New York City workers help to set a pattern for employment wages and benefits across the metro area. We are among the few workers who do not have to pay any part of their health care premiums — an important legacy of the strength of previous union bargaining efforts that we have worked hard to protect.
But the continuation of concessions that threaten those benefits sets a dangerous precedent that will, over time, weaken health care to all those in the region.
In an era where universal single-payer health care been re-legitimized, it is foolish for city unions to concede ground on the benefits that protect working families. Instead we should be campaigning to expand protections for all.
Lamphere and Myrie are teachers in the New York City public schools and members of the Movement of Rank and File Educators, the social justice caucus of the United Federation of Teachers.