Sunday, January 01, 2023


The UFT is rallying us to fight against new Success Academy charter school colocations in NYC public school buildings. It is a worthy battle. We support the union's efforts to oppose charter colocations. We can stop Eva's expansion.

Charter schools are not public schools. This is from Forbes:

Charter schools could be operated by a locally elected board, but they almost never are. Instead, charter schools are owned and operated by private individuals or boards, sometimes located far away from the school itself. Sometimes control of the charter is separated from the community by a series of managerial handoffs–Group X technically owns and operates the charter, but they hire Corporation Y to actually run the school.

When municipal assets like water systems and parking facilities are handed off to private companies to run, we call it by its name–privatization. Turning a school over to a private company to own and operate is no different.

Charters are privately run. The UFT opposes their expansion into public school buildings where they take space away from public schools. This makes sense. So why not have the same policy when it comes to privatizing healthcare?

The vast majority of NYC public sector retirees age 65 and over get the bulk of their health insurance from federally administered public Medicare. However, Mayor Eric Adams and the Municipal Labor Committee (umbrella group of City worker unions) want to save money by privatizing Medicare where they would push public sector retirees  in NYC into a privately managed Medicare Advantage plan. 

Privatizing Medicare has been tried in the past but the UFT and AFT successfully opposed privatizationHere is something from 2004 written by the one time head of Unity Caucus Tom Pappas:

We’re pulling out all the stops. This Medicare legislative disaster about to happen in Washington is too important for us to just hope it goes away.

We need to do all we can — and we can do plenty — to save Medicare from the privateers.

The same is true in 2023. The battle now is in NYC. The New York City Council will decide this month if Mayor Adams and the MLC will be able to make private-for profit Aetna the default plan for NYC public sector retirees. Retirees would need to pay premiums to stay in traditional public Medicare. 250,000 retirees pushed into privatized Medicare would be a body blow for public Medicare.

Unity people today may tell you the current privatization plan is different from past schemes. The main difference looks to be that Medicare privatization is now favored by a Democratic administration in DC. Republican President Trump and Democrat Biden both support expanding privatized Medicare. That bipartisan DC consensus will not be easy to defeat but we must do all we can to save traditional Medicare.

Doctor James Fieseher summarizes how privatizing Medicare will end:

From its inception, Medicare has managed the health of seniors more effectively and efficiently than private insurers. Corporate greed and private investor are trying to sell us on the idea that inserting a middleman between the medical system and the government would somehow save taxpayer money.

There is no business model to support that idea and for good reason, adding more layers of administration adds costs, especially in health care. Don’t let Joe Namath and William Shatner tell you otherwise. Keep Medicare the way it was designed and don’t enroll in Advantage Plans, or we will lose Medicare altogether.

Don't let Michael Mulgrew or AFT President Randi Weingarten fool you either. Privatizing retiree healthcare in NYC is a terrible idea. It will most likely occur if Administrative Code 12-126 is changed by the City Council this month. We have to fight the change with everything we have.

The UFT now supports privatization of Medicare but not schools. 

Mulgrew's hypocrisy will make opposing charter school expansion that much more difficult under charter friendly Mayor Adams. The inconsistency will be thrown in our faces.

Don't let it happen.

Keep public schools public; keep public Medicare public.

Eva continues to privatize schools while Mike tries to privatize retiree healthcare. Stop them!


Bronx ATR said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
liberals=ccp2323 said...

omg james you still censoring when you have 3-5 comments. You are becoming like our gestapo FBI, shame on you, Chaz would be ashamed too. I really cannot believe who you really think you are after misleading everyone in politics, yes you bring a lot of attention to very valuable information and whats transpiring in the union. That does not excuse shameful behavior, people who said terrible things should always be censored.

James Eterno said...

Rules still apply. Stay on topic or at least close. No hijacking posts. Stopping the anonymous comments has worked wonders for my sanity.

James Eterno said...

Bronx ATR took off the first comment, not me.

Fan of the Blog said...

It's The Moose....

I do believe in free speech. I also understand why James "keeps his sanity" regarding some posts. He isn't allowing or disallowing comments; he is rather "keeping people on topic" regarding the post he originally created. My post is technically "off topic" but that doesn't mean what I am writing goes off into conspiracy theories, changing topic, etc. My post relates to staying on course with what is being discussed. There is a big difference between James censoring people, and James keeping his sanity.

I do have to say that "Liberalsccp2323" you are excellent at deciphering different topics. I'm glad you can recognize that James brings very valuable information and what transpires in the Union. I just won a potential grievance against my Principal before it even got to a grievance because what she was doing was absolutely disgusting...thanks to people like James and his valuable information. He even emailed me back multiple times to say "he'd be there if I needed anything". I never met the man BUT I do know he cares, he tries to help, and he wants people on topic.

The Moose lurks :)