A listening post monitoring public education and teachers’ unions.

UTLA Aims to Become Dual NEA/AFT Affiliate

Written By: Mike Antonucci - May• 05•16

When the members of the United Teachers Los Angeles approved a huge dues increase last February, they also agreed to put an end to UTLA’s unique structure. Now it will require a vote of the delegates to the National Education Association’s Representative Assembly to approve UTLA’s status as a dual NEA/AFT affiliate.

Under the current practice, when teachers join UTLA they are given the individual choice of belonging to either NEA or the American Federation of Teachers. UTLA then passes the proportional amount of dues to each national organization. This year, of UTLA’s 31,000 members, about three-quarters belong to NEA and one-quarter to AFT.

That arrangement will end in September, when all UTLA members will be members of both NEA and AFT. There is a problem, however.

Under NEA bylaws, such dual affiliates have to send half of their national dues to NEA, and half to AFT. This would result in about $1.3 million being diverted from NEA to AFT. UTLA has introduced an NEA bylaw amendment that would allow it to continue sending three-quarters of its national dues to NEA.

NEA delegates are sure to approve it, since it saves money that would otherwise be lost to AFT. AFT might raise an eyebrow, but it is unlikely to object since merged NEA/AFT state affiliates disburse national dues in similar proportions. However, the union’s regulations dealing with dual-affiliated and merged affiliates are becoming complicated, and will lead increasingly to hard internal debates.


Union Members: Pivotal or Pivoting?

Written By: Mike Antonucci - May• 04•16

No press releases on the Indiana Democratic primary results from AFT or NEA, so we know Sanders won. It hardly matters anymore regarding the final outcome, but this is an extraordinary result, considering the state of the race and the sheer number of unions behind Hillary.


Still, the unions are fortunate this cycle. They won’t waste effort trying to sell Hillary to these Sanders supporters. They’ll simply emphasize the importance of an anti-Trump vote. Most of the union rank-and-file will get the point, and vote for Clinton. They won’t give her a honeymoon, but by then she won’t care.


NEA Rhode Island’s Finances

Written By: Mike Antonucci - May• 03•16

As with most northeastern affiliates, NEA Rhode Island took a minor membership hit during the recession and has since regained all that it lost.

Total membership – 11,444, up 228 members

Total revenue – $4.3 million (82.6% came from member dues), down $58,000

Deficit – $148,000

Net assets – $3.7 million

Total staff – 30

Staff salaries and benefits – $3.1 million

Highest paid employee – Robert Walsh, executive director – $172,633 base salary

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


Declassified Document Drop Day

Written By: Mike Antonucci - May• 02•16

Click here to read.


No Raise in 8 Years, North Carolina Union Staff Claims

Written By: Mike Antonucci - May• 02•16

The North Carolina Association of Educators is in a financial and membership free fall, and NCAE employees say they are bearing the brunt. The staff union posted a petition addressed to the NCAE executive director that reads:

We, the members of the North Carolina Staff Organization, the unionized workers at NCAE (UniServ Directors, Program Staff, and Headquarters Union Staff), urge NCAE to provide a reasonable salary and benefits package. Bargaining fairly is a critical way to demonstrate your respect for us as colleagues and professionals.

Why is this important?

Our staff is under constant pressure to do more with less since we have not received a salary increase in eight (8) years. It is vital that we collaborate to address how we will continue to provide quality services, despite management’s refusal to fill vacant UniServ positions while filling management positions. When it comes to finding creative solutions in a budget crisis we are, in fact, strong together. But the budget should not be balanced on the backs of the staff that provide quality services to our members.

Thus far we have been flexible, collaborative, worked overtime, lost sleep, picked up second jobs, lost time w/family, watched friends/colleagues retire, and changed our personal schedules in an attempt to stop/slow the bleeding of the association.

We, the undersigned, support our staff in their efforts to gain a reasonable salary and benefits package as they work to rebuild NCAE.

So far the petition has 192 signatures.

In other staff union news, the Oregon Education Association has reached a tentative agreement with its professional staff, after almost two years without a contract.


Pearson Pops AFT’s Bubble

Written By: Mike Antonucci - Apr• 29•16

The American Federation of Teachers, by virtue of holding shares in Pearson Inc., submitted a resolution to the education and testing company to “immediately conduct a thorough business strategy review of Pearson PLC including education commercialization and its support of high stakes testing and low-fee private schools and to report to shareholders within six months.”

The union and its allies also produced a petition, a rally and a media blitz.

Well, the shareholders voted on the resolution this morning and it was defeated by a margin of 97.6% to 2.4%.

Fortunately for AFT and its friends, they have the option of selling their Pearson shares and putting their money into companies and organizations more supportive of views that are in a tiny minority at Pearson. Would that teachers had the same option.


Pennsylvania State Education Association’s Finances

Written By: Mike Antonucci - Apr• 28•16

The Pennsylvania State Education Association vastly improved its bottom line by cutting expenditures on staff compensation by almost $6 million.

Total membership – 179,447, down 1,575 members

Total revenue – $69.2 million (88.7% came from member dues), up $942,000

Surplus – $10.9 million

Net assets – $49 million

Total staff – 273

Staff salaries and benefits – $42.6 million

Highest paid employee – John Springer, former executive director – $183,246 base salary

Highest paid contractorThe Star Group – $690,959