Teaching Profession

Teachers’ Union Spending

March 04, 2008 3 min read

Most of the nation’s largest unions must submit forms to the U.S. Department of Labor each year detailing how they spend their money. The National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers fall under that directive. From the hundreds of pages in the teachers’ unions’ most recent filings, Education Week selected highlights. Although the Labor Department requires unions to use uniform categories, the NEA and the AFT do not necessarily categorize expenditures the same way.

NEA AFT
Membership: 3.2 million teachers, paraprofessionals and schoolrelated personnel, and higher education faculty Membership: 1.4 million teachers, paraprofessionals and school-related personnel, higher education faculty, nurses and other health-care professionals, local, state, and federal employees, and retired members
State affiliates: 50
Local affiliates: More than 14,000
Headquarters staff: About 555
Period covered: 9/1/2006 - 8/31/2007
State affiliates: 43
Local affiliates: About 3,000
Headquarters staff: 305
Period covered: 7/1/2006 - 6/30/2007
Organization Spendings

TOP SALARIES
  • Larry Wicks, Executive director, Education Minnesota, state NEA affiliate (until late 2007) ** $331,472
  • John Wilson, NEA executive director
    $284,008
  • Reg Weaver, President
    $271,473
  • Dennis Van Roekel, Vice president
    $252,648
  • John Stocks, Deputy executive director
    $242,216
  • Edward J. McElroy, President $289,884
  • Nathaniel LaCour, Treasurer $232,942
  • Antonia Cortese, Executive vice president
    $230,534
  • Ronald Krouse, Chief of staff
    $199,825
  • Philip Kugler, Organizing director
    $199,825
  • Number of salaries over $140,000:
    95
    Number of NEA-paid officers/employees:
    750
    % of employees receiving over $140,000:
    12%
    Number of salaries over $140,000:
    17
    Number of NEA-paid officers/employees:
    346
    % of employees receiving over $140,000:
    4.9%
    TOP CONTRIBUTIONS TO EXTERNAL ORGANIZATIONS
  • Economic Policy Institute
    $150,000
  • Communities United to Strengthen America
    $150,000
  • People for the American Way
    $125,000
  • Working America
    $100,000
  • National Staff Development Council
    $70,500
  • Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute
    $57,500
  • Economic Policy Institute
    $450,000
  • National Public Pension Coalition
    $135,000
  • National Labor College
    $125,000
  • American Rights at Work
    $100,000
  • William J. Clinton Foundation
    $60,000
  • NAACP
    $53,557
  • TOP WORKPLACE-REPRESENTATION AND RECRUITING EXPENSES
  • Member litigation costs:
    $21.12 million
  • Member and staff education, including more than $1.2 million for NEA Today magazine and some $4 million for training related to contract negotiations and recruitment:
    $5.34 million
  • Membership promotional materials:
    $2.56 million
  • Discretionary assistance for core organizing projects:
    $4.87 million
  • Occupational liability insurance for affiliates’ members, directors, and officers:
    $2.17 million
  • Legal fees incurred by New York State United Teachers while defending members:
    $2.11 million
  • POLITICAL-ACTIVITIES EXPENDITURES
  • Taking on state ballot measures in Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Ohio, Oregon, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Utah: ***
    $11,606,812
  • MSHC Partners, Washington (Contractual services: direct mail for member communication):
    $654,657
  • U.S. Postmaster (Political training for members and staff):
    $640,729
  • Bynum Thompson Ryer, Washington (Contractual services: direct mail for member communication):
    $633,005
  • Mack/Crounse Group, Alexandria, Va. (Contractual services: direct mail for member communication):
    $513,232
  • Terris, Barnes & Walters, San Francisco (Contractual services: political campaigns):
    $504,230
  • Political Action Committee, COPE (Committee on Political Education) fund:
    $4 million
  • Solidarity Fund (to fight ballot initiatives and referendum deemed to undermine workers’ rights, and to help state affiliates support candidates for state-level office):
    $2.3 million
  • State affiliate political-organizing assistance:
    $472,000
  • Member education program costs:
    $377,000
  • SOURCE: National Education Association
    Notes:
    * The NEA includes in this category grants to affiliates for various initiatives.
    ** Includes severance pay.
    *** Combined expenditures.
    SOURCE: American Federation of Teachers
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    Analysis and compilation by Research Librarian Rachael Holovach, Assistant Editor Bess Keller, and Staff Writer Vaishali Honawar. Designed by Vanessa Solis.

    To examine the full LM-2s, as they are known, go to the Labor Department’s Web site at: http://erds.dol-esa.gov/query/getOrgQry.do
    A version of this article appeared in the March 05, 2008 edition of Education Week as Teachers’ Union Spending

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