Protect Your Prescription Drug Benefits

Despite efforts to contain costs, sharply rising prescription drug prices continue to challenge the DC 37 Welfare Fund’s efforts to maintain the current level of benefits. Facing a projected $55 million-dollar budget gap in the Welfare Fund, and understanding that more money was urgently needed, Union leadership met with City representatives to find a solution.

In January, 2017, the Union and the City reached a tentative agreement to extend the 2010-2017 Economic Agreement by two (2) months and twenty-three (23) days. If the tentative agreement is ratified, the City will increase its contribution to the Welfare Fund by an additional $200 every year on behalf of each member and retiree. This additional contribution will be pro-rated for part-time employees.

This agreement MUST be ratified by the membership. The American Arbitration Association (AAA), an independent monitor, is conducting the ratification vote. Ballots will be mailed out by February 17th and are due back by March 10th.

Members who have not received a ballot by February 23, 2017 may request a duplicate ballot by calling the American Arbitration Association (AAA) at 1-800-529-5218 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. weekdays (Monday through Friday).

If the agreement is rejected, the Welfare Fund will likely need to make significant reductions to your current benefit level.

Key Points

  • Your membership dues do not fund your Welfare Fund benefits. As part of your collective bargaining agreement the Union negotiates the employer contribution for your Welfare Fund benefits.
  • During the past eight (8) years the cost of prescription drugs has increased by 105%; during the same period, City contributions to the Welfare Fund have increased by 1.05%.
  • Prescription drugs make up 76% of the Welfare Fund’s costs.
  • Retirees are now living longer than they did eight years ago, extending the time they need and use the coverage.
  • As a result of the extension, the Economic Agreement will expire on September 25, 2017 instead of July 2, 2017.
  • The savings to the City funds the additional $200 recurring annual Welfare Fund contribution.
  • The City’s annual Welfare Fund contribution for each active member and retiree will increase from $1,575/year to $1,775 per year. (An additional annual $165 per member and retiree is contributed from the Stabilization Fund.)
  • The extension covers all DC 37 members working in mayoral agencies, NYC Health and Hospitals, the Department of Education and the New York City Housing Authority. There are separate agreements with the School Construction Authority and the Transit Authority that provide the identical extension and increased contribution to the Welfare Fund.
  • Other than the contract extension and the $200 increase to the Welfare Fund, there are no other changes to the 2010-2017 Economic Agreement.