1) CleverSpin's Bill for AFT: $481,000. The U.S. Department of Labor
has posted on its public disclosure web site the Labor Organization Annual
Report (LM-2) of the American Federation of Teachers for 2005-06. Before
delving into some details of the report, EIA will perform a public service
by directing you to the source material, despite the Labor Department's
decidedly not-user-friendly web structure.
a) Use this link for the LM-2 access page:
(If, for some reason, the direct link doesn't work, go to
http://union-reports.dol.gov/ and click on the Union Form LM-2 Search
b) On the "Union or Trust Search" page, go to the box next to "File Number"
and type in
000-012 then click the Submit button.
c) When the page comes up, click on the 2006 Report link, then wait, because
d) Knock yourself out.
AFT spent a total of $214 million in the last fiscal year, of which it
categorized $14 million as political activities and lobbying. Rather than
bore you again with a discussion of the various ways of measuring AFT
Item #2 here), let's just state that in 2004-05, AFT reported 828,500
members on its LM-2, and in 2005-06 reported 822,504. I'm sure the union has
an explanation for why this isn't a membership loss, but I'll let their
communications people do their own thing without trying to anticipate their
AFT President Edward McElroy was the highest paid officer, earning $282,800
in salary, plus $33,150 in taxable allowances, for a total of $315,950. The
union's highest paid employees were Chief of Staff Ronald Krouse and
organizing director Philip Kugler, both at $194,960. Bella Rosenberg,
assistant to the AFT president, earned $210,243, but that amount probably
includes previously deferred income.
The LM-2 details all of AFT's spending. Of particular interest to EIA was
the amount spent on the
AFT communications audit conducted by the design firm CleverSpin, which
caused a ruckus when EIA revealed its contents in an August 7 communiqué.
For all of its services during the 2005-06 period, including the audit,
branding assistance and consulting fees, CleverSpin received $481,000 from
AFT. CleverSpin's Kris Kemmerer, who directed the audit, was hired in August
as AFT's assistant to the president for communications.
The LM-2 also reveals AFT spent nearly $1.9 million on its Puerto Rico
project (see Item #2 below), an attempt to defeat an effort by its Puerto
Rico affiliate to leave AFT. An additional $211,000 was disbursed to
individuals in Puerto Rico engaged in organizing activities on AFT's behalf.
Other spending of note:
* $160,000 to the
Economic Policy Institute.
* $5,000 to the United Federation of Teachers Elementary Charter School.
* $21,750 to the Peter D. Hart Research Association, Inc. to conduct focus
groups on charter schools.
* $349,348 to the United Teachers of New Orleans to keep that local in
* $15,000 to the Sweeney Solidarity Team, the slate of candidates vying for
reelection to the leadership of the AFL-CIO last year.
* $6,387 to Jonathan Tasini, president of the Economic Future Group, former
president of the National Writers Union, blogger of
WorkingLife, and candidate for a U.S. Senate seat in New York who was
crushed by Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary.
2) Teacher Union Wars in Puerto Rico Not Done Yet.
When AFT cut its losses and surrendered in
Puerto Rico, there was good reason to believe that the Federación de
Maestros de Puerto Rico (FMPR) would return to obscurity, as far as the U.S.
national labor movement was concerned. But apparently that isn't the case.
Without AFT backing, local
opponents of FMPR President Rafael Feliciano and his caucus have looked
elsewhere for support, and appear to have found it in two places, if the
scuttlebutt is to be believed: the formerly NEA-affiliated Asociación de
Maestros de Puerto Rico (ASOMA) and the United Auto Workers.
ASOMA left NEA and collapsed
as a viable organization soon after FMPR won exclusive representation rights
1999 election. Now it's back, allegedly bolstered by FMPR dissidents and
seed money from the United Auto Workers, which has a significant presence on
ASOMA is seeking a new
representation election for some 40,000 teachers in Puerto Rico, which we
can expect FMPR to fight with all the verve it displayed in the
AFT disaffiliation battle.
3) Cash, Staff and Autonomy Brought Buffalo into
NYSUT Fold. Buffalo Teachers Federation (BTF) President Phil Rumore
revealed the details of his local's affiliation agreement with New York
State United Teachers (NYSUT), and it appears he got most of what he wanted.
BTF received what amounts to an additional UniServ
director, and all three of these labor relations specialist will operate out
of BTF headquarters, rather than NYSUT's regional office. BTF will also
receive an attorney and an assistant, guaranteed reimbursements for certain
workshops and office space, and a two-year, $80,000 transition grant from
NEA. BTF's concerns about the independence of its local PAC were also
assuaged by NYSUT.
Rumore refers to the arrangement as a trial
affiliation, but it's clear that it would be a much more difficult move to
disaffiliate from NYSUT than not to affiliate in the first place. For all
intents and purposes, NYSUT is, and will continue to be, the one and only
parent affiliate for New York's teachers' unions.
4) Union Vote Hits the Van in Fort Wayne.
week, EIA reported on the battle between the Teamsters and the Indiana State
Teachers Association in Fort Wayne to represent the district's bus drivers.
The magic number was 112 votes – a simple majority of the bargaining unit.
But the vote held last Friday ended with a 96-94 result in favor of ISTA. A
revote has not yet been scheduled.
ISTA officials told the
Fort Wayne Journal Gazette that bus drivers "have found feces
smeared on bus seats, vandalism to the buses and items taken from the
Teamster officials deny having anything to do with the
vandalism, and accuse ISTA of lying about whether it will institute agency
fees if elected.
Since both sides
now know how close the vote is, expect an escalated series of incidents and
5) Last Week's Intercepts.
Intercepts, covered these topics from September 25-October 2:
The Law of Averages. Union officers complain about average teacher
salary. Not the amount, but the use of averages.
Most of Connecticut NCLB Lawsuit Dismissed. We're fortunate that it's a
lot harder win a lawsuit than to file one.
CTA, UTLA on Opposite Sides of Campaign Finance Initiative. Who's trying
to silence the voice of working people? Maybe we all are.
6) Quote of the Week.
"The struggle in which we
are engaged is as vital to our future today as was the outcome of the Civil
War to our nation in 1860. The goal of these locusts is to impose their will
on state after state until they have completely demolished government as we
know it. There is a time for every generation to rise to the call – when the
very existence of our nation, our state, our values, our culture and our
public schools are threatened with extinction." – Nebraska State Education
Association Executive Director Jim Griess on Initiative 423. (October 2006
The NSEA Voice)
Editor's Note: The Civil War was a violent armed
struggle in which more than 600,000 Americans died, and was fought over
questions like slavery vs. freedom.
Initiative 423 is a Nebraska ballot measure that would
limit state government spending to previous years' amounts, with allowed
increases for inflation and population growth.