‘Government Workers Drug Dealing?’

Unionized Government Workers Taking Advantage of Taxpayers (Example #1,398):

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‘Toronto City workers bill health plan $1.9 million for erection drugs’

City workers made millions of dollars in questionable claims for large quantities of erectile dysfunction pills, and highly-addictive opioids including ‘Fentanyl’, the city’s auditor general says.

“Beverly Romeo-Beehler said in a report Tuesday that workers claimed $1.9 million worth of sex enhancers ‘Viagra’ and ‘Cialis’ last year alone, noting the benefits plan funded by the city and managed by ‘Manulife’ includes no maximum.

“Her findings on the anti-impotence pills include:

–“For ‘Cialis’ pills, 16 claimants were reimbursed between 395 tablets (a 13-month supply) and 600 tablets in at least one of the years 2013, 2014 and 2015. A “number” of them were also reimbursed for on-demand erectile dysfunction drugs, in addition to the Cialis once-a-day drug.

“The city’s cost for erectile dysfunction drugs rose 18% between 2013 to 2015. Some 65 claimants were reimbursed an annual quantity of 180 tablets or more in at least one of the years studied…

“She notes that the city reimburses another $2 million-plus per year for prescription opioids, including ‘Oxycodone’ and ‘Fentanyl’, plus $500,000 annually for prescription sedatives and $700,000 for prescription stimulants.

“Her findings include:

–Sixteen claimants were reimbursed an equivalent of 2 years or more supply of Oxycodone and/or its brand-name version within a one-year period.

The annual quantities reimbursed for “several” claimants were at least four times the maximum annual supply. {Sounds like they’re dealing drugs on the side. How come their names haven’t been given to the police?}

–Thirty-two claimants, including four retirees, were reimbursed for more than 18 months’ supply of Fentanyl patches over one year. The annual quantity provided to them at taxpayers’ expense ranged from 19 months to more than six years of supply.

–Some 44 claimants were reimbursed for a two-year supply of prescription sedatives, including benzodiazepines, within one year. Three of them were reimbursed annual quantities equivalent to four to six years of supply.

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Over the five-year period from 2011 to 2015, the city spent, in total, more than $250 million for drug benefits. Romeo-Beehler made 18 recommendations for tightening controls that she said could save the city $900,000 a year, and a one-time sum of $180,000 that could be recovered from ‘Manulife’.

“She also noted that Manulife’s contract to oversee the city’s drug benefits ends this year, and her findings should strengthen the city’s oversight of benefits in a new five-year contract with ‘Green Shield Canada’.

“Councillor Stephen Holyday, a member of the audit committee that will discuss the report Friday, said he felt “a real sense of urgency from the auditor” to fix the problems.

“This is all taxpayer money and at the end of the day it’s important we keep an eye on it.” {Well, then –Why haven’t you???}

“Holyday said he has no medical expertise but questioned the huge amounts of sex-enhancement drugs being claimed, and also the drugs including Fentanyl.

“If there are people on the job using those quantities of opioids, you really have to ask if anybody’s monitoring that — and I don’t have confidence we are,” he said. {Neither do we…}

{NO MORE PUBLIC SECTOR UNIONS!}

–‘City workers bill health plan $1.9 million for erection drugs’,
DAVID RIDER, Toronto Star, Oct. 25, 2016

https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2016/10/25/city-workers-bill-health-plan-19-million-for-erection-drugs.html

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“It is…worth questioning why our infrastructure has been neglected for so many years. It is certainly not because governments have been short of money, as Canadians continue to furnish our governments with healthy and increasing amounts of taxes. When we look at where our growing tax burden has been going, however, an excessive amount is continually streamed to ever more generous salaries, rich pensions, early retirements and other benefits for government workers.

These costly perks are not enjoyed by the 80% of us who do not work for government. A study recently published by the ‘McDonald-Laurier Institute’ showed that federal government employees take about twice as many sick days as do private sector workers. Why? Because government managers turn a blind eye to this abuse and they have zero incentive to use our tax dollars efficiently.

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“Other research has shown that something as simple as government employees taking the same number of sick days as their private sector counterparts would in and of itself free up billions that could go to much better uses, such as legitimate infrastructure and other tangible improvements to public services. Many more billions would be available if government employees were compensated comparable to workers doing the same job in the private sector

The bottom line is that if governments would quit wasting tens of billions of our money on stupid, unfair policies such as union-only procurement and excessive pay, benefits and sick leave for government workers, Canada would have untold billions to devote to real benefits for Canadians without having to raise any taxes and further hobble our struggling economy…”

–‘The big infrastructure ripoff’,
Catherine Swift, Financial Post, January 15, 2016

http://business.financialpost.com/fp-comment/the-big-infrastructure-ripoff

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“Whether politicians campaign against public-sector unions or not, the battle with them is now a constant across Canada

“…Labour’s big battalions are teachers, university staff and professors, health-care employees, civil servants and social-service employees {ALL of them paid by taxpayers – NONE of them in the private sector}. These public sectors have rates of unionization that far exceed private-sector unionization

“‘Baumol’s cost disease’ – an economic theorem often proven empirically and named after the economist William Baumol – shows that wage gains always outstrip productivity improvements in the public sector…”

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/when-politicians-campaign-against-public-sector-unions/article12288568/

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All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations when applied to public personnel management. The very nature and purposes of Government make it impossible for administrative officials to represent fully or to bind the employer in mutual discussions with Government employee organizations. The employer is the whole people, who speak by means of laws enacted by their representatives in Congress. Accordingly, administrative officials and employees alike are governed and guided, and in many instances restricted, by laws which establish policies, procedures, or rules in personnel matters.

“Particularly, I want to emphasize my conviction that militant tactics have no place in the functions of any organization of Government employees. Upon employees in the Federal service rests the obligation to serve the whole people, whose interests and welfare require orderliness and continuity in the conduct of Government activities. This obligation is paramount. Since their own services have to do with the functioning of the Government, a strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to prevent or obstruct the operations of Government until their demands are satisfied. Such action, looking toward the paralysis of Government by those who have sworn to support it, is unthinkable and intolerable…”

–Franklin D. Roosevelt: “Letter on the Resolution of Federation of Federal Employees Against Strikes in Federal Service,” August 16, 1937. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project.

http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=15445

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