Teachers and parents rally to protect UFT healthcare benefits

Parents, college students, and group organizations rallied alongside the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) on Oct. 13 to demand a decision over healthcare profit issues.

The Wednesday afternoon protest noticed each lively and retired UFT members gathering exterior of Shanker Corridor at 52 Broadway in response to healthcare plan modifications being offered on the first delegate meeting. The demonstration aimed to showcase the group’s opposition to the Metropolis’s price range deficits, chopping healthcare for lecturers which advocates say jeopardizes susceptible workers and retirees.

“Today is the first delegate assembly of our union, the United Federation of Teachers,” Gloria Brandman, Retiree Advocate and UFT member stated, “It is supposed to be the most democratic aspect that we have in our union. At the same time that they are having their meeting inside, we are having a health and safety rally outside to support what’s going to go on inside.”

Protesters really feel that those that want to privatize are sharks. Photograph by Dean Moses

One after the other audio system addressed the group exterior of 52 Broadway, emphasizing that now, greater than ever, well being and security is pivotal for New York Metropolis Faculties to protect kids, their households, and lecturers.

Dr. Kaliris Salas-Ramirez, President of Group Schooling Council for District 4, mentioned her fears for the state of well being and security in colleges, not simply as an educator however as a dad or mum of two younger kids.

“We have been working collectively with the UFT to elevate the concerns that we have about safety in our schools,” Salas-Ramirez stated, sharing that a number of parents have such mistrust within the New York Metropolis faculty well being and security system that they’ve carried out a restore distant schooling strike actively conserving their kids residence from faculty.

“As of right now we have 45,000 COVID cases in our schools, and we have a mayor and Department of Health that have loosened the mitigation factors that we have in our school communities. Parents are not even notified if there has been a positive case in the classroom,” Salas-Ramirez added.

Indicators had been plastered over the United Federation of Teachers. Photograph by Dean Moses

Parents and their kids have been caught on the frontline of not only a lethal virus, however a political and well being disaster that has compelled them to enroll their kids for solely in-person classes, regardless of their apprehensions. Salas-Ramirez states that parents have been threatened with Administration for Youngsters’s Companies calls and the removing of their kids from faculty enrollment.

“We are here in solidarity because we need more safety in our schools. We need to elevate the fact that this is happening in Black and Latino communities,” Salas-Ramirez stated, including, “On top of forcing teachers into school buildings, now the union is threatening to not support their healthcare.”

Advocates on the rally demanded accountability and known as out the Division of Schooling, Division of Well being, and UFT President Michael Mulgrew for his or her lack of compassion.

Protesters denounced UFT president Michael Mulgrew. Photograph by Dean Moses

Bennett Fischer, a retired New York Metropolis Public College instructor and UFT member, has spent a few years pushing again towards the privatization of healthcare in addition to the limiting of medical care choices and curbing benefits for lecturers.

“Healthcare is about more than just insurance. It’s also about policies that keep our children safe,” Fischer stated, “We oppose the privatization of Medicare in the form of profit making Medicare Advantage plans, why is President Mulgrew ignoring us?”

These on the rally started to chant, “Michael Mulgrew don’t be a bore. What are you privatizing our healthcare for?”

“Don’t sell us out. Support what our union members have voted for time after time.  Support public education and support public healthcare,” Fischer stated.

Responding to this rally, a UFT spokesperson stated they’re however one member the Municipal Labor Committee, which negotiates healthcare benefits for the town’s workforce.

In that context, the brand new NYC Medicare Benefit Plus program is designed to keep — and in some cases to improve — the benefits retirees now obtain, whereas utilizing federal funds not beforehand out there to subsidize the price of retiree well being care.  This system is designed to be sure that any physician or different supplier accepting Medicare within the metropolitan space or the nation might be eligible for this program.

 

“The MLC deliberations led to a public search for bidders to provide a new model for a group Medicare Advantage plan that would solve the problems of access and cost that had affected earlier individual MA plans.  Individual unions, including the UFT, provided a wide variety of information on this process to their members,” UFT spokesperson stated in an announcement. 

 

UFT additionally provides that they’re combating with Metropolis Corridor to reverse the Mayor’s latest modifications to COVID quarantine roles and social distancing.

 

As delegates waited to converse inside, protesters spoke exterior. Photograph by Dean Moses

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