The real people to blame for the plastic surgery among Buffalo teachers are the fools who negotiated their contract years ago. As I've said before, Buffalo teachers have it very difficult. They've been taking an undeserved beating in the local press lately.
Here, a union worker presents their side to the debate. Thanks for the comment...
I know the cosmetic rider sounds ridiculous but here is some information, as explained to me by union delegates ( applies to teachers, cops, and fireman). The union contracts, as agreed upon by the city and unions, call for 4 health care plans. ( I know, sounds like alot, but of you look at the salaries of other area teachers, fireman, cops you'll see Buffalo is paid alot less ). The city used to offer two plans from Blue Cross Blue Shield and two from Independent Health. In recent years the city, without negotiating ( illegally) began offering these workers only two plans from Blue Cross Blue Shield. One of the Blue Cross plans includes a cosmetic rider. None of the unions negotiated specifically or fought for this rider.
Blue Cross threw in the cosmetic rider ( probably because they knew they could charge the city tons of money for it). The city should have never agreed to this health plan during negotiations, since it was a non issue for the unions ( possibly a pay off to high ranking officials from blue cross???). Unfortunately, the cosmetic rider is a benefit offered to these workers. Why should they give it back when a politically appointed state control board froze their wages for 3 years? Please place the blame where it belongs.