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Union Executive and Staff Pay Far Exceeds Teachers; State Union Dues Increase Again

Here is a quick “by the numbers” sketch of the teachers’ union.  Teachers can resign from the union this week. For more information go to EducatedTeachersMN.com 

Minnesota teachers who are members of the teachers’ union pay dues to their local union, Education Minnesota and its two national affiliates. It is one of the only states to affiliate with both the NEA and AFT. (The AFT also affiliates with the AFL-CIO.)

What do union executives make? 

According to the federal filings called LM-2 Reports, here are the numbers for 2016-2017:

Denise Specht, President, Education Minnesota

  • Gross Salary: $190,316
  • Disbursements for Official Business: $14,829
  • Other Disbursements: $1,588
  • Total: $206,733

Note: Specht’s gross salary increased $5,794 from 2015-2016 to 2016-2017.

Lilia Eskelsen Garcia, President, National Education Association (NEA)

  • Gross Salary: $307,882
  • Allowances Disbursed: $9,944
  • Disbursements for Official Business: $21,964
  • Other Disbursements: $8,942
  • Total: $348,732

Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers (AFT)

  • Gross Salary: $403,747
  • Allowances Disbursed: $68,450
  • Disbursements for Official Business: $20,366
  • Total: $492,563

You can read an article on union executive compensation here. The article, using 2016 data, cites higher compensation packages for the NEA and AFT leaders; we are working to reconcile the different salary and other compensation numbers but the range is very similar.

Here is the data on Education Minnesota executives and other staff (both full-time and part-time) where almost 70 people make over $100,000 in salary:

 

What are teachers paying in union dues?

The range of union dues across Minnesota districts is $650 to $1,400. Union dues are divided between the local union, state union and its national affiliates. The local union, which handles collective bargaining, gets the smallest percentage of the dues. The state union, Education Minnesota, gets the most, followed by the two national affiliates.

Union dues went up in 2017 by fourteen dollars ($14) to pay for the membership renewal agreement campaign prior to the Janus decision; eleven dollars of that campaign ($11) went to Education Minnesota and three dollars ($3) went to the national affiliates. That means that teachers paid for the campaign to “sell” union membership to teachers and ESPs.

In 2018, national dues appear to be holding steady, but state dues have gone up again, this time by seven dollars ($7).  So state dues increased twenty-one dollars ($21) over the last two years. Local dues policies vary across the state.

Here is an example of the breakdown in 2018 for Bloomington School District:

National dues: $247.56
State dues: $478.00
Local dues: $190.20 (varies from district to district)

What about union membership numbers?

According to Education Minnesota’s 2016-2017 LM-2 federal filings there are 74,564 active members (teachers and education support professional or “ESPs”).

But the number of licensed teachers who pay union membership dues in Minnesota is 66,840. The union classifies these teachers as “Active Professional.”

In addition, there were 6,534 reported agency fee payers. Education Minnesota does not specify whether they are teachers or ESPs; they are most likely a combination. After Janus, these teachers/ESPs no longer pay any fees or dues.

There are 88,225 total members reported by Education Minnesota but that includes nearly 6,000 students and 7,400 retired members. The union reports them all under the category “Members.”

The 88,225 “members” in 2016-2017 include:

  • 66,840 active professionals (teachers)
  • 7,724 active ESPs
  • 91 reserves
  • 177 substitutes
  • 5,986 students
  • 7,407 retired

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