Vote for Change at UFT

 Vote for Change  at UFT

Dear Editor:

Retired UFT members will have the opportunity to take control of their UFT Retired Teacher Chapter in a consequential election that may well determine the future of their healthcare and that of city retirees from other unions (ballots are sent out by the American Arbitration Association on May10 and must be returned by June 14).. UFT retirees will be able to vote out the Unity Caucus/UFT leaders, who have allied with Mayor Adams and private health insurance companies in proposing drastic healthcare changes and replace them with leadership from Retiree Advocate that will truly act in their best interests.

Many Medicare eligible NYC retirees live in the Rockaway community. They devoted years of service to NYC working as EMTs, Police Officers, Fire Department Personnel, Sanitation Carriers, Nurses, and Educators, often accepting smaller paychecks than private sector jobs offer due to the promise of continued, excellent health benefits upon retirement.

However, retirees have been in the fight of their lives for the past three years after learning that NYC, along with the Municipal Labor Committee, and its current controlling bosses, (Michael Mulgrew from the UFT, Henry Garrido of DC 37, and Harry Nespoli of the Sanitation Union), were about to change their fully subsidized healthcare, which for most of them is traditional Medicare plus supplemental GHI-Senior Care, to an inferior Medicare Advantage Plan, without their knowledge or support.

These private plans often diminish healthcare through networks, prior authorizations, denials, and delays at a time in one’s life when more and better healthcare is needed. Three successful lawsuits by the NYC Organization of Public Service Retirees (, led by the dynamic former EMC Marianne Pizzitola, are being appealed by the City of NY and so the fight against this healthcare conversion continues.

Many NYC City Council members, including Joann Ariola and fellow Republican City Council members, have given full-blown support to the retirees. In a twist of the political world, they have been joined by members of the most progressive wing of the Democratic Party, a rare right/left combination on an issue that has united retirees.

UFT President Michael Mulgrew and UFT RTC Chapter Chair Tom Murphy have led the assault on Medicare protections. All City workers will eventually be impacted by these threatened changes, and the UFT under Unity Caucus has had the most influence due to its massive membership. UFT retirees are urged to check the box for the entire Retiree Advocate slate when they receive their ballot.

Norm Scott
Retired Elementary
School Teacher,
UFT Member Since 1967
Member/Candidate of Retiree
Advocate/UFT for Retiree Chapter Executive Board

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