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NYC OFFICE OF LABOR RELATIONS TO HOLD HEARING ON CONTRACT WITH AETNA MEDICARE ADVANTAGE, 10  AM, TUESDAY, MARCH 21.  The hearing will be by conference call.  Click HERE for details and to find out how to participate.

If the hearing is anything like the OLR hearing on November 10, 2021 (see below) on the now defunct Alliance Medicare Advantage contract, it will be bedlam.  Nonetheless, it is important that present and future retirees call in to express their rage about what is happening — and that OLR and the Mayor hear the angry voices of retired and present-day NYC public sector workers.

Here is an account that appeared on the PSC website capturing the bedlam of the 11/10/21 OLR contract hearing.

“The NYC Office of Labor Relations (OLR) hosted a hearing on the contract before submitting it to the NYC Comptroller. The hearing was absolute bedlam, to the point where speakers could not register to testify and could only be heard by out-shouting others trying to talk. More than 250 attended, but only a handful got to testify. The hearing was organized as a telephone conference call where anyone could press *6 to unmute, which meant that multiple attendees tried to talk at the same time. An account in the online city journal, New York Focus, captured the absurdity of what the Office of Labor Relations (OLR) publicized as a hearing. OLR did not create even a bare bones structure for registering, for testifying and for conducting the hearing in an orderly manner. Even so, many retirees tried to testify; not one supported the Medicare Advantage plan. Click here to read the NY Focus piece. James Davis, President of the PSC, submitted testimony based on a close reading of the document which raised serious questions about lack of accountability in the contract for the vendor. He urged “elected officials of the City to reject the contract because it is significantly flawed.” Click here to read his testimony.”

MARCH 9, 2023 — PSC VOTED “NO” ON THE CONTRACT FOR THE NEW MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLAN:  The Municipal Labor Committee voted on Thursday, March 9 to approve a contract with Aetna for a Medicare Advantage plan and to remove premium-free NYC Senior Care as an option for retirees.  The PSC voted “NO”  together with 25 other unions.  Click here to fnd out why.

TAKE ACTION AGAINST THE SWITCH TO MEDICARE ADVANTAGE AND TO PRESERVE PREMIUM-FREE NYC SENIOR CARE.  WRITE/CALL NYC COUNCIL MEMBERS URGING THEM TO SIGN-ON TO THE LETTER TO THE MAYOR.  The PSC Retiree Chapter is mobilizing its members to enlist their NYC Council Members to sign the letter to Mayor Adams.  In-service members (future retirees) should join this action.  Click here to read more.

VIDEOS OF SEPTEMBER 2022 – MARCH 2023  RETIREE CHAPTER UPDATES ON HEALTHCARE: There were updates in the second part of chapter meetings on 9/12/22, 10/3/22, 11/7/22, 12/5/22, 1/23/23, 2/6/23 and 3/6/23.

  • Here is a link to a video of the 9/12  chapter meeting.  The discussion of reitiree healthcare begins at the one hour six minute mark of the video.
  • HERE is a link to a video of the 10/3 chapter meeting.  The second part of the meeting, on retiree healthcare, begins at the one hour fifteen minute mark of the video.
  • HERE is a link to a video of the 11/7 chapter meeting.  The second part of the meeting, on retiree healthcare, begins at the one hour twenty-nine minute mark of the video.
  • HERE is a link to a video of the 12/5 chapter meeting with retiree healthcare beginning at the one hour nine minute mark.
  • HERE is a link to a video of  the 1/23/23 special Retiree Chapter meeting on retiree healthcare.
  • HERE is a link to a video of  the 2/6/23 Retiree Chapter meeting with retiree healthcare beginning at the one hour fifty-seven minute mark.
  • HERE is a link to a video of  the 3/6/23 Retiree Chapter meeting with retiree healthcare beginning at the one hour seventeen minute mark.

JANUARY 31, 2023: “With deadline passed, Medicare amendment appears doomed.  But PSC union’s ‘third way’ proposal has some traction.”  This is a headline from The Chief.  Click here to read the story.

JANUARY 2023: PSC CITY COUNCIL TESTIMONY.  The City Council Committee on Civil Service and Labor held a hearing on January 9th on a proposed NYC Administrative Code change that would clear the path for the City to implement a Medicare Advantage plan and begin charging retirees a premium to opt out.  PSC leadership and scores of PSC members testified in opposition to the change.  Read their testimony HERE.

The entire 1/9/23 City Council hearing is available HERE with testimony by James Davis and a PSC panel beginning at the 5:48:15 timestamp.  The committee never voted to send the proposed amendment to the full City Council.  At t his point, the proposed amendment appears to be a non-starter.

JANUARY 23, 2023: LATEST ON PROPOSED CHANGES TO RETIREE HEALTHCARE.  Click here for a video of  the 1/23/23 special Retiree Chapter meeting on the latest developments on the continuing saga of the push to move retiree healthcare insurance fro traditional Medicare to Medicare Avantage.

JANUARY 2023: ALL HANDS ON DECK!  The City Council Committee on Civil Service and Labor began consideration of a proposed Administrative Code change that would clear the path for the City to implement a Medicare Advantage plan and begin charging retirees a premium to opt out. The proposed change was introduced at a City Council meeting on Wednesday, January 4; the Civil Service and Labor Committee convened a public hearing on Monday, January 9 (read PSC testmony here). Overwhelmingly in opposition to (1) chnanging the administrative code and (2) moving retirees to Medicare Advatage, several hundred NYC retirees and employees testified in person, virtually or by sumitting wrtten testimony,  Their testimony was dramatic, powerful and re-shaped the narratve of the 11-hour 1/9/23 hearing.  Tellingly, a vote on the amendment, tentatively scheduled for a  stated meeting of the City Council on Thursday, January 19, did NOT take place.

(A NY Daily News article posted online on Thursday evening, January 19,  had a headline that read, “NYC Council has no plan to pass bill that would let Mayor Adams charge retired city workers for health care: ‘It’s dead’.”)

JANUARY 11, 2023: JUDGE ISSUES INJUNCTION BARRING CITY FROM CHARGING $15 CO-PAYS FOR NYC SENIOR CARE.  In a suit brought by the NYC Organization of Public Service Retirees, Judge Lyle Frank, on Wednesday, January 11, issued a preliminary injunction stopping the Adams adminisration from charging $15 co-pays for Senior Care.  Click HERE for more details in this NY Daily News story.


Share the PSC proposal with your City Council representative and urge Council members to vote “NO” on changing the adminisrative code.

DECEMBER 15, 2022:  ARBITRATOR CALLS FOR NEGOTIATIONS ON MEDICARE ADVANTAGE TO BE COMPLETED BY JANUARY 9 AND IMPLEMENTED BY JULY 1.  On December 15, an arbitrator issued a decision ordering the City to complete negotiations with Aetna Insurance on a Medicare Advantage plan by January 9th  and calling on the Municipal Labor Committee to vote on the plan immediately thereafter, with July 1 target for the MA plan to go into effect as possibly the only healthcare option for municipal reiirees.  Here is an article (NY Focus/The City) on the decision and here is the arbitrator’s ruling.

The Davis Letter.  On Thursday, December 22, James Davis, President of the PSC sent a letter to members:

  • Explaining the implications of the arbitrator’s decision for all PSC membera — retirees and in-service.
  • Warning that such a path suggests a “classic anti-labor maneuver to pit in-service members against retirees.”
  • Calling for an alternative path to the healthcare dilemna faced by NYC and the MLC.Click here to read his letter.

NOVEMBER 22, 2022:  APPELLATE DIVISION OF NYS SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS JUDGE FRANK’S DECISION.  Appeals court unanimously upholds decision keeping NYC Senior Care premium-free.  A state appeals court on 11/22/22 unanimously upheld the decision of a lower court (Judge Lyle Frank) that prohibits NYC from charging a premium to municipal retirees for NYC Senior Care.  For more detail, click here.  A PDF of the decision can be read here.

SEPTEMBER – NOVEMBER 2022: PSC OPPOSES WEAKENING NYC HEALTH INSURANCE PROTECTIONS.  Proposed changes in NYC administrative code threaten retiree healthcare and, in the longer term, potentially in-service members.  Read James Davis’ 9/9/22 message and 11/7/22 update to PSC members about these proposed changes.

You may also find this primer, written by a Retiree Chapter Executive Committee member, useful in breaking down the legal complexities of the proposed adminstrative code — and its implications for all union members.

SEPTEMBER – DECEMBER 2023:  WHAT YOU CAN DO TO OPPOSE THE CHANGE TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE CODE:  This is what we were asking members to do  in September through December.

  •  CLICK HERE TO SEND A LETTER to your NYC Council Member to stop the change in the administrative code
  • SIGN UP HERE to join the PSC in lobbying City Council members on this issue.
  • REACH OUT to municipal employees and retirees to take action.  HERE is a short, informative leaflet and outreach tool produced by the PSC Safety Net Committee that explains what is happening.  Two important pieces with a more detailed analysis by Barbara Caress, who teaches health olicy at Baruch and Sarah Lawrence, appeared in CRAINS and URBAN MATTERS.  (The Crains op/ed is unfortunetely behind a paywall).  And here is a petition to the Mayor, the NYC Labor Commissioner and the City Council Speaker that makes the case against the administrative code change.

OCTOBER 2023: A PSC PROPOSAL TO SUSTAIN NYC HEALTHCARE OVER THE SHORT TERM WHILE EXPLORING LONGER TERM SOLUTIONS.  Insead of forcing retirees into Medicare Advantage.  The PSC has a proposal to use the Retiree Health Benefit Trust Fund as a resource to sustain benefits while NYC healthcare is restructured.  Read the proposal.

JULY 2022:  ANTHEM/EMPIRE WITHDRAWS ITS MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLAN.  On Wednesday, July 14, 2021, the Municipal Labor Committee (MLC) voted to approve a contract with the NYC Office of Labor Relations (OLR) to move city retirees, including CUNY retirees, from traditional Medicare with supplemental city insurance to a privatized Medicare Advantage (MA) plan. The PSC was one of five unions to vote against the move to Medicare Advantage and the PSC retirees chapter pushed back against the plan both before and after the July vote.

NYC set 1/1/22 as the target date for moving retirees to an Anthem/Empire Medicare Advantage Plus plan. Municipal retirees were to choose one of two options:

  • Move by default into a premium-free Medicare Advantage plan or;
  • Opt out in order to stay in traditional Medicare with supplemental City insurance (originally premium-free but now with a premium of $191.57 a month per person).

But in December 2021, a judicial injunction pushed implementation to 4/1/22. Then on March 3, 2022, a NYS supreme court judge ruled that NYC could not charge the $191.57 premium. The City immediately appealed and lost

Then in breaking news on 7/18/22, Anthem/Empire (part of “The Alliance” administering the program) withdrew from the MA+ plan, in effect killing it. What this means is that everything is on hold — in effect status quo ante. (See PSC President James Davis’ letter to retirees.).


The PSC and, particularly, the retirees chapter, have been pushing back for two years in opposition to plans to re-engineer healthcare insurance for both municipal retirees and in-sevice employees.  Many other retiree group have mobilized to fight the City’s push to move municipal retirees from traditional Medicare to privatized, for profit Medicare Advantage.  For detail, context and background, click here for a more thorough overview of this history from 2018 to the present.


Here is a list of both PSC and city-wide key events on the proposed NYC changes in healthcare benefits for municipal retirees — and the pushback against them.

Go back to the retirees main page

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