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  • Wisconsin Union Collective Bargaining: A Teacher's Fundamental Right to Viagra

    Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, in an exclusive interview with the Heritage Foundation, called union collective bargaining a “vicious cycle,… one I think people have realized we can’t afford anymore.”  Government unions bargain for more taxpayer money, collect dues from their membership, and come right back to the table demanding more.  In the case of the Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association (MTEA), more means Viagra, Cialis, and the like for male employees of Milwaukee public schools.

    In 2002, through collective bargaining, MTEA won the inclusion of Viagra in its members’ health plans, and by 2004, 10% of union membership (which isn’t a male-dominated set) was subscribing to the benefit — at a cost of more than $200,000 per year to the Milwaukee school district.  Not until 2005 was the school district finally able to convince an arbitrator to drop the coverage.

    Last year, while the school district faced a $10 million dollar budget shortfall, the MTEA decided it was time to revisit those drug benefits and filed a lawsuit demanding their reintroduction to union health plans—at a projected cost of $786,000 in 2010.

    It may look like the union trying to raise costs for taxpayers, but MTEA spokeswoman Kristin Collett insists that it’s really a matter of fundamental rights:  “this is an issue of discrimination, of equal rights for all our members.”  (Lest any private sector employee forget that Viagra is a right.)

    The MTEA represents more than 10,000 teachers and administrators in Milwaukee and has an annual budget of millions of dollars.  Its priority was not, however, saving the jobs of the 400 teachers laid off because of a budget hole.  Instead, the union pursued an opportunity to flex its muscles under the guise of defending a civil right — just as protestors are now.

    All of this makes MTEA president Mike Langyel’s recent attack on Governor Walker’s budget rescue plan sound rather hollow:

    Proposals to layoff over 600 hardworking employees … would have serious negative consequences to classrooms throughout the district.  For years, educators and MTEA leaders have urged the School Board and the administration to join us in moving education forward by working together to change the school finance system in Wisconsin.

    As Governor Walker explained to Heritage, public sector unions exist to prevent governments from making “reasonable decisions to protect jobs.”

    Kenneth Spence is currently a member of the Young Leaders Program at the Heritage Foundation. For more information on interning at Heritage, please visit: http://www.heritage.org/about/departments/ylp.cfm

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    14 Responses to Wisconsin Union Collective Bargaining: A Teacher's Fundamental Right to Viagra

    1. Bobbie says:

      How disgustingly pathetic! So government union employees even get a sexual enhancer for nothing? My Lord, what did unions do to these people to think tax dollars should pay for union employees personal pleasures that I hope to assume has nothing to do with the job? Lots of hidden facts behind unions and democrats.

      Every time the president mentions "working class," he' acts only to protect the "union sector" working class as if the private sector doesn't exist. His favoritism has to stop.

    2. DanJ says:

      If the unions could guarantee a similar rise in student test scores, I would be all for it.

    3. JazzyJim says:

      Scott Walker: Here you go Corporate Welfare Citizen, $117 Million and with that, we now have a budget shortfall of $130 million this year. Let's bust some Unions! KEEP THE CORPORATIONS FROM SACRIFICING – stick it to the TAX PAYING middle class and poor. You people are pathetic.

    4. Pingback: Tweets that mention Wisconsin Union Collective Bargaining: A Teacher’s Fundamental Right to Viagra | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News. -- Topsy.com

    5. New York says:

      While I understand your point of view and agree–viagra incentives should not be a part of the benefits to a union based career and certainly was not in the minds of those who originally created unionization-a few other thoughts you may not have considered come to mind. As a NYC teacher for a good number of years, I have watched painstakingly as my peers who are no brighter than I moved up in their careers to obtain salaries at and above the six figure mark. I, on the other hand, will not even clear six figures until my 20th year in my career (frighteningly close to retirement age). However, I can say (which many of my friends can not) that I love my job and what I do each day to the center of my being. There is no greater place on the earth than to be in a classroom with young children!

      I will share with you the fact that I was almost murdered at my workplace a few years ago by a gentleman who stabbed me multiple times. I had to spend the rest of that school year out of work on a leave. If it were not for my union I don't know what would have become of me and my three children who I solely support. After my recovery- yes- I returned to the same school and continue teaching there to this day.

      I work, on the average, three additional jobs per week to make ends meet and be able to put food on the table. You could respond by saying, "Well, get a better paying job." The problem with that is that not only do I love what I do, I am extremely good at it and have made a difference in many children's lives. What other career choice could afford someone that?? My union allows me to survive because, although I don't see it in a paycheck, I have the ability financially to take my three children to the pediatrician because of my union.

      The truly ironic part of this is that I am a registered republican and have been my entire adult life. I have on many occasion engaged in heated political banter with my fellow democratic colleagues. This is truly the first time in my adult life that I am embarrassed to call myself a republican!

    6. Tim,Grafton,WI says:

      It seems to me that the stall tactic being used by the Dumbocrats had a purpose after all. Many schools and colleges have gone ahead and secured ridiculous pay increases and no cost to them lavish benefits. Shorewood, MATC, Sheboygan, and many others have stuck it to the taxpayers renewing contracts up to 4 months early to get them in before the changes can be made. When a low rate technical college is in the top teer for pay and benefits on the taxpayer dime, makes you sick. Teachers of autoshop and cosmotology making over 100k per year, that's madness! So that is what they are up to, stall as long as possible to further obide by there union boss' and continue to bankrupt Wisconsin. Thanks union thugs and your puppets the Dumbocrats.

      Further more, what example has these 14 runaway Dumbocrats set for America. When the going gets rough, run for it, hide under a rock, but then talk tough and out the side of your ….. Than have the tenacity to call that the way democracy is supposed to work, WHAT!?! Should be handed their walking papers upon return, that is the real world we live in.

    7. rick farmer meridian says:

      since o'blamabush passed health care, all union health care should be wiped out all union members should have to get and pay for their own health care, insurance. even people on medicare have to pay for it from our social security benefits. union members need to realize, once the place they are working for goes broke they all lose everything.

    8. JIm, East Lansing, M says:

      One must never forget that unions, even though they pretend they are there to represent their bargaining unit constituents, are a business. They are in business to make money! This was told to me a long time ago by a union lawyer!!! I work in healthcare and have unionized AFSCME employees. I can honestly tell you unions protect those that shouldn't be protected, remove scarce resourcess from the buisiness, ie capital that could be used to purchase much needed clinical and other equipment, and take valuable time away from those of us in management to move our business forward. I have nothing against unions, but the old union way of intimidation, entitlement and creating a culture of "us against you" must change. It's no wonder businesses move overseas and Right-To-Work states and many southern states are doing much better as they don't have the unions to make it harder to for business owners and non-profits to do their job. It's not aways due to money hungry CEO's trying to cash in on cheap labor!!!

    9. Larry, Tennessee says:

      First my bona fides: I was a union organizer, unpaid, who several times put my life and safety on the line for the union movement. However, now I wouldn't walk across the street for what the union movement has become. In the beginning, it was about dignity and fairness for the worker. Now it's just a fundraising arm of the left wing (which is all that remains of what was once) the Democrat Party. It's all about power and money for the current thugocracy that runs the unions. If 400 teachers lose their jobs. so what?. The $400,000 a year union bosses still get thier salary. Every union I know of are set up in such a way that there is no way to vote out the leadership- it's the ultimate good ol' boy network. They openly align with radicals and Marxists. It is all so sad- this is not what people at Republic Steel, Homestead and a thousand other places fought and died for, and how these dictators that call themselves labor leaders sleep at night is beyond me.

    10. Bobbie says:

      Union members have incompetence protections! How pathetic. And they're teaching children? Kind of defeats the purpose doesn't it? It's pretty sickening. They're failures at their job and our children are proof while suffering the consequence as teachers desperately fight for undeserving privileges!

      Yeah, it's all about the kids, isn't it? All the trouble of this country is directly caused by government incompetence and allowing the corruption of unions bargaining with people's money who aren't involved with the bargain.

    11. Bobbie says:

      New York, I just read your comment. I sympathize with what you've experienced. But your dependence on "unions" is evident to be corrupt. There are plenty of resources that help families out in times of crisis. Unions need not exist Your experience has happened to non-union citizens. It happens to anyone.

      You seem dedicated and loyal to your career and the children you make a difference to. I ask you then to use your talents and skills in the private sector where your work ethics are respected and seen in the students. It's where you're accountable to an honest living.

    12. Dan, Los Angeles says:

      Well, I understand that a lot of people are against this action, though I am not sure why they are all so emotional about it. But I guess, never discuss religion or politics !! LOL. I would just like to say I have lived in countries where there have never been successful labor movements and the conditions there are pretty awful. Plus, it was the unions who were responsible for stopping child labor and giving us an 8 hour workday. Before them, working conditions were pretty harsh on average. People don't know how good they have it today in the workplace and a lot of that has to do with labor movements/unions and what they have done in the past to protect the average working joe.

    13. Linda, Bullhead City says:

      To the Union supporters: There are things in life that are bigger than you. The national debt is a security risk, we cannot continue business as usual. Why do you think that the Gov. is suppose to do anything for us . Wasn't it Kennedy that siad " Ask not what your country and do for you but what you can do for your country" You are acting like spoiled brats! Why should the taxpayers suppliment your costs?? Aren't you the same liberals that become teary eyed over wanting EVERYONE to have healthcare?? So why so selfish?? WE have to balance not only state budgets but the United States budget. China owns us do you feel safe about that?? I understand that some of you say you would now vote Dem. …so this is just about YOU?? what about our country?? Selfish little ignorant people!

    14. Pingback: Gateway Pundit: With Obamacare – You Get to Pay For a Union Worker’s Health Care When He Retires Early | Katy Pundit

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