Mulgrew Denies Everything

Three weeks ago I wrote a detailed column on the finances of New York State United Teachers and its New York City affiliate, the United Federation of Teachers.

Of all the sentences in that column, this one above all others seems to have struck a nerve:

UFT owes NYSUT almost $11 million for back dues, and $4 million of that is 90 to 180 days past due.

Last night the UFT executive board met, and UFT president Michael Mulgrew said this (paraphrased by a board member who attended):

Says there is fake news about UFT being two months behind on dues. Says we are never behind on dues. In January city collects them and we don’t get them until March. We’ve always been on time. We have solidified financial shape of union. People who’d hurt us start investigations that we pay for.

I’ll allow that my use of the present tense in my sentence cannot account for events more recent than the 2016 documents I have. So it is entirely possible that UFT has since paid its dues to NYSUT.

The assertion that UFT is “never behind on dues” and is always on time is simply inaccurate. And Mulgrew’s explanation for the dues transmittal delay doesn’t jibe with NYSUT’s disclosure report, or UFT’s own.

This is NYSUT’s accounts receivable aging schedule as of August 31, 2016. Work your way about two-thirds down and you’ll see UFT owed $10,536,056, of which $4,095,514 was 90-180 days past due. That is, it was due somewhere in between the end of February and the end of May, but had not yet been paid by the end of August.

UFT’s own liabilities schedule, from July 31, shows almost the same amount owed as “per capita dues payable.”

If Mulgrew wants to paint late dues payments as unimportant, that’s his prerogative. But he looks foolish when he calls official information from his own union and his parent union “fake news.”

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