NEA to Double Member Dues Contribution to Political War Chest

posted at 1:45 pm on February 26, 2011 by Mike Antonucci

Amid substantial membership losses and a $14 million shortfall in its general operating budget, the National Education Association plans to double each active member’s annual contribution to the national union’s political and media funds.

Currently, $10 of each active member’s NEA dues is allocated to these special accounts. The more than $20 million collected each year is then disbursed to state affiliates and political issue campaigns – such as last year’s SQ 744 in Oklahoma. A portion of the money also pays for state and national media buys to support the union’s agenda.

But the most recent numbers show NEA lost more than 54,000 active K-12 members since this time last year. Coupled with less-than-expected increases in the average teacher salary – upon which NEA dues are based – the union will find itself with $14 million less revenue than it had planned. This includes about $500,000 less in the political and media funds.

Faced with unfriendly legislatures and governors seeking to roll back the union’s influence, the NEA Executive Committee decided to double down – literally. It proposed raising each active member’s assessment to $20, effective in September 2011. The union’s board of directors ratified the decision, and it will go before the NEA Representative Assembly for a vote this July in Chicago. If passed, NEA’s national dues for teachers will total $178.

The increase in the assessment has a five-year sunset clause, but this is just eyewash, since the last time the contribution was doubled – from $5 to $10 in 2004 – it also had a five-year sunset clause. The 2007 NEA Representative Assembly made the $10 contribution permanent.

NEA is already the top political campaign spender in the nation. This increase will give the national union an additional $40 million per election cycle. The increase alone is larger than all but two other groups spent during the entire 2007-08 cycle.

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That’ll go over well.

RedNewEnglander on February 26, 2011 at 1:46 PM

Gee you would think a group called the National Education Association would be spending money on things like, you know, education and not politics.

Just A Grunt on February 26, 2011 at 1:48 PM

Oh, I can’t WAIT to hear from my local that my union dues are going up again. They’re gonna hear it from me, guaranteed.

Bob's Kid on February 26, 2011 at 1:50 PM

I guess one of the reasons the ‘political war chest’ is almost kaput, the higher ups in the nea spend it on vacations for themselves and family. I have read the higher ups in the nea spend as much money on themselves as most of the dc bunch does at taxpayers exense. I bet some teachers are not going to be all that thrilled at more money demanded by them to see bho and the d’s get re-elected!
L

letget on February 26, 2011 at 1:51 PM

I believe that somewhere in the nano-printing between Article 10 and Article 11 of the Constitution there is a clause that says something like “it is AOK with us if you donate our money for whatever you like and if you need more just take it and don’t worry”…or something like that. Some civics teacher in HS swore there was anyway…I think, maybe.

Limerick on February 26, 2011 at 1:51 PM

National Education Association plans to double each active member’s annual contribution to the national union’s political and media funds.

I read the headline wrong…thought it said double murder. Well, I guess if you’re talking about the wallet, it fits.
Suckas.

HornetSting on February 26, 2011 at 1:51 PM

But remember, it’s ‘for the children.’

Gothguy on February 26, 2011 at 1:52 PM

No wait, -you mean that members of the union don’t get to vote on how much union dues are?

Do they get to vote on what the salaries of the union officials are? Do union officials have the same benefits plans that union members do?

slickwillie2001 on February 26, 2011 at 1:52 PM

But remember, people:

The entire debate taking place in Wisconsin and elsewhere is about “workers rights”…

If you believe that is really the motive behind the protests, contact me. I got a bridge to sell ya.

englishqueen01 on February 26, 2011 at 1:52 PM

englishqueen01 on February 26, 2011 at 1:52 PM

I’d like some options on the one planned between Reno and the Island of San Francisco. Thanks.

Limerick on February 26, 2011 at 1:54 PM

Yet another leftist example of one definition of INSANITY!!! Einstein is never wrong. Look it up. ;)

Dandapani on February 26, 2011 at 1:56 PM

They are fighting for their (very cushy) lives, as they get pushed further and further into a corner – expect ever more desperate and crazy actions.

Rebar on February 26, 2011 at 2:03 PM

If your expenses outstrip your revenues, just raise taxes. I’ve heard that somewhere.

a capella on February 26, 2011 at 2:12 PM

Is the $178 yearly?

marinetbryant on February 26, 2011 at 2:12 PM

It’s for the children…

d1carter on February 26, 2011 at 2:14 PM

Is the $178 yearly?

marinetbryant on February 26, 2011 at 2:12 PM

I believe it’s monthly.

IrishEi on February 26, 2011 at 2:16 PM

Brilliant, double the bribe … it just might work for the politicians that are on the fence and need a little more.

egr7 on February 26, 2011 at 2:16 PM

So can someone fill me in on the basics? Are public school teachers often required to be members of the NEA, or is it usually optional? And if mandatory, how do teachers feel about having to contribute to an organization that fights education reform/improvement?

David Shane on February 26, 2011 at 2:19 PM

But the most recent numbers show NEA lost more than 54,000 active K-12 members since this time last year.

Nice start. Can we make it 154,000 this year?

angryed on February 26, 2011 at 2:20 PM

Under the Beck decision, any union member can demand a refund of all union dues that go towards political activities. I am in California, and I pay an “agency fee” to SEIU even though I am not a union member. Each year, I demand the refund and get back almost 40% of those fees. Teachers can, too.

sdillard on February 26, 2011 at 2:21 PM

pay up b!tches. The gravy train has got to roll and, oh yeah, ‘do it for the children’ or something.

ted c on February 26, 2011 at 2:21 PM

So can someone fill me in on the basics? Are public school teachers often required to be members of the NEA, or is it usually optional? And if mandatory, how do teachers feel about having to contribute to an organization that fights education reform/improvement?

David Shane on February 26, 2011 at 2:19 PM

Depends on the county/state. Some teachers can opt out. But even then most still contribute. Think of having to go to work every day with the thugs in Wisconsin and be labeled as a traitor to the union. Not exactly a friendly work environment.

angryed on February 26, 2011 at 2:22 PM

Is the $178 yearly?

Yes. However, don’t forget they must pay dues to a state organization and there local organization. Generates lots of money to keep dems in office.

chemman on February 26, 2011 at 2:23 PM

marinetbryant on February 26, 2011 at 2:12 PM

Sorry, marine, I think I steered you wrong there. It looks as if that figure is the yearly one, but teachers also have other dues (local union, etc) and they usually pay more than $100/month total. (That’s why I was confused.)

See this example: CTA NEA FCEA Dues

IrishEi on February 26, 2011 at 2:23 PM

Speaking of raising revenue….

My local school board has a bond measure up for a vote soon. I got a nice piece of propaganda in the mail begging me to vote yes. I was told that if I don’t up to 200 people may be laid off! MY GOD!! 200 people laid off? I can’t let that happen. I will vote to raise my taxes so the poor, poor dears don’t get laid off and continue riding the gravy train.

angryed on February 26, 2011 at 2:25 PM

I’m sure they won’t mind a bit. They have no problem raising everyone else’s taxes to pay for stuff, they’ll probably celebrate this move when they see all the ‘benefits’ it brings them.

For the Children

ted c on February 26, 2011 at 2:26 PM

Teachers are stupid.

ladyingray on February 26, 2011 at 2:26 PM

David Shane on February 26, 2011 at 2:19 PM

I was a high school science teacher in California for 25 years. It was and still is a closed shop state. You must pay dues to the union whether you belong or not. They took money out for the local education association the State association and the NEA. The only thing I could do was demand each year that the portion of dues used for political purposes be donated to a charitable organization. Even that sucked because the organization had to be on the NEA approved list.

chemman on February 26, 2011 at 2:27 PM

C’mon, everyone, sing along!

So always look for, the union babble…

karl9000 on February 26, 2011 at 2:31 PM

But the most recent numbers show NEA lost more than 54,000 active K-12 members since this time last year.

Nice start. Can we make it 154,000 this year?

angryed on February 26, 2011 at 2:20 PM

Any one know why? Also have any of you heard about this K4 they are doing in Wi. I think enrollment has gone down so they need to “create” more bodies in the seats. That would be something to look at.

wi farmgirl on February 26, 2011 at 2:33 PM

C’mon, everyone, sing along!

So always look for, the union babble… rabble
karl9000 on February 26, 2011 at 2:31 PM

It was just sitting there. I just couldn’t say no.

Limerick on February 26, 2011 at 2:33 PM

Communications Workers of America v. Beck

http://supreme.justia.com/us/487/735/

http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa-174.html (lengthy analysis)

http://www.unionrefund.org/

Dr. ZhivBlago on February 26, 2011 at 2:34 PM

The union mindset:

Expecting teachers to pay more into their pensions – unacceptable.

Expecting teachers to pay more to their unions – perfectly legit.

Bigfoot on February 26, 2011 at 2:38 PM

Limerick on February 26, 2011 at 2:33 PM

No problem. You owe me a setup…

karl9000 on February 26, 2011 at 2:38 PM

Back in the day, the NEA tried all sorts of ways to convince teachers that they weren’t a union. You could belong to your local affiliate and not the state or national. The Federation was the union, not the Education Association. As the NEA gained more power(not for teachers) they decided that they would make it mandatory to belong to all three organizations, local, state, and national. Now the dues for all three were coming up on $600 a year and this was 35 years ago. It was a lot of money for not much. They took it out of your check every two weeks so you wouldn’t feel the pain so much.
I don’t remember voting on the officers’ salaries, but I do remember that the local wanted to buy a building for their offices and meetings. They had an election for five straight years and it failed. No one thought it was a good idea except the officers. They got sick of holding elections and loosing so they must have hired a good vote counter because they got their building and we got a dues raise. People started quietly leaving.

BetseyRoss on February 26, 2011 at 2:43 PM

Is it just me or is that a lot of funding for 4 year olds? What ever happened to preschool? Thanks Doyle.

http://legis.wisconsin.gov/lfb/2009-11Budget/Budget%20Papers/631.pdf

wi farmgirl on February 26, 2011 at 2:46 PM

When all this finally comes crashing down there are going to be a bunch of former “teachers” who’ve been displaced by businessmen and scientists and historians and economists who actually know something about the subjects they’re giving instruction on.

The former “teachers” are going to find that a certificate claiming they know how to “teach” (regardless of knowing anything about the subject) doesn’t mean squat.

Better start practicing that sunshine-happy-face and “Would you like fries with that?”.

BowHuntingTexas on February 26, 2011 at 2:47 PM

I will vote to raise my taxes so the poor, poor dears don’t get laid off and continue riding the gravy train.

angryed on February 26, 2011 at 2:25 PM

I will never vote in their favor again until they stop supporting the dems. If it would stay in the schools that’s one thing, but they are the biggest PAC there is and I will not aid and abet that anymore.

wi farmgirl on February 26, 2011 at 2:48 PM

LAst election, money didn’t mean much … 2012 looks to be even better.

tarpon on February 26, 2011 at 2:50 PM

Bring it.

petefrt on February 26, 2011 at 2:54 PM

So many of you are outside this battlefield called Wi, what are people you live and work with saying on this. I really need to hear what does the rest of the country think?

wi farmgirl on February 26, 2011 at 2:55 PM

It’s just my opinion, but this entire strike-or whatever they call it- is a PR disaster for teachers nationwide. You think no one respected you before, teachers? Now you look like a bunch of greedy, selfish, mafia/union thugs on top of your lazy incompetents reputation (deserved or not). Funny. “Goodfellas” was on tv last night. I immediately thought of the teachers and their fellow union thugs in WI. It’s true that not all states have teacher bennies, or salaries, like WI, but they too will bear the backlash for Wisconsin’s selfish educators.

JimP on February 26, 2011 at 2:55 PM

The union mindset:

Expecting teachers to pay more into their pensions – unacceptable.

Expecting teachers to pay more to their unions – perfectly legit.

Bigfoot on February 26, 2011 at 2:38 PM

Great point

darwin on February 26, 2011 at 2:57 PM

THE PAPPY PLAN….could postpone the war with the Public Unions.

1. SEAL the border.

2. 10% across the board Federal Spending cuts.

BTW…….think the border doesn’t belong in the Plan?

http://blogs.chron.com/texaspolitics/archives/2011/02/texas_demograph.html

PappyD61 on February 26, 2011 at 2:58 PM

Poor things. Living hand to mouth. No wonder they need a dues increase. I give you the pitiful waifs, struggling through snow drifts trying to sell their matches:

Dennis Van Roekel, President, NEA, 2010 compensation $397,721

Lily Eskelsen, Vice President, NEA, 2010 compensation $326,563

These are national officers. State and local officers are also compensated. That’s a great racket if you can get it.

Mason on February 26, 2011 at 2:58 PM

That grossly understates the spending by the NEA and its affiliates, including the Wisconsin Educators Association Council, as it only counts actual donations. It doesn’t count other items, such as donations to other (invariably liberal) organizations, polling conducted by the teachers, and postage of mass mailings.

According to Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board, in the 2009-2010 election cycle (which included a “non-partisan” state superintendent race in 2009 successfully bought by WEAC), WEAC PAC spent over $3.2 million, with over $2.4 million spent just last year.

steveegg on February 26, 2011 at 2:58 PM

But the most recent numbers show NEA lost more than 54,000 active K-12 members since this time last year.

Nice start. Can we make it 154,000 this year?

angryed on February 26, 2011 at 2:20 PM

This is your organization teachers. Do you think they look out for you? or themselves? To think that they actually ‘look out for you’ please just look over the landscape of steadily growing numbers of heads in your classrooms, the funds drying up for supplies, the crap you deal with, the parents that expect you to do all-be all to the keyids. Ask yourself this lil’ question, Are you better off now than you were when you joined this union?

ted c on February 26, 2011 at 2:59 PM

ted c on February 26, 2011 at 2:59 PM

Dude, you misread what I said.

I despise unions. I’m not a teacher or a union member.

I said can we make it 154,000 this year as in can we lose another 154,000 union members this year?

angryed on February 26, 2011 at 3:07 PM

angryed on February 26, 2011 at 3:07 PM

i did. i’m doing 6 things at once, mybad as we say on the court.

ted c on February 26, 2011 at 3:12 PM

So, the Privileged Class with the gold plated health care and retirement plans that are immune from market fluxuations caused by Left Wing attacks on capitalism need money for another retreat to meet with the Fleebaggers to promote more of the same old politically bigoted bashing of capitalism and private sector jobs that has made this mess… Go figure… Sounds like a wonderful idea.

drfredc on February 26, 2011 at 3:14 PM

THE PAPPY PLAN….could postpone the war with the Public Unions.

1. SEAL the border.

2. 10% across the board Federal Spending cuts.

BTW…….think the border doesn’t belong in the Plan?

http://blogs.chron.com/texaspolitics/archives/2011/02/texas_demograph.html

PappyD61 on February 26, 2011 at 2:58 PM

If I may, I offer the turfmann codicil to the PAPPY PLAN:

1: Make the border a one way door – outbound. Illegals and disgruntled public sector union members – express service – no waiting!

2. 10% reduction in Federal Spending each and every year until members of Congress have to look under the cushions of the sofa in the cloak rooms to fund their special, pet projects.

3. Make Senator and Congressmen a volunteer position. No pay, no pension – nothing. And make corruption a SERIOUS offense. No more of this nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more, say no more to finding stacks of cash in a freezer. People who abuse the public trust should be exempt from considerations of the eighth amendment. Public Stocks on the National Mall sounds like a shovel ready project I could get behind.

turfmann on February 26, 2011 at 3:15 PM

So can someone fill me in on the basics? Are public school teachers often required to be members of the NEA, or is it usually optional? And if mandatory, how do teachers feel about having to contribute to an organization that fights education reform/improvement?

Depends. In CA, you either have to join CTA when you’re tenured or have that same amount of money go to a “charity.” It’s about $1k a year in my district, and some of that goes to pay the expenses of the “local” (our district’s local, misleadingly called an “education association”), some to CTA, and some to the NEA.

Many teachers are lefties, so they don’t have any problem with CTA/NEA’s political activities.

Hear my plea, fellow conservatives, become teachers so we can outnumber ‘em and truly reform education.

Bob's Kid on February 26, 2011 at 3:18 PM

ted c on February 26, 2011 at 3:12 PM

No worries.

angryed on February 26, 2011 at 3:29 PM

Make your state a right to work state.

Stop automatic dues collecting by the state.

Support troops to teachers initiatives

and whatever else you can think of to take back education

American Elephant on February 26, 2011 at 4:18 PM

I like the turfmann codicil!

Excellent. I expeshalee like the one way door!

PappyD61 on February 26, 2011 at 4:30 PM

Awesome lack of awareness! Let the scumbag mob unions be crushed.

Jaibones on February 26, 2011 at 4:38 PM

Let us see them driven before us, and to hear the lamentation of their women!

Jaibones on February 26, 2011 at 4:40 PM

PappyD61,

I support the PappyPlan!

PappyPlan supporter #3, I guess turfmann is #2.
At this point you need a webpage, to codify the plan, and gain supporters. Also the PappyPlan must recognize the Constitution First. Ok?

O and never forget, FUBO.

orbitalair on February 26, 2011 at 4:55 PM

Every teacher, every union member in America must be informed of SCOTUS’s decision in Beck v CWA.Any worker is entitled to a dues refund for any monies not involved in actual contract bargaining. At the least, the paperwork alone will disrupt union activities.

xkaydet65 on February 26, 2011 at 4:55 PM

It proposed raising each active member’s assessment to $20, effective in September 2011.

Things continue the way they are, come September the NEA will realize that they should have quadrupled the amount JUST TO BREAK EVEN.

GarandFan on February 26, 2011 at 5:27 PM

When all this finally comes crashing down there are going to be a bunch of former “teachers” who’ve been displaced by businessmen and scientists and historians and economists who actually know something about the subjects they’re giving instruction on.

BowHuntingTexas on February 26, 2011 at 2:47 PM

Really? And many of you are complaining about teacher pay and benefits now?

Besides, I believe many of those you’ve just mentioned are more than likely Leftists, so still I fail to see how that would fix anything?

Dr. ZhivBlago on February 26, 2011 at 5:56 PM

All the more reason to remove collective bargaining from any government worker. We need to decertify all public employee unions. Just do away with them.

This whole racket is nothing but a back door to taxpayer money to keep Dems in office.

karenhasfreedom on February 26, 2011 at 6:01 PM

Do they get to vote on what the salaries of the union officials are? Do union officials have the same benefits plans that union members do?

In a sense, yes. The union officials take their benefits by stealing from the union’s pensions, etc.

I say we make the left an offer: neither corporations nor unions will be allowed to contribute to campaigns or to make communications attempting to influence an election.

Betcha, for all their shrieking and whining after Citizens United, they won’t take us up on that.

Crawford on February 26, 2011 at 6:05 PM

Can’t pay for their health insurance but can give more money to communist union.

Wade on February 26, 2011 at 6:07 PM

This whole racket is nothing but a back door to taxpayer money to keep Dems in office.

karenhasfreedom on February 26, 2011 at 6:01 PM

You are right and the sheeple in the union are to damned stupid to realize it.

Wade on February 26, 2011 at 6:09 PM

Really? And many of you are complaining about teacher pay and benefits now?

Besides, I believe many of those you’ve just mentioned are more than likely Leftists, so still I fail to see how that would fix anything?

Dr. ZhivBlago on February 26, 2011 at 5:56 PM

The largest group of any generation is just beginning to retire – i.e. the Baby Boomers.

There are a lot of folks out there who are going to want to spend their spare time doing something a little bit more productive than “Hi. Welcome to WalMart”.

They’ve been productive citizens for the last 40 years and have a lot more knowledge than many teachers out there today.

And, I reckon, they’ll work for peanuts.

Oh. And what do you mean by the following:

Really? And many of you are complaining about teacher pay and benefits now?

No offense; I’m just not following you.

BowHuntingTexas on February 26, 2011 at 6:41 PM

It is all for the children for God’s Sake/s

KW64 on February 26, 2011 at 7:22 PM

I hope it goes bankrupt soon.

Conservative Samizdat on February 26, 2011 at 7:31 PM

So many of you are outside this battlefield called Wi, what are people you live and work with saying on this. I really need to hear what does the rest of the country think?

wi farmgirl on February 26, 2011 at 2:55 PM

No one where I work supports the legislator runaways; even those that sympathize with the teacher/union point of view about losing collective bargaining power.

My Father taught high school for 40 years. He felt the union largely protected poor teachers. What he wanted from both the union and the administrators as well as the School Boards was backing him up when disruptive students had to be removed from the class room. He felt he could teach any kid something if you got the kids who did not want anyone to learn anything out of the class. That is an area where the union can both win teacher appreciation and help kids learn if they want to get real about it. When you send kids out and they come right back; guess what? He said very few excessively permissive, chaotic schools are that way because the teachers want it that way. Discipline policy is something that could be part of collective bargaining and benefit the students and the school. Where are the screaming unionists on that issue?

KW64 on February 26, 2011 at 7:40 PM

So if they double the dues will that cover all the teachers about to be fired in WI?

What will they do when their members start to leave them in droves as the union will have just demonstrated it is absolutely, positively clueless about how government works? All those teachers will have demonstrated that, taken as a whole, they aren’t capable of understanding the system they have to work with. Who would stick with a clueless teacher’s union?

ajacksonian on February 26, 2011 at 9:12 PM

Really? And many of you are complaining about teacher pay and benefits now?

No offense; I’m just not following you.

BowHuntingTexas on February 26, 2011 at 6:41 PM

I see, so you’re considering the advanced ages of many, and being retired from their primary professions and so on. I get that.

What I meant by the above is, that those professionals in their prime wouldn’t work for what most teachers throughout the states are getting as their current professions are more lucrative.

However, if things are going the way I think they are, we’ll eventually for the State and Socialist “peanuts”.

Dr. ZhivBlago on February 26, 2011 at 9:30 PM

Putting the racket back into racketeering.

AshleyTKing on February 26, 2011 at 9:57 PM

Is this going to effect the union’s ability to buy another Obama election? These protest are going to really eat into their reelection budget I would think. Let’s keep hitting them hard. Go GOP!

mike_NC9 on February 26, 2011 at 10:12 PM

Another example of the caring left. Double the dues of all NEA members, where over 60% of its membership work in states which do not have “Right to Work” laws.

These members are members only because the State, County, or Local municipalities where they work, extract Union dues directly from their wages without their need to vote on it.

MSGTAS on February 27, 2011 at 9:59 AM

The union mindset:

Expecting teachers to pay more into their pensions – unacceptable SLAVERY.

Expecting teachers to pay more to their unions – perfectly legit.

Bigfoot on February 26, 2011 at 2:38 PM

That’s what Dark-Star said, so I know it’s right!!!

runawayyyy on February 27, 2011 at 3:49 PM

RE: K4 in Wisconsin. School boards want it because it puts more bodies in the seats. The way WI schools are financed is on a per-student basis.

If a school loses 10 students at 10K each, their funding goes down by 100,000. That could trigger a lowering of the tax levy. The problem is, losing 10 students doesn’t clear a classroom, but it eliminates funding for 1 teacher.

So, adding 100 K4 kids means 2.5 more teachers (3 am, 2 pm classes) but adds 1,000,000 to the budget… so taxes can go up to pay for more teachers at the high school.

This is especially useful in districts where extra space already exists but enrollment has dropped significantly.

BTW, there is a circuit breaker (5 districts have tripped it) that says a school can only lose 15% of its funding in a given year.

Daisy_WI on February 27, 2011 at 4:21 PM

The part of the dues used for fund political activies is VOLUNTARY…..teachers can elect NOT TO PAY IT.

olesparkie on February 28, 2011 at 7:16 AM