Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Retirees Being Swindled By UFT With Medicare Advantage Rollout

 I haven't really been paying too much attention to the change over, as well as the fight over, the switch for retirees from Medicare to the new Medicare Advantage. I've basically reduced myself to reading both James Eterno's blog and Norm Scott's blog for great information. I'm also getting some information from my step-mom who is a retired CSA member. She's not craxy about my proclivity for rabble rousing so she doesn't share much with me. 

Heck, this is going to effect me in 6 1/2 years, and I should pay more attention. From what I have read I don't like the co-payments, the referrals, and more importantly the "Trust us, it's going to be great" rhetoric coming from Mulgrew. But one thing really is bugging me.

What's the rush to sign everyone up by October 31? 

To the best of my recollection, the deal was done around July, maybe a little sooner (Please correct me if I'm incorrect). As far as I can tell, retirees are going into this blindly. They don't know which doctors, which hospitals or any other providers will be available. All they get is: "Trust us, it's going to be great."

Which brings me to two personal stories. In 1995 when I started with the DOE, I signed up with Physician Health Services. The only reason I signed up for PHS was all of our doctors were on it. I paid for it, unlike GHI which then and now is free. But eventually GHI got more of our doctors on it and we went to GHI. The key was doctors, a wide selection of doctors, and hospitals and providers.

Just recently I was looking at changing out from our top notch, world renowned UFT dental plan (SARCASM). I wanted to switch to the DENTCARE HMO. I researched it and found that not only are there very few providers, but the customer service sucks as well. It wasn't worth it. 

So, back to the Medicare Advantage. Retirees are walking blind into higgedly piggdly of a plan. There is not a list of doctors and providers. No one knows if their doctors that they have had a relationship with for years will be on this plan. No one knows if God forbid they are in treatment for a chronic condition they will be able to continue receiving the same treatment. This is where the UFT and other unions screwed up.

Why the rush? If as Mulgrew claims, "Trust us, it's going to be great," why not how all how great it is. This implementation should have started with NEXT October of 2022 for the sign ins or sign outs. This way, an educated choice of knowing ALL the providers will give those a basis to make a choice.

And beforehand why not have a true year to test out the new Medicare Advantage program. Incentivize retirees to sign up now in October 2021 and this way the kinks can and will be worked out. This way when others start opting in or out in October 2022 not one retiree will be going into this blind. 

Let's not forget the retirees who live where there re a dearth of providers. What of the retiree who has retired to North Dakota? Or the Alaska? What about where there are plenty of providers such as Florida but very few providers will be on the Medicare Advantage. Would the retiree who lives in Tampa have to schlep across the state to West Palm Beach for a prostate exam?

Something smells fishy here. This rush to get everyone in just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Yes, there are plenty of retirees who can afford the out of pocket expense of paying into regular Medicare, but there are plenty of others who can't. And we are only stronger as people, as teachers, as retirees, and as UFT members as our weakest link. These are the people we should fight for. 

The UFT rammed this through. This should have been better explained and had much more input from retirees. This change should have been voted on as a whole by the union. Too often this happens. That some change is just shoved down our throats which the very few decide for several hundred thousand. 

Too bad chapter elections have come and gone. It's time to vote out the leadership of the retiree's chapter. Perhaps a recall is due?

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Riddle Me This: When is an ATR Still an ATR?

 Back in June or late May we, and I mean we as ATR's, were told that the there was an agreement that the ATR caste system was no more. That we would be placed in the schools were were in last year and that was that. 

Obviously that for that didn't happen. I wasn't placed in the school I was in last year. I made darn sure. But I and others were still told that even if that happens, "you will be PERMANENTLY to a school." On these pages in June it was written about (Here and here). It was over. ATR's would be permanent and not feel like an outsider anymore. We will be on organization sheets. Be invited to holiday parties. Have mailboxes. Be on the the email blasts. And, most importantly, the Sunshine Club will remember our birthdays.

So why then am I still able to get into Open Market or the Excessed whatever it's called from September through April? Wanna see?


Why am I still considered "excessed"? I thought I was permanent. My time card says, "ATR." I'm not on the organization sheet. I don't even have a place for my stuff. And worse, the Sunshine Club hasn't asked me for $20.

How many ATRs are still the same predicament as I? Are some ATRs more equal than other ATRs? I do understand that to a point. Some are ATRs for no reason of their own. Some, and I admit to being one, are ATRs for being naughty. 

Oh, and we were told there would be zero rotations. I already know of someone who has been rotated. 

Sure would be swell to know what really is going on. 



Sunday, October 3, 2021

Stephanie Edmonds Sees Judaism as Something That Serves Her

 I am so happy I heard about Stephanie Edmond's attention seeking interview on CNN after it had aired. I would've reacted like Luke Fuchs. Fortunately, I watched the video whilst on the bike at Planet Fitness. However, I did scream out, "What a fucking idiot!" 

One thing she has said (In addition to the myriad of whacky things she has blabbered) when asked by CNN's Alisyn Camerota is if she had "taught her final class," Stephanie replied...

 "I just finished a class. I still have one more"

Let's get this straight. Stephanie was being interviewed in her classroom, during her prep, while still on the clock? This is allowable? I recall back in 2012 when admins were trying to find out if I was blogging during the school day. Someone thought they could get me for stealing time. What should it be called what Stephanie did? Prep time is for PREPARING. Not for the flowing of crocodile tears on CNN. 

At :45 Stephanie claims that...

 "she has a deeply held religious objection that this goes against my faith. Betrayal of my faith in God and for that reason I decided not to (get vaccinated)"

I've been Jewish since day I was born. I can't think of anywhere in Judaism where it says thou shalt not receive COVID-19 vaccine. Let's see what Chabad has to say. One thing that stands out is...

"Assuming that vaccinating when there is a high risk of catching a disease is similar to fleeing from an epidemic, then it’s mandatory for you to do it, and others can be compelled to do so as well."

We here at SBSB would all bet our collective salaries that Setphanie's son has had all his MANDATORY vaccinations to enter school. We would also hazard to be that Stephanie does not keep kosher. She enjoys mixing meat with dairy. She doesn't honor Shabbas (As we can see from her prolific tweeting from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday) She enjoys shrimp on the barbie and doesn't have separate plates and stove for Passover. In other words, Stephanie picks and chooses what she wants to follow in Judaism as a matter of convenience when it suits her needs. 

The Crack Team has since learned that Stephanie did put in for a religious objection accommodation to get vaccinated and was shot down. It is being appealed and it is pretty safe to say that she'll be shot down again. 

Growing up privileged in Fairfield County and attending an exclusive boarding school Stephanie has probably experienced entitlement. That daddy has always given to her what she wants when she wants it. That is not how the real world works. 

Camerota finally asks at 1:34 what we here at SBSB have been asking, "Where in Judaism does it say that you can't be vaccinated?" 

Stephanie's reply...

"Judaism is not a monolith, like all religions(WTF?) I'm a history teacher. Even a basic look at history will show us that people of the same religious fate do not always agree."

Yes, that is true. I agree. Yes, there are many edicts, laws from all religions that its adherents don't follow.  But again, there is nothing in Jewish law against vaccine or MANDATED VACCINES!

"And while in Judaism there is no specific tenant"

And you wonder why she got denied her accommodation. SHE JUST ADMITTED SHE'S FULL OF SHIT!

"We can look to it (Judaism) for guidance."

Again, there is nothing in Judaism about Vaccines!!!!!!

"This is the decision I have come to between me and God"


She starts to shed the crocodile tears about leaving. Blah, blah, she's crying about leaving her students. Well, if her students were so important she would sacrifice her well being for them. She would have risked everything for her students. But she hasn't. In fact one member of The Crack Team believes that she is vaxxed. And I believe that member of The Crack Team is correct.

Why? She wants to be a martyr. She is building her brand. She considers herself an "educelebrity." She does not care about her students, her school, nor the community. Whatever she can do to promote herself is all that matters.

To use Judaism as a crutch and worse to misinterpret what Jewish law says is just vile. She is the stereotype of Jews that got 6 million of us slaughtered.  I wish I could denounce my Judaism. I am far from a perfect Jew but I try. I don't use it as a crutch or use it for ill gotten means. 

I feel so filthy right now having listened to this woman that I need to find myself a Mikveh. 

But seriously. Stephanie. Please. Seek help.

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Goodbye, Good Riddance, and Farewell to Stephanie Edmonds


 Where has Stephanie Edmonds been? When we last saw Stephanie was April and I exposed her on You Tube. Then she went pfft. Like a fart into the wind. 

Both of her Twitter accounts have been deactivated. Her Facebook page as well as her Instagram page
have vanished. Heck, her You Tube channel has had no new content since April. Nowhere was Stephanie to be found on any social media or for that matter, any media whatsoever. Heck, Stephanie isn't building her brand. Remember, she labeled her self an "educelebrity."

Many have speculated that after my historic smack down of her back in April she turned tail and ran with her tail between her legs. Maybe. What would we do without Stephanie? 

Well, rest assured, she resurfaced this week. It makes sense. Where there is a camera or a microphone, Stephanie will find it. Oh, and of course, she would come across like a total idiot.

Earlier this week CBS 2 News found Stephanie, or should we say Stephanie found them, and she blabbered away (Link to Story. Link to Video). 

Stephanie, I am sad to report, is leaving the DOE. Read:

This is the hardest decision I’ve ever made in my life, but I feel like it’s an important one,” said Bronx history teacher Stephanie Edmonds.

Edmonds says she fought hard for schools to reopen last year, so students could get a better education. But now, she’ll have to say goodbye to those she’s mentored the past six years.

“I will not be coerced into inserting something into my body that does not fall in line with my religious faith,” Edmonds said.

Saddest decision? She spent last year HAMMERING teachers who chose to teach remotely because they, we, had underlying health conditions! She claimed we abandoned out students and SHE now decides to change her tune and abandons her students? She's so full of shit. 

Remember this tweet...? 

Inserting something into her body that does not fall into line with her religious faith? What faith? She's fucking Jewish. There is nowhere in the Talmud, the Torah, or anywhere where it says that vaccines are forbidden. Orthodox rabbis consider vaccinations a moral obligation. 

One wonders how much she takes her religion seriously if she had got pregnant while not married. Don't most religions have issues with having something inserted into oneself if not married? 

Hey, but she can do what she wants to do. It's her right. As one super SBSB groupie said, "It's Stephanie's right to be an idiot." Yes it is her right, and she does it so easily. 

But what does Stephanie care? Daddy makes shit loads of money. Stephanie can always return home to Connecticut's Gold Coast for shelter, for food, for money. Daddy will help with the rent, the car, the bills. Mommy will help with the child rearing. Stephanie is a child of privilege. But good riddance to her. Maybe she'll drop that fake Bronx accent and go with something more suited for the Gold Coast. But like in the Bronx where the students saw through her facade the Goyem will never accept her and see though her as well. 

Stephanie is the ultimate schlimazel.

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Blood Will Soon Be on De Blasio's Hands

My dad always said that pharmacists know more than doctors. I do know that my pharmacist is on the ball. 

Early this year, or late last year I had a conversation with him on when we will see this COVID crap end. He basically explained the virus has to run its course. The worst of the virus killed and with the dead the
virus was buried as well. Soon the virus has to find a new host but with most people being vaccinated the virus has to go elsewhere. To the unvaccinated. And who are mostly unvaccinated? The children. And that is where it is winding up.

He and I had the same conversation about a week or so ago but he added something. Winter hasn't come yet. 

Here are the numbers thus far:

 Yeah, winter isn't here yet, and these numbers aren't good. I know of several schools in my district haven't shared one iota of any information concerning class closures. Heck, have parents of these schools been notified?

But why hasn't staff been notified? How do we know if a class closure is due to a student or a staff member? Of course if it is a student in a single elementary class most of the teachers in the school have probably yet to have contact with that student. What if it is a teacher? Staff members interact, should not all staff be made aware? Hey, what about cluster teachers? Shouldn't they know? Anyway, the ENTIRE school community should know! WHY AREN'T STAFF MEMBERS BEING INFORMED OF CLASS CLOSURES???

This mayor is wreaking havoc with the lives of students, the community, and staff members. All he cares about his keeping the perception of him being in charge and not caving into the UFT and the communities of NYC. He is pandering to the UWS and Brooklyn whitey white parents. Why? He needs their money and support for when he runs for governor next year. 

But meanwhile students and staff members are going to get sick and some are going to die. Worse, people in the communities of the students and the staff members will get sick, and some are going to die. Mayor De Blasio will have blood on his hands. 

A teacher without knowing there is an outbreak in their school can get infected if vaccinated. That infection can be asymptomatic or not. That same teacher can bring the infection into their home and into their community. Infecting people who are not vaccinated and people who are vaccinated and/or have suppressed immune systems. 

To the best of my knowledge, there is zero (None, nada, bupkus!) 3 feet distancing whether in the hallways or in the classrooms. To the best of my knowledge, there are class sizes with 36 students, 34 students and many others that size. To the best of my knowledge, the schools are not being cleaned with the same rigor and attention they were before the summer.

What is the UFT going to do about this? The time for a job action is now. How about this? All teachers gather outside the school 45 minutes before arrival and pass out informational literature concerning our incompetent mayor. Then to top it off, we all walk in 5 minutes before our contractual time. I'm just spitballing here, OK?

Something must be done on UFT's part. 

As for De Blasio. There will be a death. I hope I am wrong. The blood will be on his hands. Sadly, he won't give a shit.

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Starting Tomorrow We Try to Cheat Death With Solidarity's Help

Oh joy, we walk into Death tomorrow. Three feet? What does that mean? Yeah, it's one yard or 36 inches. But what does it mean? In elementary school, is there no more mini lessons from the carpet? How do we conference with students? What are the guidelines in cafeterias? 

Must windows be open? What about these so called air purifiers? Word on the street is they are useless. 

Are schools supposed to be providing masks? Hand sanitizers? How can 10 percent of a school be tested every other week and there be a proper tally of who is safe or not? 

Who can answer these questions and more? One would think that in each school there would be a meeting led by the chapter leader in which concern and issues would be addressed. From my experience this has yet to happen. Several SBSB groupies have shared with The Crack Team that they do not know of any meeting with their chapter leaders concerning COVID safety. 

Worse, a friend of mine shared with me that she had called the UFT COVID hotline (or whatever it is called) and was hold an inordinate amount of time and just finally gave up. 

So what to do? Thanks to UFT Solidarity, we have somewhere to go. Read on...

Happy Night Before School!

This school year will be nearly unlike any we have ever experienced as UFT members. Now more than ever, UFT Solidarity needs all our members engaged and activated as activists and unionists in our schools. We have to power to protect each other and hold the UFT accountable.

Please make sure you and your chapter leader are familiar with the UFT's PPE Hotline. Ask your building rep, like NOW, if they've been in contact with the custodian, administration, and UFT regarding mandated PPE shipments to your building. If not, call the PPE Hotline immediately and make sure EVERY staff member in your school knows to wait outside your school until the UFT rep on the hotline gives the green light.

The UFT PPE Hotline is: 212-701-9677

Work with your colleagues and do your due diligence this week to document conditions in your buildings. Your video and camera applications will be your best friends. When in doubt, email your borough safety reps AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

Then, submit a Google Form documenting conditions in your school. If the form does not work, email us at

Make sure you follow our newly updated COVID Action Kit. This is well worth the read! 

Also, we are pleased to introduce our newly renovated UFT Solidarity website! Our website is now located at Please share this website with your colleagues and, when you can, explore its features.  Our updated Toolkit and our Getting Involved Page are two must-read sections!

Finally, please mark your calendars for our Council Meeting on September 22nd and General Member Meeting on September 29th. You should have received Google Calendar invites. Look for a new email about these events next week.

Union means coming together as one, in solidarity. Let's boldly lead, let's boldly enforce the rules, let's boldly fight like heck for the living.

In Solidarity,

The UFT Solidarity Council

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Wave of Death Coming to NYC Schools

 I am due one more retro payment this October. I was suspended in October 2015 which for reasons unknown to me I was classified as on "leave." So everything was pushed back for me. This goes for others who were on leave then. Which leads me to this question:

If I, or others, due retro in October, were to die due to the irresponsibility of the DOE and enabling of the UFT with the Delta surge, will the heirs receive the retro?

What is the acceptable number of deaths of staff and/or students for the DOE due to the Delta Variant?  Are staff more expandable than students? 

To paraphrase Colonel Trautman from First Blood,  "Will there be enough body bags?"

Has the DOE thought to have portable refrigerated morgues outside the schools to collect the dead bodies? 

On August 19, my son's college had ZERO active COVID cases. Today it the college has 22 active cases amongst students. And his college has a real plan! It's not a plan that was put together at the last minute. I trust his college's plan. I do not trust the crud put out by the DOE and enabled by the UFT.

How can we keep three feet distance in dirty, filthy, rat infested, crud infested, overcrowded school buildings? 

How many students are staying home on September 13? 200k? 250k? 500k? Does De Blasio have a plan for all these no shows? Will there be retribution upon the parents of all these no shows? I know if I lived in the city I would not send my child to school. It would like sending a child to their death. 

Why is De Blasio being such a dick? He's caving for the whitey white, entitled, smug, sniff their own fart Brooklyn and Upper West Side crowd. De Blasio has his eye on running for governor next year and he needs these parents on his side. Not just to vote for him, but to give him money as well. 

De Blasio is that self-unaware that he still thinks he was somewhat successful in running for president in 2020. His ego, his thirst for power is going to kill staff, and worst, the children of New York City.

There will come a day, and this day will be soon that a staff member or a child will die. Let's hope that appropriate legal action is taken against the DOE and any of its enablers.