Green Room

NEA to Double Member Dues Contribution to Political War Chest

posted at 6:53 pm on February 22, 2011 by

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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Oh yeah. But just remember folks, “collective bargaining” is a right.

gryphon202 on February 22, 2011 at 10:30 PM

Good. Drain the union’s money. Cash will not help them.

NaCly dog on February 22, 2011 at 11:33 PM

This is where they get their power. $10? Whether it’s a month or a year, it is almost invisible to the member. It’s 2 Starbuck’s lattes (maybe 3) a year or a month – but math is math. 200,000 members? 2,000 000 members? The power is in the numbers.

ConservativeinCO on February 23, 2011 at 2:00 AM

Democrat’s oil supply drying up.

tarpon on February 23, 2011 at 6:33 AM

don’t give them one red cent….cripe sake

cmsinaz on February 23, 2011 at 8:07 AM

I’m sure there are some teachers who are aware and smart enough to recognize how their money is being used. If not, maybe more of them need to be paying attention before they wake up one day and realize like the Ohio teacher, their own money is being used against them.

Kissmygrits on February 23, 2011 at 9:34 AM

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Comments have been closed on this post but the discussion continues here.

Ed Morrissey on February 26, 2011 at 4:04 PM