Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Mulgrew in Conversation

 Yesterday, I listened to a wonderful radio show on WBAI called, ‘What’s going on - Labor Tuesday’ with Bob Henley. Mr. Henley has an excellent grasp of labor issues and has a background with ‘The Chief’ ( the Uft should have all teachers subscribed and thus shutter their ‘New York Teacher’ rag). During the show Henley interviewed Michael Mulgrew and they directly (and also indirectly) discussed the recent and distant UFT events centered around healthcare. I listened to it carefully several times, and I came away with several takeaways. I suppose the most important being that Mulgrew still supports Medicare Advantage. I certainly would not be surprised if it popped up again. He wants to move away from it now and move on with healthcare negotiations - as retirees have won this fight in the courts and in the election booth . 

 The other takeaway I got was a question - Does Mulgrew know his role and who he is working for? Branching out from that, I would also ask, ‘why is Mulgrew permitted to make unilateral, EXTREMELY important decisions in a so-called democratic union?’ He seems to have a fundamental misunderstanding of his role. While I understand all roles have layers of responsibilities and goals, his (and Randi’s) have transcended many that could be held as reasonably acceptable. Many of the realms, that Mulgrew has ventured into, appear to be in order to curry favor with those who might help later on. It’s an abject plan. It’s like going up to an intimidating bunch of thugs on the street and giving them $10; thus hoping that it will keep them from robbery and assault. He obviously has some trauma left from his time with Bloomberg.  Upon seeing Bill de Blasio come in with a smile, he went from Silent Mike to Accommodating Mike - and gave freely to deBlasio in matters big and small. Mr. Henley referenced this in a non-confrontational manner (excellent interviewing). Here’s the link for the interview and a breakdown of it. The times are approximate (within a few seconds) and from the countdown clock’s time on the right side. I tried to be brief. The writing in brackets are secondary comments and thoughts. I urge you to listen to the program and make your own conclusions. This interview is important coming so close after Mulgrew’s letter. My statements and opinions here are filtered through my own lens as a retiree, human being and disaffected former ATR. There are underlying issues and inferences in almost all Mulgrew’s statements and in his omissions. My emphasis on them, or lack thereof, are what I found to be important and may be different to yours. Cheers.


Bob Henley 51:30 intro

50:30 Mulgrew - we were aggressive, always negotiating healthcare

49:50 Mulgrew - City has a big surplus ( !!!) and shortage of city workers including teachers ( both statements have huge implications!)

49:15 Mulgrew calls out city. We have to team up with the city to fight health care industry- not the workers (!!!)

49:05 Henley - Retirees get to vote?!

Mulgrew- (Doesn't explain why. Interesting because of his former history of catering to them and of them keeping him in office,)  Mulgrew is  astounded that we are unique! Double talk / changes convo towards strength of retirees 

46:00 interviewer remarks on the destructiveness of Michael Bloomberg and the appearance of deBlasio - Mulgrew agrees on the misery of Bloomy and miraculous advent of deBlasio. BDB wanted to change healthcare and asked Mulgrew to change it and there was no drama because benefits weren’t diminished and costs were saved. Interview asks for explanation. Mulgrew says costs were saved for the city(!) he rationalizes it, in that the money saved was money that would have to have been spent, but he doesn’t come out and say by who. (It’s the city, of course.) He mentions that the city uses zero sum accounting and that he saved the city money and DeBlasio saw that as well(!) OMB disliked and dislikes Mulgrew and his actions as they felt it was their job, not his. His rationalization was if they could’ve done it they should’ve done it, but he had to do it. (Why? this gets into his role; who he’s working for; is he a CPA or have UFT CPAs advising?)

41:57 - health stabilization fund $1 billion dollars? Mulgrew states it’s old and antiquated from the 80s. Several inferences. Hip and Ghi - one could get more expensive than the other. So what he wanted to do was get them to equalize so that the city wouldn’t have to pay more for one than the other. (Why? Isn’t that the city’s job?) He states deBlasio didn’t care as long as the city didn’t have to pay. After po- pooing the fund, he says the fund has to be protected to be kept safe(!).  Drug costs are the problem. 

39:32 - interviewer makes the remark that this has created the optics of two types of human beings - active members and retirees, which creates a problem in any labor movement. He basically states it seems to pit one group against the other in order to get premium free healthcare for one versus the other. 

39:21 Mulgrew doesn’t directly answer that comment, but talks about med advantage and the  UFTs version of Med Advantage- his is a better one than Joe Namath's. He says he can’t prove that he worked on this(!). But the city is the problem - “so now it’s time to move on from beating a dead horse on a road” (of course, I’m thinking the horse is the retiree and the road is the hospital ). 

37:20 Henley : Important presidential election - not seeing anything on healthcare, no discussion on fundamental problem of medicare advantage model which makes profit by denials and  is backed by the UFT (!)

Mulgrew states that he was involved in tailoring these Advantage plans to get the absolute best. More double and triple talk. Mulgrew still supports med advantage(!!! ) (WHY?!)

33:35 - Henley - so what’s the solution Mike?  a no cost healthcare that represents everyone? 

Mulgrew - Yes, working with AFT. Medicare is under attack and he and Randi are protecting it (!).

32:20 Henley : what about the nyc situation? 

Mulgrew- meetings are scheduled; we can do the work with a willing partner / UFT has pushed for hospital transparency (lol)

Sunday, June 23, 2024

Randi Flies In 🧹

Randi is sitting at home, thinking about Mulgrew and vigorously chopping a small carrot for a salad, when she gets the call that Unity has lost the election! 

Randi: Well, well… Thanks for the info, babe - stay gorgeous and charter a plane for me immediately to New York City. 

Randi is met at the airport by Michael Mulgrew - looking completely terrified. 

Mulgrew: Randi, you look marvelous. You get younger with each passing day. How are you?

Randi: How do you think, you fu•king Putz?! I hand the reins over to you and ask you to do nothing - absolutely nothing without checking with me first and this is what you do?! Well, I’m gonna tell you how I’m doing. But first turn around and bend over. ( Mulgrew does as he’s told. She proceeds to land a hardy kick that would make any SuperBowl kicker proud.) Now I’m feeling much better in answer to your question. 

Mulgrew: You’ve got to help me, Randi!!  How can I fix this?

Randi: Don’t worry - I’m here now. Let’s get back to your office and you’re going to write a letter. A letter to assuage all the retirees that you have insulted, lied to and betrayed. You’ve got to make them feel like you’ve always been working in their best interests - but don’t make it too obvious. 

Mulgrew: Easily done! They believe everything I tell them. But Randi, Adams won’t like that - I’ve made assurances! 

Randi: The retirees have seen through you like an empty glass bottle. AND I don’t give a flying fu•k about your assurances - you write that letter and you get it out NOW!  

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Mulgrew’s Nightmares and Retirees’ Dreams


The unthinkable has happened - Mulgrew and his party of sycophants, also known as Unity, have lost a major election and all 300 seats.

Mulgrew sits in his inner sanctum on his throne at 52 Broadway. He is unshaven and looks like he hasn’t slept for sometime. The clock hits 11 AM and his staff slowly slither into their offices. 

Mulgrew : Leroy get in here! 

Leroy: Yes, Mike. everything OK? ( Lee seems a little nervous.)

Mulgrew: You dare ask me that question?! You know darn well that everything is not OK, that the unthinkable has happened and I don’t know how it happened! I want your take on it!

Leroy: Well, I believe that the retirees saw through your lies, fought back and won.

Mulgrew: (He lets out a bloodcurdling scream that is heard at the AFT headquarters in Washington,DC. The rest of his staff quickly and quietly close the outer doors of their offices and turn on Alexa to play their favorite show tunes.) How dare you! You know and I know, that is impossible! They are sheep and they cannot think for themselves! Now give me the real reason!

Leroy: ( Thinking quickly and creatively) Well, I hesitate to say this, but perhaps someone has put a curse on you. Of course, I can think of no one that doesn’t love you -so I’m at a loss to say who it could be.

Mulgrew: Interesting. Perhaps all I need to do is get a witch to take the curse off? 

Leroy: Well, there are rumors that Randi is flying in. 

Mulgrew: Please, don’t remind me… No, I don’t think anyone put a curse on me. This actually seems even more paranormal.

Leroy: Well, I hesitate to say this, but I did have a dream last night. And in it, I saw a smiling James Et —

Mulgrew: Stop! Don’t say his name! I had the same dream! 

Leroy: Well, he has won at last. Try to accept your defeat gracefully.

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Biden Wants WW3

 President Biden is pushing for a war with Russia. From allowing our weapons to be directly targeted to the Russian nation, to stealing Russia’s frozen assets to be used against them, to a long term (10 year) deal with Zelinski guaranteeing our support, to weaponizing our currency and stopping peace negotiations -  he is provoking Russia in almost every possible way. What happens when one of the missiles, we have permitted the Ukraine to point at Russia, explodes and kills Russian civilians? The Russian warships outside Florida have a response waiting . The military industrial complex is rubbing its collective hands together in anticipation of World War III. Perhaps with a world war, Biden will be able to stop the November election. We need a Kennedy back in the Oval Office. 

Watch until the 9:10 mark (the rest is a commercial)https://youtu.be/ujEKs94uRTE?si=xQQyOyR6ho6lla3h





Friday, May 3, 2024

Another Insult from President Biden



For all you retirees out there who lived through the Bloomberg regime, or as some like to put it, 12 years a slave - President Biden will award Bloomy a remarkable honor - The Medal Of Freedom. In honoring him, Biden issued a statement that Bloomberg transformed education in New York City. He certainly did, but not in the way that President Biden is referencing. If any of you were on the fence about who NOT to vote for - this is your sign. https://nypost.com/2024/05/03/us-news/biden-gives-medal-of-freedom-to-mike-bloomberg-3-others-presidential-aspirants/?utm_source=url_sitebuttons&utm_medium=site%20buttons&utm_campaign=site%20buttons

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

I’m Voting for RFK Jr.


 Somebody just put in a comment asking who I was going to vote for (if there is an election). That’s the thing - I think that there is an ever increasing possibility that there will not be an election and that something crazy will stop it. As time becomes increasingly short, and the Democrats get increasingly desperate, anything could happen. In using the excuse that they must save democracy from Trump, they are doing everything possible to kill democracy. Yes, I know - very crazy. And to be completely open, I’m not a Trump fan. He is severely flawed in many, many ways. He is, however, not as flawed as Biden. Biden is a disgrace on many levels - which I would ignore if it weren’t for the fact that he is actively involved in pushing us towards World War III and a Civil War.

 I will be voting for RFK Jr. -some of you will say that’s a vote for Trump or a vote for Biden, but I have to follow my conscience. I suggest everyone read and research RFK Jr-  you may be surprised by his viewpoints and how his unique background shaped those views. 

The end of the year is nearly here and I wish all of you a happy summer and/or happy retirement. 





Thursday, March 28, 2024

Can You Feel It?

 I’m sitting here watching the news, and none of it is good. It honestly seems like there is a mental health crisis, which nobody is addressing and which is manifesting itself in all types of violence and crime. That’s on the micro level, the level that is apparent in a neighborhood, borough and city. It’s also apparent on a national and international scale. Many countries seem to have similar situations going on, but none are as divided, angry and mentally ill as us. And by us, I mean, American people living in the United States. But it’s more than just that. As the weeks go on, and the months of 2024, I have an overwhelming sense of dread, waiting for something seriously bad to happen. Will this be the day? I’ve been thinking a lot about it and I can’t brush it off. I think something will happen, and I think the fuse for it is the upcoming election. Let me say right here that I am no longer a Democrat nor am I a Republican. They are two sides of the same coin. The country needs someone who can bring us together, not divide us further. I believe we’re right at the brink of some type of civil war. I hate even saying those two words - it’s so upsetting. If perchance there isn't an election, if Trump is assassinated, or he’s somehow barred from the election it will result in a … If he gets into office (and he will overwhelmingly win against Biden), he will most assuredly go on his revenge tour against individuals, municipalities, states and organizations. He will also set up a subtle and not so subtle authoritarian foundation that will be solidified and be with us for many years and this will also result in … Of course, I certainly hope that none of this happens.

 I came across this video recently, I think it’s excellent. The young guy who did it uses historical reference and offers some compelling information and insights. If I had to offer advice, I would say to think rationally and move yourself away from the tribalism and divisiveness that has become so common place. Teachers are the most intelligent and rational folks out there. We need to live up to that ideal.