UFT Members Deserve to Vote on Healthcare Changes

The cochairs of NAC ask that you please sign the petition to give UFT members a right to vote on healthcare changes, as reported in The City today. Some Faqs on why we need this vote are noted below (written in collaboration with other UFC-affiliated writers of the petition).


Quick Facts

  • Mulgrew voted in the Municipal Labor Committee (MLC) to force retired City workers off of traditional Medicare and onto an Aetna-managed Medicare Advantage Plan (MAP). Despite knowing full well that there was significant opposition, Mulgrew denied membership the right to vote directly. 
  • Major changes to our healthcare were made as part of our citywide contracts in 2014, and again in 2018.  Mulgrew was instrumental in negotiating both. In the last healthcare agreement, in 2018, he agreed to $600 million dollars in healthcare savings for the City for every year, in perpetuity. These changes and agreements were negotiated behind closed doors without member input. UFT chapter leaders and delegates were not given Appendix A to read beforehand which delineated the healthcare concessions when they voted in support of our 2018 contract.  
  • UFT Leadership is currently working on a mysterious new health plan for in-service members that would replace GHI with something cheaper. As of now, membership will not have a say in this decision either, or given meaningful details about our potential options.
  • Even without switching us off of GHI, UFT leadership has greenlit various new, significant healthcare expenses for in-service members without a membership vote. 

For instance:

  • ER visits now cost us triple digit copays, which are waived only if a patient is admitted, even if they are deemed to need emergency care. 
  • Copays for most urgent care centers (including CityMD) have also risen to triple digits, from $15 to $100, since 2016.
  • Major providers, such as CityMD, Montefiore, and almost all radiology centers, are no longer ‘preferred,’ leading to higher copays.
  • Despite many healthcare expenses more than doubling, UFT leadership has not fought for fair increases in pay. Because we did not even attempt to stop DC37 from accepting a sub-inflation wage increase, UFT members will not only be seeing higher health costs – they’ll be taking a pay cut

Why do we need a petition to request a member-wide referendum to vote on healthcare changes?  

According to the UFT Constitution, members can demand a member-wide referendum vote on any issue other than a constitutional amendment or actions on the status of an individual member.  First, ten percent of the membership must petition the UFT executive board for a referendum, and then the executive board must bring the matter to the entire body for a member-wide vote.  Given the serious nature of the healthcare changes that have been made without member input or democratic decision-making, we must take this matter into our own hands.

So sign this petition today. We deserve a say on healthcare.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *