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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: The Fight for Retirees Continue

The following is a Letter to the Editor originally sent to The Chief Leader. The original letter can be found here. | Photo courtesy of

Many medicare eligible NYC retirees live in our community.  We devoted years of service to NYC  working as EMTs, Police, Fire, Sanitation, Nurses, and Educators often  accepting smaller paychecks than private sector jobs offer due to the promise of continued, excellent health benefits when we retire.

However, we retirees have been in the fight of our lives for the past three years after learning that the city, along with the Municipal Labor Committee, and its current controlling bosses, (Michael Mulgrew from the  UFT, Henry Garrido of DC 37, and Harry Nespoli of the Sanitation Union), were about to change our fully subsidized healthcare which for most of us is traditional Medicare-plus-GHI-Senior Care Medicare, to an inferior Medicare Advantage Plan – without our knowledge or our support.

These private plans often  diminish healthcare at a time in one’s life when more and better healthcare is needed.

Three successful lawsuits by the NYC Organization of Public Service Retirees ( are being appealed by the City of NY and so the fight against this healthcare conversion continues.

Fortunately, retired UFT members will have the opportunity this May to fight back by taking control of their union chapter. We will be able to vote out the Unity leaders who are responsible for the healthcare changes,  in the upcoming Retired Teacher Chapter election and replace them with leadership that will truly act in our best interests.

I encourage all UFT retirees to vote for the entire Retiree Advocate Slate on which I am proud to be running in an officer position. This will send a strong message to the Unity leadership that their job is to represent and improve benefits/conditions for their members, both active and retired, instead of selling them out.

Gloria Brandman

The writer is a UFT retiree and an officer candidate in the upcoming Retired Teacher Chapter elections.

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