DC 37 Update on Healthcare Arbitration Decision

Dear DC 37 family,

As anticipated, a third-party arbitrator issued his decision today regarding your health benefits and the fund that pays for them. He verified that the Healthcare Stabilization Fund has run out of money, and directed the City and the Municipal Labor Committee (MLC) to finalize the terms of a Medicare Advantage Plan offered by Aetna to prepare for its implementation.

The arbitrator’s decision also eliminates all options for retirees except HIP VIP and Medicare Advantage. That’s why I have warned for months that the Administrative Code must change in order to protect retirees’ choice in their healthcare plans. The time to act on Administrative Code 12-126 is now.

Additional highlights of the decision:

  • The City and MLC should proceed to negotiate appropriate terms for a Medicare Advantage plan with Aetna within the next 25 calendar days.
  • If the MLC does not approve the Aetna Medicare Advantage plan, the matter would revert to the arbitrator for consideration of how benefits provided for by the Stabilization Fund are to be paid for, including the imposition of premiums on actives and pre-65 retirees.
  • The City Council has 45 calendar days to amend the Administrative Code to permit retirees to buy into Senior Care, or Senior Care will no longer be an offering.

We’re at a critical juncture with a severe timeline, and we need your help to put pressure on those who have the power to protect city workers and retirees from shouldering premiums and losing the power of choice. It is clearer than ever that we need the City Council to update Administrative Code 12-126.

Actions You Can Take Now:

  1. Call your City Council Member. Enter your address here to find your Council Member’s District Office phone number. Call and tell them: Protect premium-free healthcare for City employees and amend Administrative Code 12-126!
  2. Write a letter to your Council Member. Click this link to send a pre-populated email to their office.
  3. Share this message with your union sisters and brothers. Encourage them to join us and take action to protect our benefits. Need more information? Check out the Frequently Asked Questions on our website.

You should also be aware that certain groups are spreading misinformation to convince you to contribute money to their cause. We have received multiple reports of active and retired DC 37 members being solicited for donations.

With your support and advocacy, we will navigate this next month Union Strong and come out even stronger on the other side. I’ll keep you updated on any major developments.

As always, thank you for your service to New York City and your commitment to DC 37.

In solidarity,

Henry Garrido
Executive Director
District Council 37