Health Care Agreement? Let’s Look Carefully
Sometime in the last day, the UFT website was updated with the healthcare agreement. It is not easy to read, but must be read. It follows, at the bottom of this post. (formatting errors may have occurred in converting the pdf. Please point them out, and I will correct them – jd)
There are still nagging questions – including my favorite. The factsheet says: The way that you access certain benefits may change – It’s no clearer what that might mean. How will I access benefits differently?
I want to post this right away, so I will give me and others more time to look over where the issues might be, although I suspect some will jump right out at you.
One last note. The agreement with the City was made 15 days ago. The Exec Board approved sending the agreement, unseen, to the Delegate Assembly 11 days ago. The DA voted on this, without having seen the money or the health in print, 9 days ago. Yet the changes to our health were only published today, the Friday before schools get ballots. And still without knowing what options the arbitrator has, and where the savings are to be found.
The facts make the accusation. I don’t have to.
H. Healthcare Savings
a. The UFT and the City/DOE agree the UFT will exercise its best efforts to have the MLC agree to the following:
i. for fiscal year 2015 (July 1, 2014-June 30, 2015),
there shall be $400 million in savings on a city- wide basis in health care costs in the NYC health care program.
ii. for fiscal year 2016 (July 1, 2015-June 30,
2016), there shall be $700 million in savings on a citywide basis in health care costs in the NYC health care program.
iii. for fiscal year 2017 (July 1, 2016-June 30,
2017), there shall be $1 billion in savings on a citywide basis in health care costs in the NYC health care program.
iv. for fiscal year 2018 (July 1, 2017-June 30,
2018), there shall be $1.3 billion in savings on a citywide basis in health care costs in the NYC health care program.
v. for every fiscal year thereafter, the savings on a citywide basis in health care costs shall continue on a recurring basis
vi. The parties agree that the above savings to be achieved on a Citywide basis are a material term of this agreement.
vii. In the event the MLC does not agree to the above citywide targets, the arbitrator shall determine the UFT’s proportional share of the savings tar- get and, absent an agreement by these parties, shall implement the process for the satisfaction of these savings targets.
viii. 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. (2) Commencing on July 1, 2014, $200 million from the Stabilization Fund shall be made available per year to pay for ongoing programs (such as $65 welfare fund contribution, PICA payments, budget relief). In the event the MLC does not agree to provide the funds specified in this paragraph, the arbitrator shall determine the UFT’s proportional share of the Stabilization Fund monies required to be paid under this paragraph
I. Dispute Resolution Regarding Paragraph H
a. In the event of any dispute, the parties shall meet and confer in an attempt to resolve the dispute. If the parties cannot resolve the dispute, such dispute shall be referred to Arbitrator Martin F. Scheinman for resolution.
b. Such dispute shall be resolved within 90 days.
c. The arbitrator shall have the authority to impose interim relief that is consistent with the parties’ intent.
d. The arbitrator shall have the authority to meet with the parties at such times as the arbitrator determines is appropriate to enforce the terms of this agreement.
e. The parties shall meet and confer to select and retain an impartial health care actuary. If the parties are unable to agree, the arbitrator shall select the impartial health care actuary to be retained by the parties.
f. The parties shall share the costs for the arbitrator and the actuary the arbitrator selects.