Despite Staff Cuts, 25 Teacher Union State Affiliates Ran Deficits
posted at 5:27 pm on December 16, 2013 by Mike Antonucci
An Education Intelligence Agency analysis of Internal Revenue Service filings reveals 25 National Education Association state affiliates spent more than they earned in the 2011-12 school year, even though many of them instituted large-scale layoffs, staff cuts and early retirement incentives.
The union as a whole lost 3.6 percent of its active membership, but increases in rates were able to compensate so that total dues revenues increased 0.6 percent to $1.414 billion.
EIA created a table, now posted on its web site, listing the financial figures for NEA and each of its 53 “state” affiliates (50 states plus the directly affiliated Federal Education Association, which represents NEA teachers overseas and on military bases, the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly, and the Utah School Employees Association). The numbers include each union’s dues revenues, revenues from sources other than members’ dues, and the amount devoted to employee compensation. The statistics do not include the income of any of NEA’s 14,000 locals.
The dues-only revenue is the amount each state affiliate raises for itself, while the bulk of the “other revenue” is the amount it receives in UniServ and assistance grants from NEA national headquarters. A comparison of the two reveals which state affiliates are most heavily reliant on national subsidies to continue operating at current levels.
It is also instructive to note that while many affiliates and NEA national reduced staff size, the cost of employee compensation actually rose slightly. In most cases this was due to additional money that needed to be set aside to fund defined benefit pension plans and post-retirement health care for the union’s employees.
Thirty-two affiliates accumulated less in dues revenue in 2011-12 than in the previous year. The greatest declines occurred in Arizona, Idaho, North Carolina, Tennessee and Wisconsin.
The 25 affiliates that spent more than they took in from all sources (up from 15 in 2010-11) were Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin, UHPA and USEA.
These figures provide a single-year snapshot of the union’s budgetary health. A turnaround in school hiring could provide more members and thus more revenue to mitigate these deficits. However, a significant number of NEA state affiliates are suffering long-term financial problems due to unfunded liabilities. Next week EIA will identify and analyze those state unions with red ink dilemmas that need structural solutions.
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