Many have received them but they are trickling into mailboxes at a slower rate than we wish. According to the information on the UFT's RTC Election webpage, the ballots were mailed, beginning on May 10th, to member addresses on file with the UFT as of that date.

If you do not receive your ballot by the end of the day, Monday, May 20th, call the American Arbitration Association (AAA) at 800-529-5218 and ask for a duplicate ballot.

Make a phone call first, but you may also direct email inquiries to Hiroyuki Kawahara, AAA Director of Elections, at [email protected]


Watch our How to Vote video:




• 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


Check your ballot for the entire Retiree Advocate/UFT slate.

Mail it back as soon as you can.



Who We Are

Retiree Advocate/UFT is a caucus of retired educators within the Retired Teachers Chapter (RTC) of the United Federation of Teachers(UFT). We are running in the spring 2024 UFT chapter elections to save the traditional Medicare benefits that all NYC municipal retirees were promised: Publicly administered, traditional Medicare-plus-supplemental (Medigap) insurance. Benefits that are premium-free, cost-free, network-free, and accepted in every corner of the country. Those are the benefits that we earned over the course of our public service careers in New York City. Those are the benefits we cannot afford to give away.

The Mayor's Office, the private insurance industry, and the current UFT leadership - including the Retired Teachers Chapter leadership - are threatening our Medicare. This needs to change. Our leadership needs to change.

For three years Retiree Advocate/UFT, and our allies from other NYC municipal unions, including the NYC Organization of Public Service Retirees and the Cross-union Retirees Organizing Committee (CROC) have been fighting to preserve our traditional Medicare benefits. Those benefits have been put up for sale to private insurance corporations who would profit at the expense of our health, by limiting our care and denying us services.

We need new leadership in the RTC; leadership that fights for the health and wellbeing of UFT retirees; leadership that stands for union principles and stands up to union presidents; leadership that includes retirees in decision-making and supports the most vulnerable among us. We need a Retired Teachers Chapter that behaves like a real union chapter - not as a rubber stamp for bad Unity caucus policies. Retiree Advocate/UFT is here for retired members, not for UFT presidents or NYC mayors. 

The fight against forcing us into Aetna's Medicare Advantage Plan is ongoing, in the courts, in our union chapters, and in the NYC municipal retiree community. We know what a disaster a forced switch to Medicare Advantage would be for most of us. The NY State Supreme Court also knows how bad that would be. That's why it ruled that "irreparable harm would result" from the implementation of Aetna's plan. The UFT Retired Teachers Chapter should not acquiesce to such a plan.

This May we will have a chance to put our chapter back on course. We'll be able to vote for new RTC leadership that listens to its members, understands our interests, and fights to preserve our benefits - without diminishment.


Look for the ballot in your mail after May 10th. Vote  for Retiree Advocate/UFT 

Save our cost-free NYC healthcare subsidies. It's not a privilege - you earned it.