Monday, October 15, 2018


The UFT Contract acknowledges in Article 3G1 that the umbrella group of municipal unions called the Municipal Labor Committee has within its purview health benefits negotiations. However, it does not say members of the UFT have to accept whatever the MLC comes up with. The teachers have the ultimate say in a ratification vote on the UFT Contract.

Read Section 5 of the new Memorandum of Agreement:
The June 28, 2018 Letter Agreement regarding health savings and welfare fund contributions between the City of New York and the Municipal Labor Committee is attached as Appendex B and is deemed to be part of this agreement.

I looked and looked at the new Memorandum of Agreement for Appendex B on healthcare that will become part of our contract but couldn't find it. I wonder why?

Let's make no mistake about it: you are voting for healthcare givebacks sight unseen if you vote yes on this contract.

Healthcare concessions were a major feature of the last UFT contract and they are prominently featured in the proposed new one. Under the current rules, UFT members have a choice of nine health plans to pick from. A choice of free plans is a major feature of our contract. Let's refer to another part of Contract Article 3G1:

Choice of Health plans
The Board agrees to arrange for, and make avaiable to each day school teacher, a choice of health and hospital insurance coverage from among designated plans and the Board agrees to pay the full cost of such coverage.

Unfortunately, this provision is going out the window for new teachers and other new city employees who will be forced into managed care in just one plan for year one under the new proposed contract. This will save the city money but I very much doubt that it will save the city $1.1 billion in health savings that the NY Teacher reported was the amount the Municipal Labor Committee agreed to and we are accepting if teachers vote for this contract. The Chief Leader reported that the savings amount to $1.7 billion

UPDATE. It's $1.1 billion through 2021 and $1.9 billion annually thereafter. This is from the City Hall Website: 

"The agreement will provide total health care savings of $1.1 billion through Fiscal Year 2021 and $1.9 billion of annual savings thereafter." 

New teachers will pay a small portion of the cost. We know that. Who will pay for the rest of the healthcare savings? You and I will. We paid for the savings in the current contract with significantly higher copayments since 2016. Those savings were not announced in 2014 when the contract was settled. What will the future hold under the new contract? Here is how the Chief Leader explained the new agreement in the summer when they reported on the $1.7 billion in savings:

Several areas of savings represent expansions of programs implemented as part of the 2014 deal to meet the larger cost-cutting goal. They include greater use of health clinics or doctors’ offices rather than hospitals—with no additional charges for employee health-care premiums—for procedures such as arthroscopies, colonoscopies, cataract removals, radiology and ambulatory surgery. A new fertility support program will supplement wellness initiatives already in place to manage chronic conditions like asthma and diabetes, and prices will be cut for some drugs.

That's not going to get to $1.1 billion or $1.9 billion annually in savings either.

What does the NY Teacher say on how we will pay for the savings? 
More details about the changes will be shared with UFT members as soon as they are finalized. 


All we know now is the city will save money. If in 2020, you get an email from the UFT Welfare Fund saying some healthcare costs will rise or there will be this or that restriction on your plan, remember you are voting in favor of the changes now site unseen if you vote yes in the contract. 


Anonymous said...

It’s been the plan for a long time to have teachers pay 30% of whatever their healthcare actually costs. The UFT is going along with this and seems to be working directly for the DOE and CSA (regarding grievances). The Three Stooges - DeBlasio, Carranza and Mulgrew are laughing all the way to the bank. Vote NO.

Anonymous said...

No change to the lump sum payments, as in paid out earlier
no signing bonus to make up for all the time we waited and low % raises
still no maximum observations
still no ability to enforce travel hardship which is already in contract
still no buyout
still no discipline code enforcement
raises are backloaded
raises are below inflation
if you add the 2 contracts, from 2009 till 2022, we got 14 years at about 1.5% per year
Medical givebacks, again

Anonymous said...

I know this post is about healthcare, but if UFT members vote "YES" on this contract they will be make obtaining an MA+30 differential very hard to obtain for teachers hired after Sept. 2019. Teachers hired in 2017 need 6 A+ credits, but a teacher hired after Sept. 2019 will need 18 A+ credits. Isn't that a money savings for the City. How many years will it take for a teacher to get 18 A+ credits?

James Eterno said...

Good point. We will do something on that later. Today we focused on healthcare concessions.

Anonymous said...

How do we opt out?

James Eterno said...

Opting out now so the UFT can say you are not a member so you can't vote on the contract but you still have to pay dues through June is beyond stupid.

Ibeth said...

Definitely Voting NO!! Teachers are always getting screwed...and new teachers dont have a leg to stand on

Anonymous said...

The contract is a solid contract, best I’ve seen since the 90’s. Roughly 8% over 43 months(compounded), no givebacks, due process and extra money for our paraprofessionals, a process to actually go after supervisors who harrass and retaliate against members, a stronger process to deal with workload, inadequate space, PD, curriculum and instructional supplies, over 90% of our members getting 2 evaluations, expedited class size process, increased safety with CL’s getting OOR’s reports and development of borough wide safety committees plus additional deans, a cheaper faster way to earn the +30 differential, expedited grievance process for salary, ILOD and religious observance, the Bronx Collaborative School Model and many improvements for our functional chapters. Also no premiums for our healthcare something that almost every union(check out the teachers in the suburbs, some parts of Long Island it’s 20%)has to pay. Great contract.

Anonymous said...

Midnight...why comment anonymous? Mmulgrew@....

Anonymous said...

What's the school list for the extra pay? i'm in... if in Bklyn or SI.

Anonymous said...



James Eterno said...

There are givebacks in healthcare that are fairly substantial. Read the post.

Anonymous said...

What a bunch of idiots will vote for this piece of crap. How do I opt out?

TJL said...

Midnight anon must work for Unity. It sounds like the type of bullet point talking points one hears on the Hannity show on the way home (and I'm a right wing guy saying that, though I usually listen to Savage for that exact reason).

My first contract I voted on was the '05 disaster. Was so bad, I went to a Randi sales pitch, criticized the contract in the Q & A. In fact James, the future Mrs. James, and Jeff Kaufman even met some of our teachers at an event; Randi must have known for she replied "I know YOUR SCHOOL does not like this contract..."

With that as a reference point, admittedly a very low bar, I'm likely going to vote yes. That's my first ever yes. I'd like to get 2 obs as a max and for all of us, but all negotiations have give and take and I think what we got is a good starting point. As more of the "reformy" Bloomberg era hires continue to hit the exits, a Buffalo-style obs system, proper treatment of ATR's (including eliminating the concept of ATR entirely), etc. can be taken care of next time.

James Eterno said...

Brought back good memories because 2005 is when Camille and I were married. I respect your vote but next time won't be until 2022 and the ATR's will be a 17 year feature by then and the evaluation system as well as the Bloomberg system of treating teachers like garbage is now already baked into the system. I am going to break down the financial and non financial parts of this today and probably tomorrow. This is more than likely going to be as good as it gets.

TJL said...

Re: healthcare. I'd actually rather pay as much as 30% into a good health care program like United HealthCare, the Aetna EPO, or the Empire BCBS PPO and get better care with a wider network of providers. With GHI we're getting what we pay for, which is not much. The problem is the monthly rates for, just for example, the Aetna EPO are so high ($1,135 per month), it's obvious the City is kicking little if any money into it.
The City should allow us to apply whatever it pays towards the GHI-CBP to the other options. It wouldn't cost the City any more money.

James Eterno said...

Contract says we are supposed to have a choice of free plans.

James Eterno said...

If 2005 is your reference point, you should vote no. All the contracts since then are basically extensions of 2005. We have won nothing back that we gave up since then.

Anonymous said...

James. I’m retiring as soon as this contract is over. I’m taking the money and running.

Anonymous said...

James the new contract has much stronger language and teeth to actually go after abusive, harassing administrators. Something that you and many readers of this blog always complain about. It also gives real due process to our most vulnerable members the paraprofessionals.

James Eterno said...

Paras are a separate bargaining unit, totally distinct from teachers. For a teacher to vote yes on a teacher's contract because paras have better due process is the most ridiculous argument I have heard yet.

Are you voting yes on the teacher's contract based on how UFT did with United Cerbral Paulsey too?

Anti retaliation is already in city law. DOE knows it won't reign in anyone by adding it to contract. We already have fair practices in Article 2 of contract.

Steve Light said...

Understanding how to fight the contract, and the union, requires understanding its political context. Please read "New York City teachers union attempts to rush through sellout contract" at