Here's how the payments will work according to the memo:
Contribution Percentage of Salary
$30,000 - $40,000
$40,000 - $50,000
$50,000 - $60,000
Now before you think this is just some Internet conspiracy thing and the leaked memo is phony, Capital NY also reports that city employees paying a percentage of their salaries for health care is indeed on the table:
POTENTIAL HEALTH CARE PROBLEM IN U.F.T. DEAL -- Capital’s Dan Goldberg and Sally Goldenberg: Despite assurances from leaders of the city teachers' union that members “should not” have to pay more toward their health insurance as a result of their agreement with the de Blasio administration, that remains a possibility. Both the United Federation of Teachers and City Hall regard it as a last resort, something of a stick to encourage members to find other sources of health care savings to reach the targeted $1.3 billion over four years. But it has not been ruled out, and teachers could be asked to contribute as much as 2 percent of their salary to pay for benefits. In public, U.F.T. president Michael Mulgrew made it sound as if there was no chance that teachers would have to pay for their health benefits. The U.F.T.’s delegate assembly approved the contract deal on Wednesday night. http://goo.gl/2kxOjF
A colleague from school attended the Delegates Assembly yesterday, took notes at the meeting and reported back that UFT President Mulgrew was adamant that teachers would not be paying into their health care as part of this UFT contract proposal.
My colleague said that Mulgrew said the leaked memo was not something the unions had agreed to, that it had come from the city, that in any case one union could not agree to such a change, that it is the function of the Municipal Labor Committee as a whole to do so.
My colleague said that Mulgrew and the UFT leadership drew a line in the sand at the DA and said, unequivocally, members will not be paying premiums for health care as a result of this contract deal.
I am going to be very blunt about this paying for health care story:
If Mulgrew and the UFT are misrepresenting the "health care savings" in either the contract agreement or the backing vote by the Municipal Labor Committee and are preparing to get the rank-and-file a "generous" 2% salary increase next year only to take it right back for health care contributions, there will be hell to pay.
There is a lot of anger out there over the contract already, the delayed compensation, the "retro" that really isn't retro but future compensation for decade-old work (which you need to still be working for to get) and the changes to some of the work rules, including the ATR provisions and the "65% can opt out of the contract" provision.
My sense is that despite the anger from many in the membership over the contract, enough will vote yes for this contract proposal to pass it because A) they need the money, B) they think it will get passed no matter how they vote anyway and C) in the end will be concerned about what the UFT will negotiate if this gets voted down (HINT: could be worse - a meme put out there already by the UFT leadership and the Unity caucus.)
In short, the usual reasons why bad contracts have passed in the past.
But if the UFT leadership has agreed to a stealth health care payment and aren't being open and honest with the membership about it before the contract vote, I think you will see a major revolt in the ranks against the leadership.
Yes, the UFT rank-and-file have passively submitted to every slap and punch they've gotten from the NYCDOE and the UFT in the 13 years I have been a teacher, but I think they will hit a bridge too far if the UFT gets the membership a 2% "raise" next year and the city takes it right back for health care contributions.
What say you out there?
What have you heard about this stealth health care increase the UFT is allegedly spring on us?
Do you think the UFT, the rest of the unions and the city are playing a fast one on the rank-and-file, telling us there will be no payments up front for health care only to hit us with a 0.5%-2% payment of total salary once the contract is passed and the pattern is settled?
I have a difficult time seeing even the UFT leadership being this deceptive and dishonest, especially since this kind of betrayal would be the very kind of thing that most members would never forget.
Maybe Mulgrew might still think he could win re-election pulling that kind of fast one, but I bet an opposition from MORE running on the "Mulgrew Lied To Your Face And You Can See The Evidence Of That In Your Pay Stub" platform could beat him - especially since he was so emphatic about no health care payments at yesterday's DA.
But having been around for almost 13 years, nothing would totally surprise me anymore, so it's a question that needed to be put out there and asked.
That I even need to write this post speaks to how little trust there is for the current UFT leadership, the deals they make and the words they speak.
If it turns out Mulgrew and the leadership are lying about the stealth health care increase, we will use these words Mulgrew and his leadership spoke at yesterday's DA to drive home once and for all to the rank-and-file that the current UFT leadership are cheats and liars and it is time to clean house and bring in somebody who will truly represent the rank-and-file rather than just their own interests and privilege.