California Teachers Association's
Proposed Dues Increase Would Raise More Than $54 Million to Fight Governor
Delegates to the California Teachers
Association (CTA) State Council will vote on a proposal to increase dues by
$180 per member over three years to fund the union's opposition to Gov.
Arnold Schwarzenegger's education initiatives.
At current membership levels, the
increase would put more than $54 million in the union's campaign war chest,
in addition to the approximately $11 million already available. Full-time
teachers currently pay $533 per year to CTA, of which $36 goes into the
union’s ballot initiative fund. CTA will also be seeking cash from the
National Education Association, its parent affiliate, which has its own
initiative fund for just such a purpose.
Though the money will be extracted from
teachers’ paychecks over the next three years, the union plans to use the
dues increase from the second and third years, plus a mortgage on its
Burlingame headquarters building, as collateral for a loan, so that the full
$54 million will be available for this year's initiative campaign season.
The dues increase from the next two years will then be used to pay down the
CTA officials are visiting local
affiliates throughout the state to generate support for the unprecedented
measure, warning teachers that the governor’s plan puts their careers and
retirements at stake.
The union also plans to postpone all
projects that are not "absolutely necessary" and to cut its regular budget
to free up even more staff and resources for the campaign.
The 800 members of the CTA State Council
will meet in Los Angeles the weekend of June 10-12 to vote on the proposal.