Log in Subscribe

A few of our stories and columns are now in front of the paywall. We at The Chief-Leader remain committed to independent reporting on labor and civil service. It's been our mission since 1897. You can have a hand in ensuring that our reporting remains relevant in the decades to come. Consider supporting The Chief, which you can do for as little as $3.20 a month.

United on health



To the editor:

The Council of Municipal Retiree Organizations (COMRO) opposes AFSCME taking control of the DC 37 Retirees Association. We regret that AFSCME's national leadership took this extreme action. 

COMRO delegates and DC 37 Retirees Association officials, including its president Bob Gervasi; its past president, Ed Hysyk; and its vice president for interunion relations, Neal Frumkin, have been in the forefront of protecting retiree health care benefits since February of 2021. 

At that time, we first learned about the de Blasio Administration’s attempt to privatize our Medicare benefits. COMRO requested the Municipal Labor Committee allow Ed Hysyk to  represent COMRO at MLC meetings in which our retiree health care benefits were discussed. MLC counsel rejected this request, thereby silencing over 250,000 retirees. Ed then testified on behalf of COMRO and the DC 37 retirees before the City Council Civil Service and Labor Committee meeting on Medicare Advantage in October of 2021. 

When the New York City Organization of Public Service Retirees began its judicial and legislative efforts to protect our Medicare benefits, the DC 37 retirees fully supported their efforts with their words, actions and funds. After the retirees helped support maintenance of traditional Medicare benefits through three lawsuits and a second City Council hearing, AFSCME began to threaten the DC37 Retirees Association  based on charges of misusing our retirees’ dues.  

When the Retirees Association resumed financial support for NYCOPSR, AFSCME then used the accountant’s failure to file IRS Form 990 to take over the administration of the RA. This subterfuge speaks for itself — constructive criticism of union policy will not be tolerated by the national union. 

COMRO will continue to work together with our DC 37 Retirees Association colleagues for healthcare justice and equity for all New York City municipal employees, active and retired. We remain together in this struggle.  

Stu Eber

The writer is president of the Council of Municipal Retiree Organizations of New York City


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here