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Big Picture vs Misdirection – Admin Code 12-126

November 17, 2022 pm30 1:20 pm

Here’s the series of events:

  • Mayor Adams, the Municipal Labor Committee, including the United Federation of Teachers leadership (Mulgrew et al) were trying to force retirees out of real Medicare and into their “Medicare Advantage Plus.”
  • Retirees sued to stop them.
  • Judge ruled against Mulgrew and Adams. The decision rested on Section 12-126 of the Administrative Code.

Pause here. Mulgrew wanted something. He was denied. There’s a law that stopped him. So how does he react?

  • Mulgrew/Nespoli (MLC) et al begin a campaign to amend the law.
  • Retirees go into action, and lobby city council NOT to amend.
  • Retirees seem to have the upper hand.
  • Mulgrew/Garido (DC37) et al try to campaign for the amendment, with talking point memos sent to in-service and retired members.
  • Retirees still seem to have the upper hand.
  • Adams’ Commissioner of Labor Relations, Renee Campion, sends a letter to the unions October 13 threatening Bad Things if the code is not amended.
  • The UFT and DC37 use the Campion letter to revive their City Council Lobbying campaign.
  • Using the Campion letter to scare members proves ineffective for Mulgrew. Retirees still have upper hand.

Pause. Mulgrew wants Medicare Advantage Plus. Retirees block him. He tries to change the law to “unblock” the City and the MLC (so they can force retirees onto Medicare Advantage). They block him again. He tries campaigning with members. Nope. He tries using the Campion letter to scare members into supporting amending 12-126 so he can force retirees into Medicare Advantage. Still not working.

  • Mulgrew issues a new “fact” sheet.
  • He buries the argument over 12-126 in details (it’s SIX pages. I’m not sharing)
  • He claims this has nothing to do with Medicare Advantage.

So I put it to you. After fighting for almost two years to force retirees onto Medicare Advantage, is Mulgrew now fighting, with the same people on his side, and the same opponents, but not about Medicare Advantage anymore?

And the City.

  • Does the City (Adams/Campion) favor amending the code because it will allow them (with MLC cooperation) to force retirees into a Medicare Advantage Plan?
  • Or does the City (Adams/Campion) want to change the code to give the UFT more power and give UFT members more protections?

Adams wants to change the code.

  • To protect city workers?
  • Or to force retirees into Medicare Advantage?

Focus on the big picture. Mulgrew and Unity think you can be distracted by misdirection.

Do not amend Section 12-126 of the NYC Administrative Code. Take action (sign, call, email) now.

15 Comments leave one →
  1. John S permalink
    November 23, 2022 am30 6:50 am 6:50 am

    Why doesn’t the city and union do what they always do in these kinds of situations: negotiate what they want for those who not yet retired and leave the current retirees’ healthcare benefits alone. That is how it has worked for decades: win or retain benefits for current workers at the expense of those who have not yet entered the workforce. For example, My father, a Tier 1 teacher, had some very different (and desirable) benefits that I didn’t have as a Tier 4 teacher because the UFT negotiated them away BEFORE I BECAME A TEACHER.

    • December 4, 2022 am31 7:10 am 7:10 am

      Why don’t the City and the UFT? Probably because they want the money faster.

      But negotiating away future rights is horrible, and fundamentally violates the principal that a union should be based on. I’ve always opposed those sorts of deals, and would in this case as well.

      • Anonymous permalink
        December 4, 2022 am31 7:24 am 7:24 am

        I don’t blame you for opposing them, but that is how unions get things done. On getting this specific thing done, there are many more healthcare dollars to be saved by asking in-service workers to pay more for healthcare. They still pay the tiniest fraction of what the benefit is worth at the same time as they have been seeing substantial pay raises.

        • December 4, 2022 am31 7:28 am 7:28 am

          In-service would just pay a bit more? Hmm. Or retirees could just pay a bit more? Hmm

          Or we could be decent unionists and oppose any hint of dividing us. Shame on anyone who supports that.

          Further, every deal that divides us makes us weaker, as a union, in the long run.

        • December 5, 2022 am31 11:16 am 11:16 am

          We should not accept the city’s poverty argument. Health care should be for all of us, not a precious resource to be rationed. The attitude that “some members must pay” is defeatist. I reject that approach out of hand.

      • Anonymous permalink
        December 4, 2022 am31 9:56 am 9:56 am

        Retirees were promised the healthcare they retired with. In-service has no such guarantee. I wouldn’t call that dividing. You are doing what the UFT does when you try to “shame… anyone who supports that.” They speak unity when it suits them. Then they go ahead and pit one group against the other anyway. On this issue, it has been retirees vs in-service. Usually, it is members versus those who are not yet members (see John S. comment above). So why not figure out how to save money the usual way? Or if the need is more immediate, then save the money by offering a new plan to new retirees.

        • December 4, 2022 pm31 10:57 pm 10:57 pm

          I have always opposed playing off one group of us against another.

          When Unity proposed giving in-service members two days back (that Unity had previously given up), but in return we had to agree that future employees had to pay more for their pensions, I was one of only two voices to rise in opposition. (third paragraph here:

          I do not suffer from the weakness that would allow me to claim some personal security in return for harming another union member.

          If that is how it has been, then that practice should stop. And if you support it, if you are willing to sacrifice the health care of others to protect your own, yes, you should feel deep shame. Until you correct your ways I suggest you remain anonymous, and not look any younger people in the eye.

          This is a union blog, with union values, and always will be.

      • Anonymous permalink
        December 5, 2022 pm31 5:45 pm 5:45 pm

        Cue the music, something dramatic – Stars and Stripes Forever, perhaps, by Sousa?


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