Monday, May 03, 2021

UFT Executive Board May 3, 2021--Mulgrew Says Joe's Medicare Not Coming to UFT

UFT Secretary LeRoy Barr--Minutes approved. Friday National Provider Appreciation Day. 

Academic HS VP Janella Hinds--HS Awards--Last week celebrated community champions, union activists and Team HS winners. Was great even to connect with members and celebrate a few shining stars. Thanks to all who attended. 

Rashad Brown--Pride committee showing films 18, 19 and 20. Announcement will go out soon.

Barr--Thanks all who attended NYSUT RA last week.

UFT President Michael Mulgrew-- Thanks everyone for NYSUT RA. 

Safety--Two straight weeks under .4 positivity. Over 100 schools testing at 40%. Vaccines working. For summer school and September we will have to make decisions. Some districts want everyone back in person. We could accommodate about 92% on daily basis right now. Mayor still says he will offer a remote option. Trying to work out with city. 

We don't want to constantly wait for City Hall to weigh in. We have to program schools ahead of time. Calendar coming out, perhaps tomorrow. Then we have to look at SBOs. We hear in person summer school, except for 683, but city wants all in person. If we go to 700 schools, 200K children, not sure if there will be enough staff. Glad they want a robust program, but we'll see.

We need to get a large number back in. Important for profession. Will see where it goes. 

Mike Sill--Postings for summer school hopefully by end of week. 683 postings close to being done. 

Mulgrew--Medical accommodation process will be open, but doubt there will be any blanket accommodations for September. Final determination not made, but that's how it appears.

Ellie Engler--Given vaccines, only accommodations may be for people who can't walk to third floor and things like that. 

Mulgrew--We will maintain privacy as to people's medical choices. Questioning them about vaccine is out. There will need to be a date set for parents to decide whether children will be remote or in person. If we achieve our goal of large number in school, we'll have to see how remote goes. Don't think it should be burden on school. May perhaps be academies who deal with that. Maybe also about giving access to certain courses they wouldn't otherwise have.

Moving forward advocating infrastructure package in DC for green schools. Want audit on every building to make them healthy as possible.

Politics--Thanks to all of our PAC coordinators in boroughs. Still races we have to endorse in. Our mayoral candidate has not had a great week. Our political team now wants to continue moving that forward but we will see where that goes.

Council candidates--Thanks volunteers, door knockers. Very important. Budget means mayor and city council must agree. We need city council who understands importance of public schools. 

Questions/ Answers

Waiting for clarification on PD days as to whether remote or not. If no students, we don't think staff needs to be present.

Possibility we will get back in September. Quite a bit of concern about spread of virus in other countries as well as mutations. Have to hope vaccine holds.  

Medicare Advantage--The next five years will have huge fights over health care and every aspect of it. NYC Public Employee retires and workers are only ones left not paying health care premiums. I will constantly update. It's important we form our own health care committee so people understand what we're doing. We want savings for our stabilization fund, which all city workers use. We are making changes in service, have made serious RFP on PICA and saved hundreds of millions of dollars. We put that right back ont fund. Our retirees have senior care, and city has gap plan for other costs. They keep going up and we have to figure it out. Sad that it's called medicare advantage. There are individual plans we'd never go near, and then there is a group plan, a PPO plan, in which you can go to all doctors you currently see. We need assurances of that to do this. If we don't have them, we won't go in that direction. 

We had a huge fight with NY Presbyterian, but we will hopefully resolve it this week. I almost had to send a note saying it would be unavailable in 30 days. If one hospital charges 1500 for x ray and another charges 400, something has to give.

We will fight to keep what we have and at the same time use our buying power to enhance it more. If we simply let them do what they do, we could be screwed. 

C6 and admin duties left out of preference sheet--

Debbie Poulos--Actually it is mentioned. They may be together or separate.

Retiree town hall--Please take questions on Medicare.

Not making any decisions yet. If we have to blow it up, we will.  Lots of bad information out there. There are always factions. UFT offices get same health care. Of course it's very inportant. People are bored when I talk about hospitals, but when we're negotiating, those costs are on the table. The most expensive doctor is usually not the best one. It's an insane industry. They wouldn't allow us to question costs, just pay bills. That's what we're dealing with. We need to avoid high premiums. Retiree chapter has already given me lots of questions.

We endorsed Bravo. Are we changing this?

Will be whatever volunteers recommend. Will check.

First day of teacher appreciation week, nurse appreciation coming up. From me to all of you, I appreciate all you've done. Happy Mother's Day to all.

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