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Retirees meet with City Council about prescription benefits

The follow up meeting with Baltimore Teachers Union and City Union of Baltimore retirees and Baltimore City Councilwomen Mary Pat Clarke and Shannon Sneed was an important launching point for the strategy these retirees will use to stay informed. The issue at hand is the status of prescription drug benefits for Baltimore city retirees in 2020.

Retirees from CUB and BTU testified during a recent hearing of what the changes to the existing health care plan would mean to them. Councilwoman Clarke sponsored the resolution that was considered at the hearing in October. The resolution simply called for greater transparency in the Mayor’s office on how they planned to resolve the funding lapse for prescription drugs for Baltimore City retirees in 2020.

The followup meeting featured spirited dialogue with CUB and BTU retirees looking for marching orders from the two city councilwomen. Councilwoman Clarke stressed the need for the unions to play a role as influencers in the mayor’s circle of advisors. Clarke called for a work-group, and insisted the retirees have a representative on that group. Councilwoman Clarke said what came out of the followup meeting was “a determination by the retirees to organize ad-hoc committees to work on retiree benefits from Baltimore city.” 

Councilwoman Sneed said she is working with the retirees because “they raised us. We want to retire and this could very well be us.” AFT-Maryland staff Janell Thornton and Todd Reynolds helped organize the event. There were retirees from AFSMCE who were present and collaborated with those from the AFT-Maryland unions.

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