Hi Folks,


It's a new day in the UFT Retired Teachers Chapter and a new day in the UFT. A good day. A very good day.

For three years now, retirees have been fighting for our lives: Fighting for the health benefits that we earned; fighting against the privatization of our healthcare; fighting for the traditional Medicare and Supplemental insurance that we were promised. And, fighting for the health and wellbeing of our future UFT colleagues-in-retirement.

The Retiree Advocate slate has won this election, 63% to 37%. The unofficial slate total is 17,226 to 10,114. Let's move on together in unity (small "u") in both continuity and transition.

It was a tough campaign, and we couldn't have gotten here without the tireless efforts of everyone who pitched in to help - the fierce retirees who joined our slate, who showed up at meetings and rallies, who lobbied the City Council to protect our healthcare, who supported the NYCOPSR lawsuits that have protected our health benefits, and who made valuable connections with generations of UFT retirees who felt betrayed and abandoned by our union. Thank you.

We, as one chapter out of many, will not have the ability to unilaterally set UFT policy, but we will now have an independent voice in the union halls and the Delegate Assembly. We will now have real chapter meetings with real debate. We will make our voices heard, not in favor of faction, but in support of Union.

And I promise all my UFT brothers and sisters that we will protect and nourish the institutions and services that we've all built together. We're not tearing anything down. Our pension benefits and our Welfare Fund, our SHIP benefits, our retiree political action infrastructures, the Member Assistance Program, the Retiree Legal Plan, our Si Beagle activities, and the new, Retired Paraprofessionals Support Program will continue. We are, after all, the UFT.

I hope to see you at the RTC meeting on Tuesday, and I hope we'll march together in the UFT section at the Pride Parade on June 30th. And at the Labor Parade in September.

Those things are important. But the most important thing will be working together at every single RTC meeting and Delegate Assembly in the coming years, to make our chapter and our union stronger and better.

Cheers & love,

Bennett Fischer



• to stop being forced into any Medicare Advantage plan

• to fight for the promises made to us by the UFT and the City

• to keep the NYC health benefits we now have

• to allow RTC votes on issues of vital importance to retirees

• to continue SHIP, Si Beagle, and all RTC services

• to create a union chapter that gives its members a voice


Unity came for our healthcare. Can they be trusted with our pensions?


Check the box  for the entire Retiree Advocate/UFT slate



Retiree Advocate/UFT's slate of three hundred delegates has thousands of collective years of UFT experience. We are former chapter leaders, executive board members, and UFT Vice Presidents. We are educators of all titles who spent our careers in schools and classrooms, not in union offices. We have not lost sight of the responsibilities that our union owes to its retired members.

We spent our careers in the UFT and we pay our dues even in retirement. We lobby for the union, we canvass for the union, and we love the union. We raised union families, and we taught our children union values. We kept the union functioning in good times and in bad, and now more than ever we need a union that is responsive to us, a union that keeps its promises to us. The RTC Chapter Leader is supposed to represent us, not the city or the insurance companies.

The Unity leadership of the RTC has lost touch with union values, union democracy, and union reality. Retiree Advocate/UFT knows how to do the real work of Union.  Like you, we depend on the important information and services that the UFT offers: Welfare Fund and SHIP benefits, the Member Assistance Program, the Retiree Legal Plan, social events, our Si Beagle activities, and the Retired Paraprofessionals Support Program. The Retiree Advocate team will continue to provide and improve all those offerings.

Our entire Retiree Slate will listen to and involve UFT retirees in the decisions we make as a chapter. We will challenge our union to defend all the benefits that we earned. And we will fight like hell to keep traditional Medicare and Senior Care, as well as our Medicare Part B, High Option Rider, and IRMAA reimbursements.


Chapter Leader

Bennett Fischer - 29 years of service as teacher and UFT chapter leader at PS231K • RTC Healthcare Committee • UFT Department of Contract Empowerment 2019–2023

Vice Chair Leaders

Michael Shulman - Co-chair, New Action Caucus • 20-year chapter leader and delegate at Bushwick and Fort Hamilton HS • multiple-term UFT Executive Board member • UFT vice president for academic high schools, 1985–1987

Gregory Di Stefano - 55-year UFT member • 9 years, UFT Executive Board • UFT campaign activist

Ellen Fox - Veteran of UFT political campaigns • 12 years, UFT Executive Board

Arthur Goldstein - 39 years teaching • 12-year chapter leader, Francis Lewis HS • champion of class size reduction and resources for ELL students • 6 years, UFT Executive Board • frequent editorial writer in New York press outlets • authored NYC Educator blog and currently Union Matters on Substack



RA Executive Board Candidates


Gloria Brandman - 45-year UFT member • UFT, NYSUT, and AFT member organizer • 8-year UFT chapter leader and delegate • leader of Retiree Advocate's campaign against Medicare Advantage


Bobby Greenberg - UFT member since 1966 • National AFT labor campaign activist for 50 years • UFT chapter leader, JHS22M • delegate, Bronx Regional HS • RTC Healthcare and RTC Election Committees.

Assistant Secretary

Jonathan Halabi - Math teacher • 20-year UFT chapter leader, HS of American Studies at Lehman College • 11 years, UFT Executive Board • author of education blog, JD2718.

Assistant Treasurer

Michele Rayvid - 20-year District 15 ELL educator • 14-year CUNY adjunct • RTC Healthcare Committee • Cross-union Retirees Organizing Committee

Corresponding Secretary

Sheila Zukowsky - Chapter leader, Harbor Heights Middle School • UFT delegate at PS61M • RTC Healthcare Committee




Fred Arcoleo • Joel Berger • Novelette Foote • Daniel Harkavy • Doug Haynes • Prudence Hill • Bruce Markens • Dacio Quintana • Denise Rickles • Roque Ristorucci • Norm Scott • Alan Stein • Marian Swerdlow • Doris Wallace • Mary Therese Whelan