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Administrative Code 12-126 – Line by line

November 3, 2022 pm30 3:27 pm

[This post was corrected. Harry Nespoli heads the Sanitation Workers. And the HIP payment level is $938, but comes out to $919, per month, after fees are deducted. Thanks to James Eterno’s sharp eyes.]

What is Mulgrew trying to do? You don’t have to look at the law and the analysis to know. He’s doing now what he’s been trying for the last two years: force retirees out of Real Medicare and into a privatized Medicare Advantage scheme.

It’s not just him, of course. He’s got full agreement with Harry Nespoli of the Sanitation Workers, who is the head of the Municipal Labor Committee (MLC). Because of weighted voting Mulgrew and Nespoli control about 2/3 of the MLC’s votes. But of course, the City is pushing for this big time. We saw the letter from the Office of Labor Relations, Renee Campion, but Mayor Adams, too. And all of NYC’s financial backers.

So they are all trying to get retirees into Medicare Advantage. We don’t really need to look at 12-126 to know what they are doing. But people are curious. Let’s look.

12-126

First, you can just read what James wrote. It’s pretty clear.

But let’s dig through the language.

The yellow and teal are existing language.

The City will pay the entire cost of health insurance for city employees, city retirees, and their dependents,

Translation: “the City pays”

Not to exceed one hundred percent of the full cost of HIP-HMO on a category basis

The amount the City pays is pegged to the cost of HIP. In fact, their’s a way of balancing between HIP and Emblem (old GHI) involved. But that pegging, that sets a maximum the city will pay. They won’t go higher. if you have a plan that costs $300 more than HIP or GHI, the City will pay as much as HIP costs ($919/month), but not the extra, that’s on you. So…

Translation: “an amount equal to the cost of HIP, (not more)”

“The City pays an amount equal to the cost of HIP”

And that’s ok for you and me, since that $919/month ceiling is pretty much what we need today.

The green is the UFT’s language, the proposed amendment:

…or in the alternative…

Wow! Today the City must pay what HIP costs, but for the future Mulgrew, Nespoli, and Adams want an alternative.

So watch what’s coming up. We are looking for the new amount that the City will be obliged to pay. But you know what? There is no minimum mentioned. Let’s read:

In the case of any class of individuals eligible for coverage by a plan jointly agreed upon jointly agreed up on by the City and the Municipal Labor Committee to be a benchmark plan for such class, not to exceed the full cost of such benchmark plan as applied to such class.

Class?

Class? What do they mean by class? It means that they want different rules for different groups of employees. They are proposing that we can be divided up – that benefits may differ group by group.

Think about that. Why are they having a hard time pushing retirees into Medicare Advantage? Because the retirees are standing up, together, united. But they are thinking, if we had different plans, and different benefits, and if they screwed us over at different times, picking off one group, then another – if they can divide us, maybe they can forestall any future righteous revolts.

Divide and conquer? Where are our unions, saying no to divide and conquer? Sadly, our leaders are saying yes. It’s up to us to correct them.

Benchmark?

Benchmark? The current benchmark is HIP. $919/month. The future benchmark? It could really be anything. As we see with the City’s letter (Campion to Nespoli) and as we will examine further, whoever negotiated for the unions in 2018 effectively ceded decision-making power to an arbitrator, Martin Scheinman, who has not been kind to workers (he was the one who said we shouldn’t have had to work through break in April 2020, but that the City didn’t have to pay us. When the City decided not to pay us part of our lump sums, money they had owed us for years, he was the one who said that’s okay, as long as you pay them later).

And how low could this benchmark be? The amendment doesn’t say. Maybe Mulgrew should tell us how low they are planning to lowball our healthcare?

Summary

The code today means:

“The City pays an amount equal to the cost of HIP”

The code if the Mulgrew/Nespoli/Adams amendment goes through will say:

The City pays the cost of HIP, and no more than that, or else some other amount – and that amount could be different for different groups of city workers, and there is no limit on how low those amounts might be.

When you call your city council member, please explain this to them as you urge them to protect workers and retirees, and reject the amendment.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Mary Goytia permalink
    November 11, 2022 am30 9:51 am 9:51 am

    As a retiree from the city of New York with 30 years of service. Entitles me to continue with medical coverage that I signed back in 1971! These benefits are due without removal to retirees! Under no circumstances there should cut back on health benefits especially on a fixed income!!!

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