Sunday, October 17, 2021

Pro-Charter Adams Pays Lip Service to Saving Medicare for NYC Retirees

In one of the most cynical ploys I've seen, in the last few days at least, Democratic mayoral shoo-in Eric Adams is trying to bolster his pro-union cred. He's publicly criticizing the de Blasio-MLC deal to place NYC retirees on a Medicare Advantage plan by default. He calls it a "bait and switch." In many respects, that's true. Retirees had every expectation of joining Medicare for no added cost and are now being told, come January, that will cost you an extra 200 bucks or so per month, per person. 

This has been the battle cry of those who oppose this move, and perhaps some of them will read this story and come to support Adams, as has UFT. It doesn't really matter whether they do or not. Adams is going to be the next mayor. His main opposition is Curtis Sliwa, a cartoonish figure, a publicity-seeking serial liar with xenophobic and sexist tendencies. If you like the Proud Boys, Sliwa's your guy. I don't think that will fly with New Yorkers. 

Let's take a closer look at Adams ostensibly standing up for union member rights. If you go to the very end of the DN article, it says this:

But he admitted that, if he’s elected, he’s unsure how much power he’ll have to undo de Blasio’s proposal.

What does that tell you? It tells me he's going to do absolutely nothing to block this proposal. Adams is not going to step into office just to be vilified by the press for ostensibly costing the city a bunch of money to support union members. The papers hate unions. I mean all of them, up to and including the faux-liberal NY Times, which has an education reporter who fairly regularly trashes UFT as though its something everyone should take for granted. 

More importantly, and you wouldn't know this from the other nights Delegate Assembly, Adams has taken six-million dollars from a pro-charter PAC that has close ties to Michelle Rhee and Eva Moskowitz. The fact is this PAC does not support union, and the fact is the overwhelming majority of charters are non-union. When Adams is mayor, he will undoubtedly move to expand them, whether or not he takes the time to make nice with UFT. That PAC didn't hand him suitcases of cash just for fun.

If you are a union supporter, you do not enable and encourage non-union work. While it's nice that Adams gets up and calls this anti-union before all but admitting he'll do nothing to stop it, it would be a lot nicer if he disavowed his own blatantly anti-union ties. And that's not gonna happen, because the ties he wears are paid for by Students First, a name that misleads you because what it really means is Teachers Last.

I've had student teachers who couldn't find jobs in public schools who got stuck working for charters. It's a living, but not a career. You jump through all sorts of hoops and they fire you anyway. That in itself is not bad, because there's always another willing to hire you. This notwithstanding, we don't want our kids growing up jumping from gig to gig, especially in a country and state that doesn't guarantee health insurance. 

Adams himself worked himself up to captain in NYPD and retired with a nice fixed pension and health care for life. It's unconscionable that he supports enterprises that will provide much less for NYC's children. Adams, evidently, is a firm believer in, "I've got mine, and now screw the rest of you."

That's hardly the sort of example to set for NYC's children. It's pathetic that we have only these two viable candidates in what's perhaps the bluest city in the United States. To say we could do better would be the understatement of the year, if not the decade.

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