Are Mulgrew and MLC Tipping the Scales for Aetna?
Why is a negative story about Emblem leaked today?
This morning, I saw this article, which had some odd revelations about union bosses and their relationship with Emblem Health:
EmblemHealth, a nonprofit and one of the city’s long-time insurers, reported making nearly $113,000 in donations that year on behalf of one of its board members: Gregory Floyd, president of a local Teamsters union and someone with influence over Emblem’s fate in the contest.
It wasn’t the first time — nor would it be the last — that Emblem shelled out over six figures to charities selected by Floyd. The insurer has given roughly $550,000 on his behalf since 2018, Department of Labor and IRS records show. The payments, which have not been previously reported, benefitted organizations such as a Long Island church with ties to Floyd and a mysterious Maryland foundation called Eagle Club whose tax-exempt status has since been revoked.
Evidently, public servants, including union leaders, are not permitted to take compensation when they sit on these boards. That’s different, of course, from when they hold titles at, say, NYSUT or AFT. Aside from the second pensions we pay for, who knows how much Unity big shots actually bring in? That’s top secret, like why the hell they removed Amy Arundell, the single hardest-working member representative I’ve ever met.
Emblem is a nonprofit, and it’s provided health care for me and most of my colleagues for most of my career. Its very existence is imperiled right now, as Mulgrew and his fellow Municipal Labor Committee goons decide whether or not they will keep it on beyond this school year. I understand it likely had to make those donations, and it likely had to place union members on the board to keep union heads happy.
What’s a little tougher to understand, though, is exactly why this story broke today. A lot of us have the feeling Mulgrew is in the bag for Aetna. He’s made no effort to hide the fact that he wants to dump all city retirees into their “Advantage” plan, as opposed to the standard Medicare they’ve held for over half a century. Could this leak be a way to tilt the scales in Aetna’s favor? Does he feel he owes them, now that NYC Retirees have kicked his ass in court 12 times? Is something funny going on between Mulgrew and Aetna?
It wouldn’t surprise me at all. Mulgrew has a pattern of withholding the truth from us. In his sale of the awful 2014 contract, he never mentioned that he and his BFFs on MLC had given a billion dollars, more than half of our health stabilization fund, back to the city. This huge giveaway funded miserable, puny compensation increases.
When Mulgrew was selling the 2018 contract, he never bothered to mention that we had agreed to save the city 600 million dollars a year, in perpetuity. It seems the MLC will do anything to enrich Eric Adams, our supposed contractual adversary.
All this resulted in health care cuts. First, he went after the retirees, selling an Advantage plan. He claimed that every doctor that accepted Medicare would take this plan. He later clarified, after many members pointed out that no, their doctors would not take it. Did Mulgrew fail to do his homework here? Or was he simply lying to us? Either way, he’s incompetent.
None of us lowly members know what’s going on between union bosses and Aetna. I’d say this story, though, is likely to tilt the scales in Aetna’s favor. That’s too bad, because the fact is if Emblem did this, it was surely under pressure.
Emblem has mostly been good to me and my family. Unlike Aetna, it was never in the slave insurance business. If Emblem did this, it had little or no choice in the matter. In my view, this story implicates union leaders more than Emblem.
This notwithstanding, the story will smear Emblem. If Micheal Mulgrew and other MLC thugs announce that Aetna will be insuring city workers, this will have played a part.
It’s pretty sad when you can’t trust your union leaders to act in your interest. It’s pretty sad when they lie to you, and work overtime to sell you sub-standard contracts. It’s unconscionable when they concurrently try and cut your health care.
If members are ultimately stuck with Aetna, this story will have played a part.
The time has come for the United Federation of Teachers to represent living, breathing members. We also neeed to work at keeping said members living and breathing as long and as well as possible, even if that comes at the expense of Eric Adams’ budget.
The only silver lining here is that elections are coming. This May, retirees can toss out Tom Murphy, who reps Mike Mulgrew instead of us. And next May, in-service members can toss out Mike Mulgrew and his entire Unity patronage cult.
Don’t forget to vote. Tell your friends, family, and tell them to tell theirs too.
Thanks to Daniel Alicea