Milwaukee Public School Teachers Union demands viagra coverage

This is the problem with unions. Coverage for viagra and similar products??

The Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association has filed a civil suit claiming that MPS’ exclusion of Viagra and other drugs that treat erectile dysfunction from its health insurance plans constitutes sexual discrimination against male employees.

Last September, an administrative law judge dismissed an earlier ruling that sided with the union, which filed an equal rights complaint in 2008. The state’s Labor and Industry Review Commission upheld the decision in June.

The union now seeks a review of that decision by a Milwaukee County circuit court judge.

“This is an issue of discrimination, of equal rights for all our members,” said Kristin Collett, spokeswoman for the Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association.

How is it discrimination for an employer to decide what it wants and doesn’t want to cover?

According to documents contained in the MTEA lawsuit filed last month:

MPS first agreed to cover drugs that treat erectile dysfunction in 2002. By 2004, there were 1,002 claims for such drugs from MPS employees. During negotiations with the union for its 2003-2005 contract, MPS tried to stop coverage of the drugs, citing rising costs. An arbitrator sided with the district in 2005.

In 2008, the teachers’ union filed a charge with the state’s Equal Rights Division, complaining that not offering the drug violated the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act.

“The exclusion of an FDA approved, medically necessary drug from an otherwise comprehensive pharmacy plan violates Wisconsin’s prohibition on discrimination on the basis of sex,” the union argued.

Lawyers for the union claimed that because treatment for female sexual dysfunction such as vaginal cream and estrogen replacement medication is covered, the removal of Viagra from the health plan unfairly disadvantaged male employees.

The school district has countered that the elimination was a cost-saving measure and non-discriminatory because the drugs are mainly recreational.

Apparently the fact that the move ulimately saves jobs in the district doesn’t matter to the union.

Some, including at least one state lawmaker, have criticized the union for asking the district to cover Viagra instead of using money to save teacher jobs. The district laid off 482 teachers in June, though it later recalled 89.

A consultant for the School Board has estimated that reinstating the drug benefit would cost $786,000 per year – the cost to keep perhaps a dozen first-year teachers employed.

Rep. Jason Fields (D-Milwaukee) argues that the money could be better spent any number of ways – including saving jobs.

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Fields said. “The fact that is the point of contention is kind of frightening. What are our priorities? I’m all for love and peace. But almost $1 million? And you go to court over this issue?” (Source: MJS)

Go to the source and read the whole thing.

Instead of complaining about what is or isn’t covered by the cadillac insurance plan here’s a novel idea.  Put the education of children first.

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2 thoughts on “Milwaukee Public School Teachers Union demands viagra coverage

  1. I refuse to believe in Wisconsin again. I am strictly convinced that it doesn’t exist.

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