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Insurgent Slate Wins UFT Retiree Chapter Election

In a significant setback to the union’s leadership, former educators with the Retiree Advocate caucus of the United Federation of Teachers have ousted the incumbent Unity slate. In balloting for leadership of the union’s Retired Teachers chapter, the Retiree Advocate slate received 17,226 votes, or 63 percent of the total, while Unity, which is aligned with UFT President Michael Mulgrew, got 10,114 votes, according to unofficial results. Members of the Retiree Advocate had campaigned in opposition to the city’s efforts to switch retired city workers to a Medicare Advantage plan from their traditional Medicare. The plan is backed by the Municipal Labor Committee, of which Mulgrew is the executive vice-chair.

Mayor Adams Keeps Pushing Medicare Advantage Despite Latest Court Defeat

The City of New York’s decision to keep trying to push 250,000 municipal retirees into a profit-driven Medicare Advantage health insurance plan after yet another crushing court defeat on Tuesday has convinced many in the fight that Mayor Eric Adams and his privatization allies must be crazy. “Yesterday was a great day. Retirees won our case again,” retired public school teacher and Cross-Union Retirees Organizing Committee [CROC] member Sarah Shapiro told Work-Bites. “After spending two months deliberating, the court came down with a ruling in our favor. Yet, the city still vows to appeal again. Will the mayor and our union misleaders in the Municipal Labor Committee [MLC] ever learn? Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome—these guys are insane! We vow to keep fighting!”

Retired New York City Teachers Rise And Run

They’ve really stepped in it. The incumbent Unity Caucus that runs the huge teachers union in New York City is facing a challenge from the Retiree Advocate slate who hope to take leadership of the powerful 70,000-person retiree chapter within the union. Ballots were mailed May 10 and will be counted June 14. The rallying issue has been the United Federation of Teachers’ collusion with the city to put municipal retirees, including retired teachers, into a for-profit Medicare Advantage plan run by Aetna. The plan would replace their traditional Medicare, which is provided premium-free along with a cost-free wraparound.

Healthcare Choices Narrow For Kentuckians In Medicare Advantage

Louisville - With open enrollment underway, older Americans are getting barraged with television ads, mailings and online notices hawking a variety of Medicare Advantage plans for health coverage. But many Kentuckians, including thousands of state retirees, are largely captive customers with such plans selected by their employer as part of health coverage promised for those 65 or older — an increasingly popular means to cover retirees. And members of such plans may have fewer choices for care because of ongoing contract disputes between Baptist Health and three national companies that offer Medicare Advantage plans in Kentucky including Louisville-based Humana, which covers most state retirees.

Whipping Egg-Whips: Retirees Win Battles Against Medicare Advantage

An Egg-Whip sounds like a festive, holiday drink or a merengue dessert. It is anything but a delightful treat. Egg-Whip is the healthcare industry’s name for Employer Group Waiver Plans (EGWP), a provision for privatization of employer-based, retiree Medicare benefits that was written into the Medicare Modernization Act (MMA) of 2003. That law, which House Energy and Commerce Chair Billy Tauzin twisted arms to pass, added a drug plan to Medicare, not by including drugs as covered Medicare benefits, but by compelling seniors to purchase private drug plans. Big Pharma gained a massive influx of government money into its coffers and rewarded Tauzin with a $2-million-a-year job.

Judge Blocks Medicare Advantage Switch For 250,000 Retirees

A Manhattan judge is pressing pause on a controversial plan to push New York City government retirees onto a new privatized version of Medicare this fall – a major victory for critics of the switch. In a plan that city officials said would save some $600 million a year, municipal retirees were supposed to be moved from their existing coverage – a combination of traditional Medicare with supplemental coverage paid for by the city – onto a private Medicare Advantage plan run by Aetna this fall. City officials had scheduled the deadline to opt out for this coming Monday, but seniors who decided to stay on traditional Medicare would have had to waive their city benefits and pay for their health coverage themselves.

Retired Union Members Across The US Join ‘Third Act’

Over the last 6 months retired members from over 30 International Unions have joined Third Act, and are planning, and in some cases leading, rallies, marches, and demonstrations on 3/21/23–the Day of Action Against the Dirty Banks. Bill McKibben recently formed Third Act, an organization designed as a vehicle for “elders” to engage directly in the two great existential issues of our time: the fight to save democracy and the climate crisis. Here’s how he describes Third Act’s mission: “My generation should more actively join the climate movement following in the footsteps of a galvanized youth …. People in their third act are likely to have the skill, resources, time, and sometimes lots of grandchildren who can serve as an added incentive to act for the benefit of future generations.”
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