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Mulgrew spooks members with a 6:00 AM non-update about taking our GHI
Mulgrew's daybreak email causes alarm more than assures a UFT membership. We demand no more healthcare givebacks in exchange for "cost savings". Sign the referendum petition. Repost - newaction.org
This Monday morning, as we rush into our schools and get our first lessons set up for the week, we also have the pleasure of pondering what the heck Mulgrew is talking about in a bizarre non-update on in-service healthcare, sent out when I assume he and the rest of UFT leadership were still sleeping soundly. (It reached me at 6:12 AM).
Titled “An in-service healthcare update,” he begins by reminding us that “All of our members have and will continue to have access to premium-free health care,” failing to mention that this is actually already guaranteed by City Administrative Code 12-126, which he used UFT resources to try and get scrapped – and without a membership vote.
He then reminds us how good we have it, noting that “UFT is one of the few teachers’ unions in the country that still offers premium-free health care coverage for members…” However, he fails to note that other unionized cities that have it, such as LA, are not working to weaken it or trade it away for minor wage increases, but are instead effectively organizing to keep their healthcare and increase their wages above the inflation rate.
Next, Mulgrew hints that we might not be renewing GHI-CBP – an insurance plan that most of our workers have been using for decades, and then vaguely mentions that four providers responded to an RFP, but didn’t say who. In fact, when we asked at executive board last week, Joe Usatch, the Assistant Director of the UFT Welfare Fund, told us that he didn’t even know who responded. Mulgrew also fails to tell us that the RFP to replace GHI sought 10% in cost savings – an amount that would be impossible to save without somehow increasing member costs or reducing member care. There are only so many savings, after all, that Mulgrew can make by weakening GHI itself, such as by inserting massive copays for urgent care visits.
Then, he mentions switching retired members off of traditional Medicare and onto an Aetna Medicare Advantage plan as a win, and not as the failed plan to reach cost-savings at our expense that it actually is. To read this paragraph and not squirm, you have to be massively in the dark about what is going on, as the retiree healthcare battle has been front page news now for years. If he’s using what he’s done to retirees as an example of what he plans to do to in-service workers, however, we should definitely listen.
There are no new updates in this email. In fact, there is less information here than we’ve gotten at executive board meetings, DAs, and even other email updates. No, this isn’t an update. It’s a limp response to a petition organized by opposition to give us a say on healthcare changes before they happen. Sign that petition today.
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