright reject the privatization scam to Medicare Advantage plans.

David Suker said...

How come the UFT doesn’t advocate for its members like this?

Anonymous said...

It's not surprising that you see numerous city union members on Facebook and Twitter canceling their union dues over this critical issue. As one union member stated: "Why pay union dues to my union when the city pays for the maintenance of the welfare fund benefits?" The MLC should definitely not rush to privatize health benefits.

Anonymous said...

David…. Because the UFT works for the Democrat Party, not dues payers.

Anonymous said...

With this change over to the privatization of Medicare to Medicare Advantage with little input from retiree members—
Mulgrew and the other cowardly MLC union presidents have declared : ‘ Let it be written, let it be done’.

waitingforsupport said...

If this bullsh^t passes i will pull my dues and research the costs of staying in traditional medicare.

Anonymous said...

Numerous members say they cancelled their dues, but according to higher up in uft, non payers are still only in low single pct numbers. So, most of the most vocal on this blog are actually still paying dues. I could name a few names.

James Eterno said...

We closed the discussion on dropping dues. Let's not revisit it here.

David Suker said...

Thanks. I figured. After this last election I swore to never vote for another Democrat for the rest of my life. Not that I voted for either major party anyway. I’ll vote for Sliwa as a protest, but I find the DP and their supporters so out of touch that I want nothing to do with them.

David Suker said...

Tried. I’m still paying! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Anonymous said...

I saw the recent UFT retiree election vote—70% Murphy/Mulgrew win —down from 90% —from just from 2 years ago—This has to be directly related to the Medicare issue. Maybe the in service people can chew away at Mulgrew’s big margin of wins over the past 12 years come the 2022 election.

Also,—Mulgrew, Murphy and all the other UFT executive big shots keep claiming that this union is a political labor union—with an emphasis on political. They claim victory with their lobbying involving the State Constitution referendum vote few years ago and the recent federal financial package to help New York afloat till next July. However, I thought all the right pieces were in place with the union supported citywide and statewide Democratic politicians—that are currently in office. The same holds true for just about all the municipal labor unions that make up the MLC. So, how did this very inevitable shifting from Medicare to a privatized Medicare Advantage ever get this far? How can Mulgrew keep claiming that this change is a big win for UFT retirees?

And a question—Are the NYS retired public school teachers Long Island, Westchester etc.and other retired civil service workers also facing a Medicare change—similar to this?