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Milwaukee Teachers Union Fight for Viagra Coverage Met With “Soft” Support

August 9, 2010

By Doug Powers • August 8, 2010 09:26 AM **Written by Doug Powers

Many public school districts have sent notes home with the kids begging them to donate pencils, notebooks and even toilet paper because the budget is so decimated. Congress is about to approve a $26 billion emergency funding package, purportedly so teachers jobs aren’t lost — that in addition to the original stimulus money that was supposed to do the exact same thing.

Given that, this isn’t the kind of public relations that will get the public to support dumping even more money into the bottomless union pit:

With the district in a financial crisis and hundreds of its members facing layoffs, the Milwaukee teachers union is taking a peculiar stand: fighting to get its taxpayer-funded Viagra back.

The union has asked a judge to order the school board to again include Pfizer Inc.’s erectile dysfunction drug and similar pills in its health insurance plans.

The filing is the latest in a two-year legal campaign in which the union has argued, so far unsuccessfully, that the board’s policy of excluding erectile dysfunction drugs discriminates against male employees. The union says Viagra, Cialis, Levitra and others are necessary treatment for “an exclusively gender-related condition.”
[…]
At least one lawmaker questioned why the union is fighting for Viagra while teachers are losing their jobs. 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.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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