Friday, September 16, 2022

PSC PRESIDENT DAVIS CALLS FOR ACTION TO SAVE CITY WORKER AND RETIREE (INCLUDING UFTers) HIGH QUALITY HEALTHCARE

James Davis is the President of the Professional Staff Congress (CUNY union). They are one of the hundred plus NYC government worker unions that make up the Municipal Labor Committee. The UFT and DC 37 are the two biggest unions in the MLC.

The UFT and DC 37 are leading the charge to change city law so the city can charge higher costs and/or limit healthcare quality. For retirees who don't want to pay monthly premiums, the city and MLC were going to force them into an inferior privatized Medicare Advantage plan (Mulgrewcare) until a judge stopped them. If the MLC and mayor can convince the City Council to change the law, active workers and retirees can expect healthcare givebacks.

The PSC is leading the opposition to the changes in the law on healthcare. Ten other MLC unions voted no. President Davis in his latest email explains what's at stake. Here is an excerpt; you can read the full email below.

The proposed change to the Administrative Code section 12-126 means that the only premium-free retiree plan would be Medicare Advantage, and the current Medicare/SeniorCare plan will cost individuals at least $200/month. But it would also allow the City to renegotiate the “benchmark” reimbursement rate for active employees too. 

PSC says this on their website:

The City has an obligation to cover retirees' health insurance costs, and SeniorCare has done it well, without premiums, co-pays, or prior authorizations. The Council will vote on a proposed Administrative Code change that breaks this compact. The code change also opens a door to future changes to the quality or cost of active employee health insurance.

We have t take a stand: No healthcare givebacks! Please take action.

The full email from President Davis:

Dear PSC members and retirees,

This is an urgent follow-up on my September 9 email about the City’s attempt to weaken protections for municipal retiree health insurance. This is not just a CUNY retiree issue, it’s also an active employee issue. The proposed change to the Administrative Code section 12-126 means that the only premium-free retiree plan would be Medicare Advantage, and the current Medicare/SeniorCare plan will cost individuals at least $200/month. But it would also allow the City to renegotiate the “benchmark” reimbursement rate for active employees too. 

Here’s what you can do right now: Notify your City Council representative and Council Speaker Adrienne Adams that the quality of retiree health care is at stake now, and active employees could be next, if the City regulation changes as proposed. 

There is no time to lose. The City Council will soon be asked to conduct public hearings and reach a decision on the matter. 

There are alternative approaches to managing the City’s rising health care costs that should be considered. Instead of amending the Administrative Code - opening the door to reduced quality and/or increased costs to retirees and active members - savings could be achieved through measures such as going after the hospitals for exorbitant charges, addressing the skyrocketing costs of prescription drugs, and auditing current insurance providers. The burden should not fall on workers, retirees, and their dependents.

The PSC was among the 11 unions that voted against this proposal because: 

  • We do not support the privatization of Medicare, and retirees who opt to remain in traditional Medicare should not have to pay monthly premiums.

  • The proposed Administrative Code change gives the City leverage to compel active employees to pay more for health insurance benefits in future negotiations or reduce their quality. 

We urge PSC members and retirees to send this Act Now letter to your City Council representatives and Speaker Adams. If you reside outside New York City or are retired from a CUNY college, please use the address of the campus where you work and adapt the Act Now letter to indicate your college affiliation. 

In solidarity,

James Davis, President

56 comments:

  1. You can click the link James provided and in the drop down menu you can select CUNY ally/other and send the letter. I am retired and live outside of NYC and just provided the address of my last school. The healthcare of retirees and in-service workers should not be negotiated away!

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    1. Oh I see it. Thank you 7:17 pm and James. We just signed it!

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  2. Senior care is great but medicare part d is terrible. Emblems $150 monthly premium is more than most other pard d plans and the prices on many of their drugs are way more than Good Rx. I urge medicare retirees to compare Express Scripts drug prices with good rx. Part d drugs are supposed to cost 25% of regular price but many of express Scripts drugs exceed this. NYC medicare retirees will have the opportunity to shop around for a better part d plan once the $2000 prescription drug price cap goes into effect in 2025

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  3. The political party that controls nyc wants us to have bad health coverage and since our union is owned by this political party it’s exactly what we’re going to get. We reward them for serving us shit every time we vote the same party back into office. No leverage.

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    1. The other party wants to take away our right to choose on abortion and they are willing to stage a coup when an election doesn't go their way.

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    2. They even support DeSantis whose state ranks 48th in teacher pay, and Trump who tweeted that New York should rot, during the pandemic. But yeah, the Democrats. Puhleeze

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    3. Then why are people fleeing ca and ny and going to fl and tx?

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    4. Whats your guess 6:18? It sure isn't because of teacher pay. OR maybe they believe the lies, lies, lies told by Republicans on a daily basis.

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    5. 10:06 you are so brainwashed.
      The other party?? Do you mean the SCOTUS? How is RETURNING the right to decide on abortions regulations BACK TO THE STATES is equal to "banning the abortions"?
      Also, ask yourself this question: why would big corporations pay for you to go out of state to get an abortion? Does it, maybe, save them money on paying for your maternity leave and keep you at the grinding stone? Not everything "they" tell you is worth repeating. Put on the thinking cap, and if you do not think your LoCAL party politicians get this issue right, start connecting to them, write letters.
      BUT, your freedom to go f-k around does not give you the right to kill a creature with a heart beat. When You care - use prevention.

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  4. James, can you please list the 10 MLC unions who voted "no"? I would like to know who my friends are.

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  5. I only get the info from the PSC, a union that I also am a member of. Not sure who the other dissenting unions are. If we find out, we will gladly post.

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  6. So once again this boils down to Mulgrew, DC37, and other larger union heads saying that a newer retiree Medicare Advantage is just as good or even better than their current traditional Medicare. But how can a healthcare program that will save the city millions and millions be better? How can something cheaper result in a better product? Where is the savings truly coming from?

    The distrust is alarming. That’s why close to 30% of city retirees as reported by the Daily News in March 2022 -already out opted out and willing to pay almost an additional $200 a month per person -preferred to stay with their Medicare plan.There were probably more ready to do the same—till a judge paused the changeover. And then of course the cowardly Mulgrew changed his tune—at least temporarily—saying we don’t like what we see—as he was major force on the MLC that was pushing Medicare Advantage. And he said that he as President of the UFT -was an excellent educated consumer when it comes to healthcare—and insisted it was the best on the planet-at several,RTC zoom meetings.

    Thank goodness for the courageous PSC and these 10 other retiree unions that continue to challenge and fight on—
    while Mulgrew is supporting the opportunity for the City Council to change healthcare laws that are detrimental and risky to all UFT members.

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  7. 10:06, those pesky little details: stage a coup, overturn an election and install their choice against the will of the people.

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  8. This is what Seattle teachers are getting offered
    Notice that there is a contingency if inflation goes higher-

    Also Seattle teachers contract gives yearly increases not the BS 15, 18(which is nothing like 1,200 after 3 years! and then 20, and 22. Raises should be each year. Our contract is designed to cheat teachers and save the city money.

    SPS and SEA Tentative Agreement Summary
    Seattle Public Schools and Seattle Education Association Tentative Agreement Summary

    Posted: Sept. 14, 2022

    Incremental additional cost: More than $200 million over three years

    Meaningful increase in wages for educators

    As part of the proposed contract, all union-represented educators and school staff will receive a 7% raise the first year, followed by a 4% raise in 2023-24 and a 3% raise in 2024-25. 
    If the cost-of-living increase is higher than 4% or 3% in years two and three of the contract, the wage increase will go up to match the cost-of-living increase.


    We need a STRIKE, STRIKE, STRIKE!

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  9. Because China, Russia, Afghanistan, inflation, crime and the border makes me want more of the same.

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    1. Lol. Sounds like the dues payers electing Mulgrew over and over. More of the same and without a contract again.

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  10. Food prices are only at a 40 year high

    https://dailycaller.com/2022/09/13/food-prices-hit-40-year-high-keep-breaking-records-every-month/

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  11. Wouldn’t a 10 year deal with a 3% raise every September 15 make sense? Guaranteed. No waiting. No extensions. No wasting time negotiating.

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  12. Bash DeSantis as we have no contract with a dem uft, doe, Mayor, governor…and as New Orleans and St. Louis are the murder leaders in the country.

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  13. Cities run by Republicans have high crime rates and murder rates too.

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    1. Wait, are you taking about New Orleans and St. Louis?

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  14. Mayor Leonard Curry is a Republican.

    Out of Town By Sundown
    Violent crime in Jacksonville, Florida is so bad that even THE SHERIFF has decided to
    breach the city's charter (THE LAW) and flee Duval County for safer refuge in Nassau County.

    Oh yeah, keeping on topic. Vote out any union leader who cuts healthcare.

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  15. Topic is healthcare, please stay close to that.

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  16. Hey James why didn’t you post my response to the person criticizing the Supreme Court/republicans on abortion
    I wanted to discuss elected state and federal legislatures over appointed Supreme Court judges. I see you let other responses through
    Thanks

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  17. Too many retirees put their blind naive trust in whatever Mulgrew says -especially with Medicare Advantage.. Unfortunately, the same goes for active UFT members. Not sure what new leadership could have done with their promises of change—but after 13 years of Mulgrew—things couldn’t be any worse than they are now—especially with an expired contract and the history of long contract negotiations .

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  18. The topic is healthcare, 7:19. I asked for people to stay close to that. Thanks

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  19. 6:41 - actually we DO have a contract, what we don't have yet is a raise. We operate under the existing contract, which if we were to strike would make it null and void.

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  20. You all know where nyc democrat mayor stands on our health care. You know where democrat Mulgrew stands. You know we’ll vote them into office again after they take away what we have and replace it with garbage. Time to just embrace the suck if you’re not willing to negotiate with a Republican for 2025. What would Sliwa’s reaction had been if Mulgrew said, we’ll mobilize and organize for you if you guarantee no changes to health coverage and a respectable raise. We’ll never know because the truth is even if we brainwashed a Republican to think exactly like James thinks, Mulgrew would never turn on the democrat party. It’s not about loving republicans. It’s about leverage. We’ve got none. We’ll do what Mulgrew says and vote for democrats after they screw us…AGAIN.

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  21. James - stop with the pleas to stay close to the topic - just don't post the same old bullshit on every posting. Republican talking points that in order to respond to takes too much of our time - so those get left up with no response. Imagine if those people had their own blog and we try to post Democratic talking points -

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    1. We welcome all talking points
      I even like reading wfs opinions even though i disagree 99% of the time. Hearing other opinions /talking points was one of the things that made our country great. Keep sharing your different talking points.

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    2. @1137am. You also keep me in the forefront of your mind. I'm glad to help

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  22. We try to give people on all sides a chance to express their views but I understand where you are coming from 8:53. Healthcare is an issue that should unite us.

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    1. Thank you James. A great society allows/welcomes political, social and economic discourse. Yes we usually go off topic (sorry about that) but we are just as passionate about our beliefs on the issues facing our nation as our brothers and sisters on the left.

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  23. Nonsense, it's a smokescreen. Expressing different viewpoints is one thing. Daily bashing of Democrats, including the teachers, is another thing entirely. They'll just get bashed right back, and then the blog once again just becomes a free-for-all with nothing constructive discussed or accomplished.

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  24. The topic is health care. Specifically UFT MEMBERS healthcare. If we’re not ready for mutually assured destruction with our democrat politicians, we have nothing left to do but watch them thrive while we get lousy health care. Mulgrew should tell the NY Democratic Party that if retirees and active members healthcare doesn’t remain the same, the UFT will go balls to the wall to elect the next Republican mayor and other NY seats. Mulgrew could make this all about healthcare and how the democrats have not only failed city workers but have failed working men and women all over the country. He could point out how AOC didn’t keep her promise. We tried electing better democrats. It didn’t work. Time to try the enemy(republicans) of my enemy (democrats) is my friend. If there were a serious campaign around this you’d only have to vote Republican once to get the democrat’s attention. Then maybe one more time to make them our bitch instead of the other way around. It’s complete insanity to think being loyal to democrats is going to get us rewarded. They should fear us. They will when we arm their enemy with our votes. This isn’t a Republican talking point because the talking point is “since the democrats are as atrocious as republicans when it comes to health care, we’re going to vote republican until the democrats decide they want to give us the health care we want”

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  25. You see how well the strategy of not opposing a Republican worked in 1993 when we were pissed at David Dinkins and stayed neutral so Rudy Giuliani won a close election. Our next contract was the infamous 0%+ 0% for raises for two years.

    Many teachers were not happy with Cuomo the elder so Republican George Pataki who said an 8th grade education was all that was required of the state and fought the Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit for years was elected three times. We let mayoral control go in under Pataki in 2002.

    Michael Bloomberg snuck in on the Republican line in 2001. You see how well that went.

    The Republican Party is even more hostile to public sector unions, particularly teachers, now.

    I agree Democrats like Obama, Cuomo the younger, deBlasio and Adams are not our friends, however, most Republicans openly want to destroy us.

    Challenge: Tell me a time in the modern era when public sector teacher unions did better under Republican rule. Be specific please.

    If you want to talk about the Red State revolts, it took strikes go get anywhere.

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  26. It's mind-blowing how working class folks debate which boot in the ARCE is better (dem/rep). Both parties thrive on working folks fighting against one another. Continue being a foot soldier for the parties because they love it. In the meantime they will continue doing what's best to keep them in power and control. Imagine how much better we would be if we demanded better pay and benefits from both parties?

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  27. Our next contract was the infamous 0%+ 0% for raises for two years.

    James, don’t mislead. You didn’t say we got the same 0 plus 0 under de Blasio. He also held our retro for 12 years with no interest and have us 1.4% per year raises on average.

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  28. I said deBlasio is among the Democrats who I listed that are not our friends.

    By the way, I am fully aware that I took bloggers prerogative and veered off topic to make the point.

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  29. Another point Jeff, Dinkins gave us interest when we loaned the city money in 1991.

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  30. Also, that 1.4% is a bit misleading because it does not include the 4%+4%, the Bloomberg pattern that Bloomberg refused to give us for 5 years that deBlasio did. Put that in and we averaged 2% annually under deBlasio. Not good at all but not 1.4% which only includes de Blasio's pattern. As I said, de Blasio was no friend of teachers.

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    1. Not sure if you consider Bloomberg a dem or Republican, but we got immediate retro under him, and larger raises. Not sure why gop gets bashed when there is so much evidence Dems give us horrible contracts.

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  31. The 2005 contract under Bloomberg was the worst contract in UFT history. We have never recovered from the givebacks including creating the huge ATR pool with mass school closings and many other givebacks. Every contract since then has basically been an extension.

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  32. My Republican friends need to answer my challenge and not try to change the subject. Please, I am waiting. If you forgot:

    Challenge: Tell me a time in the modern era when public sector teacher unions did better under Republican rule. Be specific please.

    If you want to talk about the Red State revolts, it took strikes go get anywhere.

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    1. They haven’t failed any better under democratic rule either James
      You might have to go back to the 1960’s
      But back then it wasn’t about political parties it was more about the willingness of our union to do what’s right for its members not some politically correct agenda
      Our union was more united, stronger and willing to make hard choices and sacrifices

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  33. Different Republican Party in the 1960s. No such thing as charter schools back then for one thing. Reagan changed Republican attitude toward labor when he broke the PATCO (air traffic controllers) strike in 1981.

    I am waiting to find the 21st century Republican friends of public sector unions, especially teachers.

    Scott Walker?
    Chris Christie?


    Union leadership has to be responsive to membership. Membership can compel leadership to act.

    Some of you expect the leadership to just say presto and teachers get a decent raise. It doesn't work that way.

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  34. Thanks for your response. All I know is the democrats are suppose to be the friends of labor. How’s that been working out for us in the last 20 yrs? You say the republicans have changed and you are probably correct but the democrats have changed dramatically. I see joe b is trying to remedy the disconnect the democrats have these days with union support. Both political parties have sold Americans out to the globalists and union workers have suffered because of it. Thanks for the respectful discussion.

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  35. I trusted the UFT in the 1990's when Feldman was president and Giulliani was mayor and Pataki was governor. I was young and naive but at least I believed that the UFT supported teachers.

    Weingarten and Mulgrew are both corrupt and self-serving no matter who is mayor or governor. Both Weingarten and Mulgrew are all about givebacks and concessions. Neither have the intelligence or charisma of leadership and unification. When Mulgrew speaks, everyone can tell that he is in way over his head.

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  36. The question to ask isn’t when was. It’s when will. We will get a more favorable contract under a republican mayor when we start to seriously negotiate with a republican candidate after the primary. Imagine what the next democrat candidate would promise us if the UFT got a republican mayor elected. If NYSUT got a republican Governor elected. Leverage. I’m an Independent who stopped voting for democrats because they stopped working for me… a middle class union member. Face it the democrats dumped us for identity politics because it’s cheaper to take a knee or attend a drag show than give good union salaries and benefits to black, white, gay etc union workers. The democrat party has ghosted us and you’re still glued to your phone waiting for their text to come through. Why not try batting your eyes at some republicans. We can always decline the relationship if what they offer isn’t good enough. Break the insane pattern of blue no matter who.

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  37. Still no answer on my challenge. There are no Rockefeller Republicans in 2022.

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  38. I heard Mike Mulgrew say at the retiree town hall that anyone can form their own medicare advantage plan. Why can't the City and MLC form their own, not for profit, medicare advantage and part d plan to be run jointly by the City and MLC. The savings could be used to increase benefits.

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  39. There are public jurisdictions that have taken that route. Knowing who and what Adams and MM are, I cannot trust them. I paid full freight Medicare on paychecks for 40 years. I will settle for nothing less than real Medicare, which all retirees were promised, paid for, and entitled.

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  40. Exactly 859am. I've paid into it and I want what I paid for. Period.

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