Thursday, December 15, 2022


Michael Mulgrew's favorite arbitrator, Martin Scheinman, has released a recommendation saying the City and Municipal Labor Committee can move forward with a privatized Medicare Advantage plan for Medicare eligible retirees. For profit Aetna will get the business.

Scheinman threatens premiums and no healthcare options if we don't agree to Mulgrewcare (Medicare Advantage) in 25 days and we would also have to change Administative Code 12-126 to most likely lower the benchmark rate the City has to pay for health care.

Scheinman is not an independent arbitrator here. He has been chairing the Tripartite City-MLC commission on healthcare. How does he have jurisdiction in this matter as the City and union leaders are basically in agreement? 

There needs to be someone who will  attempt to resolve a dispute between the City-MLC vs tens of thousands of retirees who want to keep the traditional public Medicare supplemented by GHI Senior Care. Scheinman is basically a scribe for the City-MLC, not an independent arbitrator.

Statement from NYC Retiree Organization 

For Immediate Release – Thursday, December 15, 2022

NYC Organization of Public Service Retirees Statement on Arbitrator’s Decision

Mr. Scheinman is voicing the interests of the City and the MLC, neither of whom represent the interests of retirees.  Retirees were not part of the arbitration process.  But if the City seeks to violate Retirees’ rights again, Retirees will once again have to seek judicial intervention to protect their healthcare rights. Mr. Scheinman himself states, “ implementation was delayed by a lawsuit filed by a small group of unaffiliated retirees.”  Since he admits we are unaffiliated, he should not be making decisions for us.  Grandfather current retirees in the benefit arrangements we earned and paid for during our years of collective bargaining and accepting reduced wages and benefits to maintain.  This frees the current unions to negotiate their own benefit changes for those affiliated with them.  Unions are supposed to protect retired labor. Sadly those days are over.  

The MLC has argued for over a year that section 12-126 does not require the City to fund all plans, and that Medicare Advantage is just as good as Medicare.  Six Supreme Court justices unanimously held that the MLC was wrong on the law, and a slew of reports proves that the MLC and Mr. Scheinman are wrong about Medicare Advantage.  If they had any sense of shame, they would not steal from senior citizens, disabled retirees and first responders to save themselves from the UFT using $1 Billion from the Health Insurance Stabilization Fund to pay for raises and other misuse.

We built this City and our former unions.  We rebuilt this City after 9/11.   Grandfather us, or use our suggestions to find savings including allowing us to assist you in leading the nation in developing a Medigap plan we WANT, and get it federally funded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid  Innovation.  The MLC needs to think outside the box, and stop boxing us into their schemes.

Marianne Pizzitola


NYC Organization of Public Service Retirees


FDNY EMS Retirees Association


John Q. Teacher said...

Time for a wildcat strike by all unions. This entire shitstorm was caused by ONE MAN! His name is Mike Mulgrew.

waitingforsupport said...

Absolutely. We paid into Medicare for over 40 years and now we are being forced into a subpar medicaid that's right--its medicaid. Bulls^it

Bronx ATR said...

It really is shameful that this is what it’s come to, right at Christmas. Teachers who have worked hard their whole lives shouldn’t have to worry that the UFT, of all entities, is working against them. Has Mulgrew forgotten his role completely? Isn’t he worried or concerned about how this looks to the average teacher and retiree? Worse, how can he look himself in the mirror? Where is his honor? He swore an oath. It was bad when we were being hammered by Bloomberg and he stayed silent and let a shit storm fall on all of us, but this is much worse because he is openly working against all of us. And the cherry on the cake is he doesn’t give a damn! Everything touched by the UFT is so rigged that he believes, perhaps rightfully so, that he has his office for life if he so chooses. And why would he leave with a double salary and double healthcare benefits? Perhaps he should sign away one of those healthcare packages and sign another oath to sign up for Medicare Advantage when he reaches 65. With the kind of money he’s making he really shouldn’t get any healthcare benefits and with the kind of job he’s doing he really shouldn’t be Uft president. I do believe it is time for us to start protesting. It’s bitterly ironic that people will have to protest their own union. Especially the many who saw the pragmatism in joining Unity and have been crying to the heavens after each outrage that, ‘we are union and the union is us’, lol. It’s a long time coming. Thank you Marianne for all your hard work and thank you James for bringing all of this to our attention.

Bronx ATR said...

Why aren't people commenting on here concerning this? Is this OK with everyone? Is everyone acquiescing their healthcare and their future healthcare by remaining silent? Some of the drones working for the UFT may be noticing the absence of comments and may feel that there’s nothing to be concerned about, as no one is voicing an opinion. They’ll claim that it’s only the retirees who are making a fuss and calling in, and that no that no one else cares. Make a google account and write something.

BxT said...

Disgusting. UFT is a sham. Why more people aren't concerned? They are too busy dressing up and trying to win swag...

Sha said...

I know I am preaching to the choir here, but the fact that our own union is selling out our healthcare is just horrendous. The entire way this has been handled since the 2018 agreement in which we did not even get to see the healthcare attachment before any vote is a prime example of the shady back door dealings that Mulgrew and the MLC have been engaging in for quite some time. Mulgrew’s latest email would be laughable if it wasn’t such a bullying attempt by a desperate, failing, union leader. Threatening your own members is a heinous thing to do! I am not sure when, or even if, UFT members will finally say enough is enough because, unfortunately, too many either believe the lies or are just so apathetic at this point that they feel nothing can be done. The healthcare for both retirees and in-service workers must be protected and if Mr. Mulgrew is not up to the task he should step down and let new leadership take the reins.

Unknown said...

That last post was from me - Frank Faconti - but my Google account; is under thd name Kongress my musical group, which I had logged into. I used to teach The History of Rock & Roll, retired, but I am still a sub. Here is a link to a feature about me teaching that program. I was one of 11 Pilot Teachers from acrossn the country chosen to u/se Little Steven (Van Zandt's) curriculum @ where there is a feature about me @ I have NO idea who James Eterno is or why he is credited with what I wrote to Mr. Scheinman - I also sent Scheinman a Tweet on his Twitter account! Kindly correct this post. Thanks...FF

James Eterno said...

I didn't credit myself, Frank. I noted that your post came to me. I hope the followup sets the record straight.

Fan of the Blog said...

James; it's The Moose.

First of all, this being the hold up for our Contract Negotiations is painful for current active members. For retired members, this is disgusting and I wish you all keep your Healthcare. We all go into city jobs for the outstanding benefits. Those benefits are even nicer when you are retired.

On a side note, James is an amazing advocate and person. I emailed him regarding an issue and he was quick to come with information. I will be using that information, have contacted my District Rep, and will be going after these clowns that hold an Administration position.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwaanza, whatever you celebrate lol.