New Action/UFT Message on Contract/Healthcare

New Action is concerned about the current state of contract negotiations. We have repeated many times that by allowing DC-37 to negotiate their contract first, they have set the “pattern” for all subsequent contracts to follow. The UFT, the strongest city union, should have negotiated first. The 3% a year agreement is wholly inadequate, especially in light of contract settlements we’ve seen around the country. The UFT has not been talking tough and certainly not acting tough toward the City which tells us some deal is in the making- and one that will not keep up with inflation.

We are extremely concerned that in-service members not get hurt by The MLC and the City renegotiating our health care plans. The key is that the UFT in 2014 and 2018 agreed to find savings of $600 million a year for the City in perpetuity – yes, every single year going forward, in exchange for salary increases. In the last round of negotiations, the UFT agreed to put new hires in an HMO for their first year of employment. Is it inconceivable that this will be put in place for all members. In 2018 the UFT leadership NEVER showed the healthcare agreement to chapter leaders and delegates before they voted on the contract. Start asking questions now…you do not want to be blindsided.

Our retirees are now aware of the new Medicare Advantage Plan put out by the City. This plan was worked out in SECRET by the Municipal Labor Council and NYC. The 250,000 retirees within the city had NO INPUT into this plan. Retirees had hoped that their health plans would only change for the better. But the MLC and the City had other plans in mind. Now union leaders are calling for the privatization of our healthcare. Have they forgotten that privatization means producing profits for these companies? And profits for Aetna or whoever else will result in delaying and cutting services. After all they are not in business to increase and expand services. Perhaps President Mulgrew will call on the membership to embrace privatization of our public schools because it will improve education? With other municipal workers, New Action has been fighting to reverse this plan.

That is why our partners in the United for Chance coalition have started a union-wide referendum to allow every UFT member to vote on whether they approve or not of the healthcare changes being made for us. This vote will be possible because the UFT Constitution allows for such a vote if we obtain signatures from 10% of the UFT membership. Our goal to reach this number and beyond is to get 20,000 signatures. In the 3 weeks we have started collecting, we have already raised over 7,000. This important issue is now in your hands. We ask you to do several things: 1) add your name to the petition calling for a referendum, 2) circulate the petition at your school (we believe members will readily agree to sign), 3) contact friends at other worksites to enlist them, 4) make calls to as many people you know. The petition can be signed electronically! Hard copies can be downloaded. For complete information go to:

Once again, New Action is inviting all IN-SERVICE teachers and RETIREES to join our movement. 

In solidarity

Nick Bacon       860 922-5833

Greg Di Stefano    718 757-4552

Michael Shulman 718 238-8030


6 Responses to “New Action/UFT Message on Contract/Healthcare”

  1. 1 Howie Siegel April 30, 2023 at 7:49 pm

    Let us not lose sight of the fact that the MLC, a committee of Union Executives, have decided to award a contract to a private company that has NO union presence within the company. Try getting a job at Aetna corporate and try to organize a union. See how long you last there.

    • 2 BaconUFT April 30, 2023 at 8:02 pm

      I’m from Hartford, where Aetna is headquartered. Aetna used to be nicknamed “mother Aetna.” People used to want to get jobs there for the job security – similar in some ways to how public sector jobs were once thought of in New York. But, those days are gone. Anecdotally, there are big issues now with out-sourcing, among other things. There are constant threats of leaving town. The fear among insurance sector workers is real. Meanwhile, insurance companies are making record profits – in large part because of the new markets in Medicare Advantage.

  2. 3 Mike D. May 1, 2023 at 7:52 am

    I don’t want to sound like a stick in the mud, but there is no way in hell that Mulgrew will be able to negotiate a better financial deal than what DC37 got. NYC is a bullshit, “pattern bargaining” town and the Mayor knows it, the DOE knows it, and the UFT knows it. Mulgrew knew it the second that DC37 members ratified the contract and he should have been negotiating all along with the DOE to improve our working conditions in the upcoming contract. He is telling us that the DOE is playing hardball on contract negotiations with us. Well, he should have expected that since our contract expired in September and he should have been dealing with the DOE since then. However, the fact is that UFT leadership negotiates in secret with the 500 member committee, we have no idea what Mulgrew is fighting for or what the DOE won’t budge on. In fact, I bet the 500 member committee is being left in the dark on what kind of real dealing is happening between the City and UFT. I am personally very concerned that our working conditions may not be improved in the next contract. Mulgrew probably already knows what the end contract is going to to look like but he is making teachers engage in all of the sham, teach-in’s and leaflet distribution to make it look like he is putting up a fight.

    • 4 BaconUFT May 1, 2023 at 8:25 am

      I hear you. One of the reasons UFT is stronger than DC37 is because we have a stronger opposition. We could have organized a no vote campaign if the financials were bad. DC37 didn’t have that capacity.

  3. 5 Mike D. May 1, 2023 at 8:59 am

    That’s why Mulgrew “let” DC37 negotiate first. He knew they would settle for a low raise then we would would be stuck with that deal without any need for a fight. He did not need to fight before OR after the DC37 deal. Now we all have to be biting our nails hoping for an improvement on our working conditions. When is the next Negotiation Committee Meeting?

    • 6 BaconUFT May 1, 2023 at 1:48 pm

      There are subcommittee meetings within the next few weeks. I’m expecting a contract draft by June.

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April 2023

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