The Retired Teachers Chapter has created a 50-member volunteer Retiree Health Care Committee to serve as interlocutors on health care topics for the chapter to the union leadership and for the union leadership back to the chapter.
Following a barrage of misinformation that circulated on social media about recent retiree health care negotiations between the city and the Municipal Labor Committee, UFT President Michael Mulgrew held a virtual town hall meeting on May 4 with retirees to brief them on the talks and to reassure them that the unions were seeking to establish a new health care plan for retirees that will save costs without any reduction of benefits. To improve the channels of communication going forward, he proposed creating a standing RTC Health Care Committee.
“I believe the size and diversity of this new group is an excellent sign of our members’ willingness to invest in such an important process,” said RTC Chapter Leader Tom Murphy.
Vincent Gaglione, the former UFT Bronx borough representative and the chair of the new committee, said the ultimate function of the committee will be to present a broad spectrum of viewpoints and concerns representative of the chapter’s membership. The committee’s first task, he said, will be to learn the structure, dynamics and economics of the UFT health care plans and to understand how the Municipal Labor Committee — the coalition of municipal unions to which the UFT belongs — bargains with the city over health benefits affecting retired municipal workers.
“Over time the standing committee will serve to provide feedback to chapter members as well as to union leadership on outstanding health care concerns,” Gaglione said.
The committee first met with Mulgrew and UFT Welfare Fund Executive Director Geof Sorkin on May 27.