NEA Sends Older Employees Heading for the Exit

posted at 10:25 am on February 22, 2012 by Mike Antonucci

Two weeks ago, the Education Intelligence Agency reported on the financial difficulties faced by the National Education Association and its state affiliates. Now we have details of the corrective measures the union is taking at the national level to deal with persistent budget deficits.

NEA had already planned some cuts to close an estimated $17 million deficit, but evidently the union finds itself needing an additional $9.5 million to balance income with expenditures. Unfortunately, the union’s internal structure is not designed with swift and abrupt cost-cutting in mind. NEA has first transferred $1.9 million from its $3 million contingency fund into its general fund.

There is little relief to expect on the revenue side. Dues levels are set according to formula that is based on the average classroom teacher salary. Expected national dues for 2012-13 will be $180, a $2 per member increase.

But even that amount may be reduced or eliminated by continued membership losses. Last December 19, EIA reported: “It may take some time, and will probably happen under cover of darkness, but soon the claim that the National Education Association represents 3.2 million members will be adjusted downward, as the latest figures show the union’s total membership at well under 3.1 million.”

That occurred last week. A February 13 NEA press release claimed 3.2 million members. A February 15 press release reads, “more than 3 million.”

It is a measure of how serious the situation is that NEA executives see severe staff reductions as their only remaining option. NEA employees have been presented with an “exit program,” which is essentially an early retirement incentive. About 124 NEA staffers (out of about 580) are eligible to retire. The union is offering an additional 10 weeks of severance pay if they submit their paperwork by March 15. Most NEA employees are already guaranteed one week of severance pay for each year employed, up to 10.

The union is banking heavily on staffers accepting the offer, as “immediate” reductions in force and layoffs are the alternative. But there’s a problem.

Union “management” and confidential assistants may be dismissed right away, but most NEA employees are themselves members of unions, known as staff unions. And NEA is unable to lay off staff union members without 60 days of bargaining to come up with alternative measures. If no agreement is reached and NEA decides to go ahead with layoffs, the affected employees receive an additional 30 days notice. That means the school year will be over before the payroll can be reduced.

NEA’s financial troubles also have a ripple effect. Approximately one-third of the national union’s income is returned to its state affiliates in the form of UniServ grants. These grants help fund the cost of employing each state’s UniServ directors, who assist locals in contract negotiations, grievance processing and political action. Essentially, each UniServ grant is meant to provide services to 1,200 members. NEA expects that each 2012-13 grant will have to be reduced from the current $37,048 to $34,850 – almost a 6 percent cut. Affiliates will have to make up the difference themselves or reduce their own staffs in response.

As I have warned before, all these black clouds over NEA do not greatly affect its political action operations, particularly at the state level. The national union’s ballot measure/legislative crises fund is a segregated account with $27 million stashed away – of which only $6 million has already been awarded. The remaining amount is more than enough to exert a great influence on political campaigns in 2012.

This post was promoted from GreenRoom to HotAir.com.
To see the comments on the original post, look here.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Please report to your local Obamacare death panels, please.

ObamatheMessiah on February 22, 2012 at 10:27 AM

As I have warned before, all these black clouds over NEA do not greatly affect its political action operations, particularly at the state level.

Which shows exactly where there priorities are

ChrisL on February 22, 2012 at 10:29 AM

Oh, dear, what a shame, never mind!

OldEnglish on February 22, 2012 at 10:29 AM

And how many of those folks are memebers only because of school house pressure to become a union mmeber of face social stigmatization? How many have negotiated mandatory unionization?

Don L on February 22, 2012 at 10:31 AM

Remember, though, that they’re all about the children. This organization is a crock. How pathetic is it that their political action fund is more than operating reserves or that they won’t touch that money to defray operating cutbacks?

Rufus on February 22, 2012 at 10:38 AM

The oldersters obviously weren’t radical enough. Dinosaurs in an organization being taken over by the mammals.

VastRightWingConspirator on February 22, 2012 at 10:40 AM

They will be fine as long as Caulifornia union goes on extorting from the state budget and passing it to the NEA.

Archivarix on February 22, 2012 at 10:45 AM

As I have warned before, all these black clouds over NEA do not greatly affect its political action operations, particularly at the state level. The national union’s ballot measure/legislative crises fund is a segregated account with $27 million stashed away – of which only $6 million has already been awarded. The remaining amount is more than enough to exert a great influence on political campaigns in 2012.

And, in the end, that’s what matters.

mankai on February 22, 2012 at 10:46 AM

Union “management” and confidential assistants may be dismissed right away, but most NEA employees are themselves members of unions, known as staff unions. And NEA is unable to lay off staff union members without 60 days of bargaining to come up with alternative measures. If no agreement is reached and NEA decides to go ahead with layoffs, the affected employees receive an additional 30 days notice. That means the school year will be over before the payroll can be reduced.

Ah, the tangled thicket of unionization.

Bitter Clinger on February 22, 2012 at 10:47 AM

The national union’s ballot measure/legislative crises fund is a segregated account with $27 million stashed away

Well there are “priorities” and then there are PRIORITIES.

GarandFan on February 22, 2012 at 10:51 AM

The NEA offers absolutely nothing to those members in Right to work states and in those states which by law, prohibit elected officials or government officials from bargaining with any union. NEA members in those states are being ripped off and many join because they are harassed by their peers. My wife taught for 30 years and after her first year never joined the NEA or the state teacher’s organization again. She was pressured, but told them to kiss her azz, they provided nothing to her for her to pay them money to donate to democrats. The only politicians they ever supported and donated to were democrats and my wife would never vote for a democrat.

they lie on February 22, 2012 at 10:51 AM

And how many of those folks are memebers only because of school house pressure to become a union mmeber of face social stigmatization? How many have negotiated mandatory unionization?

Don L on February 22, 2012 at 10:31 AM

Worse than that, in New Jersey, you can opt not to join the teachers’ union but they will still collect 85% of the union dues under the guise that the union is still responsible for your raises as a teacher. If at some later date you decide to join the union, you have to pay the difference since you were first hired.

Great concept that, the union gets you your raises.

parke on February 22, 2012 at 10:55 AM

national teacher’s union is short about 20 million? I WONDER where that money went? How much did these unions spend on political action recently? On a NATIONAL political campaign 20 million is chump change. That crazy doomsday cult spent more then that and had less of an effect on the national consciousness. I’m sure a few people that read what I said there are thinking “which doomsday cult?”… Exactly. And those bozos bought billboard space across the country including some in timesquare. Not cheap.

Annnyway… This is good. It means the swamp is draining.

Karmashock on February 22, 2012 at 10:57 AM

Whatever monies are required by NEA will be magically funneled to them by President Merlin Obama.

In other words, we the taxpayers will bail them out. The NEA will receive more than they need and Obama will receive additional campaign funds from them.

So, why would anyone think the NEA has a financial problem? Its not a crisis its an opportunity. Obamathink.

fogw on February 22, 2012 at 11:04 AM

Bwa ha ha ha ha ha, couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch! Reap what you sow and sow what you reap? Funny how the retirees are taking one on the chin for the youngsters of the NEA.

Atlanta Media Guy on February 22, 2012 at 11:13 AM

Of course, there is no age discrimination involved.

KOOLAID2 on February 22, 2012 at 11:16 AM

Do I smell out a bail out?

Surely they are too big to fail.

esnap on February 22, 2012 at 11:26 AM

Maybe they shouldn’t have went on those Caribbean cruises.

Bevan on February 22, 2012 at 11:33 AM

HEADLINE:

“National Teachers Union crippled by labor strike; seeks to move to Right-To-Work state; WH in complete chaos”

BobMbx on February 22, 2012 at 11:42 AM

Being “fair” with other people’s (your) money is easy. Just ask an alimony judge. This is my (our) money, so it’s different. And shut up.

FineasFinn on February 22, 2012 at 11:43 AM

It would be great fun to see the offices of the NEA blocked by picketers…

And it would be great karma to see the NEA try to defend itself from a host of age discrimination suits!

landlines on February 22, 2012 at 12:18 PM

Um huh…Let’s up the contribution to O’Bama, even if we can’t pay our employee’s salaries. After all, we can raise fees as much as needed to ensure O’Bama’s re -election, and he will support us so long as we guarantee him money and the votes of our members. Wait, if we raise fees for our members so we can pay ourselves first, and O’Bama second, what do we offer the members…? Uhh… I’m getting a stomach cramp.

dahni on February 22, 2012 at 12:22 PM

Well there are “priorities” and then there are PRIORITIES.

GarandFan on February 22, 2012 at 10:51 AM

Is that “priorities, priorities”, or just “PRIORITIES”?

belad on February 22, 2012 at 12:34 PM

I don’t understand. Why don’t they just run a deficit?

unclesmrgol on February 22, 2012 at 12:41 PM

Just give them some painkillers. It’s what the less-useful-than-they-used-to-be are going to get under ObamaCare.

OhEssYouCowboys on February 22, 2012 at 12:49 PM

Does this nullify the Gubernatorial re-call effort in WI by the unions err…Democrats ?

DevilsPrinciple on February 22, 2012 at 1:03 PM

The real problem is the top 1% of teachers aren’t paying their fair share.
Means testing dues.
Krugman I am sure would help.

MHatch on February 22, 2012 at 1:36 PM

And how many of those folks are memebers only because of school house pressure to become a union mmeber of face social stigmatization? How many have negotiated mandatory unionization?

It’s not technically required, per se, but my monthly union dues (over a thousand bucks a year) come out of my pay whether I join the union or not, so I am a member for the legal representation if nothing else. My dues go to the local, CTA, and NEA.

Bob's Kid on February 22, 2012 at 2:54 PM

unions are businesses

John Kettlewell on February 22, 2012 at 6:09 PM

HAHAHA. Suck it, NEA.

cptacek on February 24, 2012 at 10:20 AM