Intercepts

A listening post monitoring public education and teachers’ unions.

Vermont NEA’s Finances

Written By: Mike Antonucci - May• 27•16

Vermont NEA was largely unaffected by the recession and has benefited from a teacher hiring boom in the state over the last two decades. The union has grown 44 percent since 1994.

Total membership – 12,064, up 218 members

Total revenue – $5.2 million (73.6% came from member dues), up $485,000

Surplus – $29,000

Net assets – $1.6 million

Total staff – 39

Staff salaries and benefits – $3.8 million

Highest paid employee – Donna Watts, former legal counsel  – $175,706 base salary

Highest paid contractor – None received more than $100,000

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Time for Another Episode of “What the Hell Just Happened in Seattle?”

Written By: Mike Antonucci - May• 26•16

Go to the web site of the Seattle Education Association and you will find Jonathan Knapp listed as president. Knapp was re-elected to a second term in 2014 by a mere 45 votes over challenger Jesse Hagopian and his caucus of Social Equality Educators. It was one of many examples of movement unionists challenging services unionists for teacher union leadership positions.

Last September Knapp led his union out on strike, ultimately settling for a contract that was only marginally better than the district’s last offer before the strike.

Suddenly in March, Knapp resigned from the SEA presidency. His vice president, Phyllis Campano, assumed his place. Campano had also been the bargaining chair for the contract negotiations. The union held a special election.

One would think this would be a prime opportunity for Hagopian or his successors to gain the office they sought in 2014. But Campano ran unopposed, and only 13.2% of the eligible members submitted ballots.

It’s not like Hagopian retired from activism, but even if he had, it seems a challenger should have been ready to go in an environment ripe for success. So what happened?

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Utah Education Association’s Finances

Written By: Mike Antonucci - May• 25•16

Utah is the only state in which NEA has affiliated two separate organizations. The Utah Education Association represents teachers and similar certified professionals, while the Utah School Employees Association represents education support employees. The two unions, however, are independent of each other.

Both unions are highly dependent on NEA for their current level of operations, receiving about one-third of their income from the parent association. UEA reached a height of almost 20,000 members in 1997 but has fallen significantly from that level.

Total membership – 17,126, down 783 members

Total revenue – $3.8 million (65.3% came from member dues), up $548,000

Surplus – $36,000

Net assets – $4.6 million

Total staff – 25

Staff salaries and benefits – $2.4 million

Highest paid employee – Sharon Gallagher-Fishbaugh, president  – $147,931 base salary

Highest paid contractor – None received more than $100,000

The Utah School Employees Association joined NEA in 2004 with 6,100 members. It has lost members every year and is down 24% since the affiliation.

Total membership – 4,634, down 171 members

Total revenue – $1.9 million (65.5% came from member dues), up $249,000

Surplus – $91,000

Net assets – $1 million

Total staff – 10

Staff salaries and benefits – $806,000

Highest paid employee – None received more than $100,000

Highest paid contractor – None received more than $100,000

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Union’s “Fight For $15” Organizers Are, Of Course, Non-Union

Written By: Mike Antonucci - May• 24•16

Organizers working on SEIU’s Fight for $15 minimum wage campaign are themselves non-union. They want to join SEIU’s staff union, called the Union for Union Representatives (UUR). Ned Resnikoff of the International Business Times reports that “many labor organizations have found themselves struggling to make the most of dwindling resources. This can put union leadership at odds with their staff, especially if that staff demand the same protections and working standards that union members enjoy.”

UUR says the minimum wage organizers are effectively SEIU employees and should be covered by a union contract.

“It’s an awkward question for the SEIU and Fight for $15, which often accuse other companies of misclassifying workers in order to shirk their responsibility for fair pay and working conditions,” Resnikoff writes.

One organizer said she is “overworked, underpaid and precariously employed.” She said she was hired by SEIU and her supervisor is from SEIU.

“The only thing that keeps me from being an SEIU staffer myself is that my paycheck has another name on it,” she said.

You might think this is an anomaly, but union exploitation of low-paid, non-union employees goes way back. But at least these folks have homes to live in.

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Put a Stake in Stakeholders

Written By: Mike Antonucci - May• 23•16

Click here to read.

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Hillary to Attend NEA Convention; How Will That Go?

Written By: Mike Antonucci - May• 23•16

Hillary Clinton will keep a promise she made to the National Education Association last October and attend the union’s annual convention in Washington DC in July. This is not unusual, since all NEA-endorsed Presidential candidates have either attended the event or addressed the delegates electronically. What will be different is there will still be a large number of Bernie Sanders supporters in the audience when she appears, and I don’t expect they will be in the mood for kumbayas.

The delegates will vote on whether to endorse Hillary in the general election – a foregone conclusion, of course – but it’s always the margin of this up-or-down vote that bears watching. The early endorsement of President Obama’s re-election in 2011 garnered 72 percent of the delegate vote, which is the lowest level of enthusiasm any endorsed Presidential candidate has ever received.

It remains to be seen whether the Sanders supporters will mount any sort of effort to protest, but even the worst-case scenario for NEA involves a historically weak endorsement of Hillary, followed by the release of millions of dollars in independent expenditures on her behalf, so there really isn’t much to worry about.

Hillary would do well to target her remarks to the Sanders supporters in a meaningful way, but I expect we’ll get the same standard education speech she has delivered for at least 17 years – minus the positive reference to charter schools.

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Texas State Teachers Association’s Finances

Written By: Mike Antonucci - May• 20•16

Everything is bigger in Texas… except the Texas State Teachers Association, which is 22 percent smaller than it was 20 years ago. TSTA is $5.6 million in the red, and was reliant on a $3.3 million project grant from NEA to supplement its dues collections from members.

Total membership – 46,707, down 1,060 members

Total revenue – $12.7 million (69.7% came from member dues), up $227,000

Deficit – $47,000

Net assets – negative $5.6 million

Total staff – 76

Staff salaries and benefits – $8 million

Highest paid employee – Richard Kouri, executive director  – $152,602 base salary

Highest paid contractor – None received more than $100,000

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