This is dumb.
Milwaukee's teacher's union would rather have the district's insurance cover Viagra than make sure colleagues who are laid-off 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 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.
Setting aside both arguments, a judge and later the Labor and Industry Review Commission dismissed the suit, ruling that MTEA, by acting collectively for its members, did not offer proof that any specific individuals had experienced discrimination, and that the statute of limitations for discrimination suits had passed.
Collett said she was aware of at least one member who had formally complained about the lack of Viagra coverage, but that the MTEA was not seeking relief for an individual member. Rather, she said, it is seeking to stop a discriminatory policy for all members...
There's more if you care to read it at the link. Look, there are some things related to the pharma industry one may have to pay for themselves. I personally would rather that all "sexual enhancement" meds (for females or males) be on your own dime (since we can't seem to get real health care reform in this country) and instead see all autism treatment be covered, for instance, or family planning services. One is definitely more of a "quality of life" issue than the other.
I understand principles. But in a time of lay-offs, it's about another "p" word-- no not that one, you nasty minded things. The one I was thinking about is "priorities."