Tuesday, November 29, 2022


I normally don't support when people who are not UFTers crash UFT meetings. However, the outright falsehoods that the UFT leadership is telling concerning healthcare impacts on all City workers, their families, and retirees so it needs to be exposed. 

Marianne Pizzitola, the President of the New York City Organization of Public Service Retirees was listening to Queens Borough Rep Amy Arundell's latest Zoom session on Monday evening. I could only take so much and was glad to leave to attend another Zoom. Marianne called out lie after lie after misleading statement that Amy and UFT Welfare Fund assistant Joe Ustach were telling in the Zoom meeting.

Everyone needs to watch the video Marianne put up last evening in response to the UFT's very misleading presentation. Amy and Joe are UFT employees so they have no choice but to peddle the company line but at some point we need some truth from the UFT.

Some highlights of Marianne's total takedown of UFTs Amy and Joe

  •  This Queens meeting was dubbed as an information session on why UFTers should work to change Administrative Code 12-126. The meeting is in reality "a bullshit gaslighting session." 
  • Two courts agreed that the Administrative Code protects our healthcare benefits up to the HIP-HMO rate ($918 a month). Why would we want to give up that guaranteed rate? 
  • The UFT found savings by charging us additional copays and narrowing our networks. How is an increased copay a benefit to us? Savings are givebacks. 
  • Ustach's slide says the City is paying $11.8 billion on healthcare this year. Comptroller's documents say the City spent around $8 billion on healthcare in fiscal year 2022. $6.5 billion was spent on active employees. Only $1/2 billion was spent on Medicare part B reimbursements.
  • Joe and Amy's defense of Medicare Advantage Plus (MAP) is more bullshit. The City and MLC tried to force Medicare-eligible City retirees into MAP until a court stopped them because the City was violating the law. 
  • There are no networks of doctors one has to go to in the original government-run Medicare. Doctors don't have to accept Medicare Advantage.  
  • 500 doctors wrote letters saying they would not accept the City's Medicare Advantage Plus plan. 
  • The Medicare Advantage Plus plan the City tried to force retirees into, or subject them to a penalty premium of $192 a month, had 87 prior authorizations where procedures would have to be approved by an insurance company where original Medicare doesn't have prior authorizations. 
  • The Independent Budget Office and Comptroller have stated that the unions and City have used the Health Stabilization Fund as a slush fund.
  • The Municipal Labor Committee and City wanted to put retirees on Medicare Advantage or else force them to pay an illegal $192 a month penalty to stay with what they have now that only pays 20% of doctor's office expenses. The other 80% are paid by the original Medicare. 
  • A judge and 5 appeals judges ruled the penalty premium to stay in Senior Care violated City Administrative Code 12-126.
  • Uniform unions (fire, police and some correction) all voted against changing the Code. 
  • The City Council doesn't want to change the Code because their health benefits are protected by 12-126 just like ours are. 
  • This goes back to 2014 when the UFT Memorandum of Agreement used money from the Stabilization fund to pay for UFT raises.
  • The courts have not limited union collective bargaining rights. City law, the State Taylor Law and the 1992 MLC-NYC letter of agreement all guarantee collective bargaining on healthcare.
  • NYC Organization of Retirees is not a small, vocal group as Amy says. There are around 50,000 of us. 
The ICE blog fact-checked the UFT Contract claim easily and sure enough there it is in the 2014 MOA under H Healthcare Savings:

Stabilization Fund: (1) Effective July 1, 2014, the Stabilization Fund shall convey $1 billion to the City of New York to be used in support of the pro rata funding of this agreement. 

There's more but I suggest you play the video to hear Marianne's passion as opposed to Amy and Joe's clueless attempt to get us to fight against our own interests. 

Marianne fact checks Amy on Twitter:

This story is continually updating and we will provide more information when we get it.


John Q. Teacher said...

If the UFT is so sure and keen on changing healthcare, then why not have a debate with Marianne on a live Zoom meeting open to ALL nyc municipal union members? This would cost nothing.

JP said...


Bronx ATR said...

All hail Maryanne Pizzitola!!! (Amy Arundel has always been full of shit and has fooled many over the years. Following orders wasn’t and isn’t a reasonable rationale to f**k us over when we were ATRs or as retirees, regardless of how personable she is or isn’t.)

waitingforsupport said...

Damn straight BronxATR. Serial killers are personable too. Mickey is doing everything he can to help retirees NOT get what we've earned. Disgusting