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Yes, UFT members can defeat Unity / Mulgrew

March 3, 2022 pm31 11:06 pm

A small win in April 2021. A bigger one in November 2021. And now, today, a huge win on healthcare.

For years, when I urged a vote for this or that candidate, or on a particular resolution, people would say “I agree, but you are wasting your time. Unity always gets what it wants. They control the votes.”

Well, not so fast.

2016 Election

Way back in 2016 New Action (I was a member) and MORE ran together against Unity. We did not win the presidency – only took 21%. But we won the high schools. Me, Arthur Goldstein, Ashraya Gupta, and four others took seats and used them to ask Unity hard questions and to bring forward real needs and concerns of our members. But there were no wins in 2019. It’s been a while. Actually, there were bigger wins decades ago, but that’s decades ago. I’m only looking at recent years.

Two Recent Delegate Assemblies

Last spring, in April, the United Federation of Teachers Delegate Assembly rejected Mulgrew and Unity’s endorsements for a number of New York City races, including Brooklyn Borough President, and Comptroller. The DA wasn’t rejecting the policy – we accepted the same endorsements the following month. No, we were actually rejecting how Unity was running the Assembly, and especially Mulgrew’s dickish behavior towards elected delegates.

And then, just a few months ago, at the November DA, Nick Bacon almost placed an item on the agenda that all health care changes go to the Delegate Assembly before they go to the Municipal Labor Coalition. Lost 49 – 51 (Unity won – they don’t want members having a say in health care policy. It was actually HS VP Janella Hinds who rose to speak “We have never had votes on this, have never engaged in that kind of debate in past, asks for no vote”). But that same meeting Unity asked for support for legislation to reduce class size (fairly ineffective legislation at that) and resisted members who were trying to make reducing class size a priority for contract negotiations. And guess who won? The members. 61% – 39%. And then the members won another vote. In the entire history of the UFT I do not think there has ever been a Delegate Assembly where members outvoted Unity twice. And in November they did exactly that, and almost succeeded a third time.

And Today, Medicare Advantage Phhhpt

From: UFT Press Office <>
Sent: Thursday, March 3, 2022 2:53 PM
Subject: Mulgrew on NYC Medicare Advantage Plus Plan

Contact: UFT Press Office |
Dick Riley | C: 917.880.5728
Alison Gendar | C: 718.490.2964
Melissa Khan | C: 646-901-1501

For Immediate Release – Thursday, March 3, 2022
UFT President Michael Mulgrew on NYC Medicare Advantage Plus Plan:

We believe in the NYC Medicare Advantage Plus plan and the excellent range of benefits it would have provided our retirees. However, the judge’s recent decision will effectively eliminate the savings the plan would have produced and that would have been re-invested in health benefits for our members.

While the NYC Medicare Advantage Plus plan is sound, the program has suffered from serious implementation problems and poor legal arguments, particularly on the part of the city.

Our retirees deserve better. Given the judge’s order, the UFT is withdrawing its support for starting the NYC Medicare Advantage Plus plan on April 1, 2022, and will urge the Municipal Labor Committee to suspend its efforts to begin the program until all the implementation and legal issues are resolved.


And a detail not to miss:

Mulgrew and Unity wrote a press release. They think that speaking to the press is more important than speaking to the members. This is not an occasional mistake. This is legit how they think. Sometimes they show they don’t know how to talk to members. Others they just ignore the members. And it’s been going on. And on.

Mulgrew and Unity wrote a press release. They forgot to tell retirees what they recommend. Not that, were I retiree, I would trust Mulgrew and Unity today. But they didn’t even bother pretending they had any advice to give…

One Comment leave one →
  1. Keith Firestone permalink
    January 10, 2023 pm31 4:10 pm 4:10 pm

    Why did the MLC agree in the 2018 Memorandum of Agreement to 600 million dollars in recurring savings from the health plans forever—there is no term limit? And why 600 million dollars? Since the annual savings of the Medicare Advantage Plan for retirees is 600 million dollars, it would appear that the MLC was getting its savings at the expense of the retirees.

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