Milwaukee Public School teachers are demanding that taxpayers provide them with Viagra, Cialis, Levitra, and other drugs to treat erectile dysfunction.
The MPS Cadillac health care plan just isn't good enough.
From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
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.
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 online pharmacy viagra plan violates Wisconsin's prohibition on discrimination on the basis of sex," the union argued.
...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.
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