UFTers have been asked by President Michael Mulgrew to pressure the City Council to change Administrative Code 12-126. The change would permit the Municipal Labor Committee (umbrella group of municipal unions) and Mayor Adams to privatize Medicare for retirees age 65 and above by lowering the benchmark rate the City has to pay for healthcare so retirees would have to pay premiums for GHI Senior Care that is now premium free if they don't want privatized Aetna Medicare Advantage (Mulgrewcare).
Below is part of a question and answer from High School Executive Board member Nick Bacon and President Mulgrew from Wednesday's Delegate Assembly concerning healthcare changes.
Question: Nick Bacon: Why didn't we vote on such a big campaign here at DA and at exec bd?
Answer: You elect me to make decisions. We will be here 15 years without a contract if we adopted such a practice of voting on everything.
We also elect Delegates and Chapter Leaders to represent members in making UFT policy. I guess what often is just a rubber stamp Delegate Assembly might not be so eager to put their stamp of approval on privatized Medicare for our retirees (Mulgrewcare) so Mulgrew has just decreed UFT policy the last few months. He decided by fiat that we are going to try to push the City Council to change Administrative Code 12-126 which has protected our premium free health benefits for over fifty years.
The attempt to privatize Medicare again illustrates how there are no functioning checks or balances in the UFT presidential system. Mulgrew is just getting away with more of his long-time practice of bullying democracy into oblivion in this union.
Mulgrew seems to fancy himself as the next George W Bush: "The Decider".
I still wonder why the ruling Unity caucus allows this one-person rule of the UFT to continue. Retirees, traditionally Unity's most loyal constituency, are not happy as they showed at a meeting last week.
Just a thought, if the Delegates and Executive Board can't vote on Mulgrewcare, would UFTers favor putting privatized Mulgrewcare up for a vote in a member referendum? We have that right if 10% of the membership asks for it.
Article V, SECTION 10 of the UFT Constitution: At the written request of one-third (1/3) of the entire membership of the Executive Board or of ten percent (10%) of the membership of this organization, the Executive Board shall submit to a referendum vote any matter except a proposed amendment to this Constitution and matters relating to the admission, suspension or expulsion of members.
We really should take our union democracy back, somehow.