OCTOBER/NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021: Here are some important links and updates about what is happening with retiree healthcare:
The Court Case: In an article 78 hearing brought by the NYC Organization of Public Service Retirees, Justice Leon E. Frank issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) on October 21 that extended indefinitely the enrollment date to opt-in or out of the new NYC Medicare Advantage Plus plan. The link to the court order (TRO) is here. The link to ll the filings, affidavits, exhibits and motions in the case is here. On December 14, he continued the TRO, ordering that the City implement retiree health care changes no eaarlier than Aprril 1, 2022.and extending opt-out dates through the first several months of 2022. The December 14 court order is available here..
The October 28th City Council Hearing on Retiree Healthcare Changes: The City Council Committee on Civil Service and Labor, held a hearing on Thursday, October 28th. Several PSC retirees submitted teistimony, as did James Davis, President of the PSC. Bill Friedheim, chair of the retirees chapter testified in person. (See below for testimony by retiree chapter members.)
The meeting was most notable for the aggressive cross examination of the commissioner and deputy commissioner of tlhe Office of Labor Relations by council members, particularly Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal.
A video of the hearing is avallable here. (At the top of the web page, look for "meeting video" and click the link.)
The November 10th OLR Hearing on the Medicare Advantage contract. 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.
November 29th Letter from James Davis on Legal Updates.
James Davis, PSC President, sent a letter to all PSC retirees updating where the lawsuit before the court of judge Leon. E. Frank stands. There are many players, multiple twists and turns and a rather confusing legal landscape. Davis' letter skillfully navigates the confusion, explaining what we know, what we do not know and the many issues that still need to be resolved. Click here to read the letter.