In the last decade, the plastic surgery industry has been in the midst of an unprecedented boom, with the number of procedures (and the dollars being brought in by cosmetic surgeons) steadily increasing year after year. Over the same period of time, state budgets have been shrinking, and vital sectors, such as education, have seen their budgets slashed. Given this state of affairs, it may come as a surprise that teachers in Buffalo, New York, actually have plastic surgery procedures fully covered as part of their contracts.
So is the city of Buffalo just being oddly generous to the teaching faculty at its schools? Not exactly.
As a matter of fact, the free plastic surgery provision actually stems from a contract rider that has been in place since the 1970s. Under the provision, teachers get free cosmetic enhancements, and they don't even have to fork over a copay. At the time this provision was put in place, plastic surgery was, if not relatively rare, certainly far less common than it is nowadays, and it was meant as a benefit to teachers within the district that needed plastic surgery following serious injuries, such as wounds from car accidents or burns.
However the rider was originally intended, teachers have reportedly been using it for general cosmetic enhancement, such as Botox injections, liposuction and nose jobs. In fact, hundreds of teachers every year try to exploit this perk, which is causing a number of budgetary issues within the district.
Over the last several years, reports have surfaced that the district is having to let teachers go, and the shortage has left educators scrambling to find ways to properly teach the children of Buffalo. By one estimate, eliminating the plastic surgery rider from the teachers' contracts could save a staggering $5 million, which the district could then use to hire dozens, if not over 100, new teachers.
Unfortunately, the rider is proving difficult to eliminate. The teachers' contract in the district actually expired more than a decade ago, but they continue to work based off of the most recent contract, which is how the district will continue to operate until a new one can be agreed upon by all parties. In the meantime, the teachers don't have much incentive to come to the negotiating table.
Recently, the school board sought the pull the rider from the contract, which prompted a lawsuit from the teachers' union. So for now, teachers in Buffalo will continue to get all the nips and tucks they want free of charge.
If you or someone you know would like to learn more about plastic surgery, please feel free to schedule a consultation or contact one of our representatives today!