Good News on UFT Retiree Healthcare: Judge Frank Grants TRO for Switch to MAP
Repost from New Action/ UFT Blog at https://newaction.org
Today, Judge Lyle Frank granted a TRO which will temporarily halt the City and the MLC from switching all retirees from GHI SeniorCare to a for-profit Aetna Medicare Advantage Plan. While the case, initiated by the NYC Organization of Public Service Retirees, is far from over, this is a very good omen. These excerpts in particular bode well:
“First, the Court finds that the petitioners have shown by clear and convincing evidence that there is a likelihood of success on the merits. The Court agrees that it is likely that this Court will ultimately find that the respondents are estopped from switching retirees into a Medicare Advantage Plan and that New York City Administrative Code section 12-126 does not permit the action that the City plans to take….The petitioners have shown that numerous promises were made by the City to then New York City employees and future retirees that they would receive a Medicare supplemental plan when they retired, and that their first level of coverage once that retired would by Medicare.”
Make no mistake: the timing of this TRO decision alongside a new contract that is almost sure to be ratified within the next several days is meaningful. Mulgrew’s nightmare scenario of a ratified contract followed by the necessity of making major negative changes to in-service health care plans now seems more likely and more imminent than it did before. Mulgrew, after all, will still need to find savings to pay back the City for promised healthcare spending reductions. Now, however, he will have to pillage elsewhere than our retiree coverage. For those next steps, we must wait and see; against those next steps, we must be ready to fight.
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