May 26, 2009

Committee rejects alderman's plan to require physicals for city employees

Alderman Bob Mozol’s proposal to require physicals for all city employees who drive vehicles failed to pass committee Tuesday.

Mozol wanted to require the physicals to minimize the risk of an accident in a city vehicle and to cut down on the city’s health insurance costs. He said the idea came to him after realizing the city’s fire department spends less than other departments for health care. All firefighters are required to take an annual physical.

Mozol said extending that requirement to all city employees could catch health problems early. It could also reduce the risk of health problems leading to an accident.

"I don’t think it’s unreasonable given the amount of money the city spends on health care," Mozol told the Personnel and Finance Committee.

The proposal would cost about $30,000 per year.

Committee members were skeptical of the proposal. Alderman Mike Shields said Mozol’s idea sounded like a “waste of money.”

"There are plenty of rules out there to protect the city," Shields said, dismissing Mozol’s contention that the physicals would prevent accidents.

Numbers provided by city staff didn’t support Mozol’s concern about accidents. Interim City Administrator Scott Letteney said he didn’t find a single accident involving a city employee caused by a health concern.

Alderman Tom Friedel questioned if Mozol had thought through the proposal. The plan would require the city to renegotiate its contract with its unions to require the physicals. It could also, if taken to extreme, cost a city employee their job, he said.

Letteney added there may be privacy issues with requiring the results of a physical being reported to the city.

The committee voted unanimously to receive-and-file the proposal, which means they rejected it.


  1. How about just doing random drug testing instead? I'm sure Shields would be against that for sure.

    Actually I don't think the physicals are a bad idea though.

  2. Lots of companies are requriing drug tests and physicals for employment. Start it with all new employees as a condition of being hired. Can't blame Mozol for at least trying to hold the line on health care costs. We need to get with the program and so do the unions.

  3. I can understand why Letteney wouldn't want mandatory physicals. I doubt he'd pass one.

    Drug tests SHOULD be done if they aren't already.

  4. Why not make the physicals incremental? When a new employee is hired, institute a manditory drug screening and complete physical. Then have the employee sign an agreement to participate in a complete physical once every two years along with ramdom drug testing. The two year plan would cut the cost of the physicals by 50%, only affect newer employees, and allow the city to maintain a random drug screening program. You know what the union can go do with itself if it doesn't like it.

  5. Anonymous 8:42 -- you're an ass.

    Racine Post, why do you allow this kind of personal attack to remain posted?

  6. I'd love a free physical every year paid for by the city. I get one anyway. Too bad this didn't pass.

    Mozol thought he was being cute, but most of us city workers would have loved this.

    Try again idiot.

  7. Anon 7:39 - Letteney is considered a public figure and therefore is subject to attacks.

    Here we go with more unions protecting the fat, lazy, and incompetent employees again. I would rather see most of the services outsourced. With an unemployment rate of 17% in this city I'm sure people would be lined up for those jobs and willing to take a drug test and/or physical. Hell, they would probably even be willing to pay a larger share of the health insurance. Unions and Obama are what is bringing this country down!