Teachers Union Membership, Dues Down in 2012

Mike Antonucci of the Education Intelligence Agency reports that teachers unions all over the country are seeing an impact of anti-labor laws via loss of memberships and declines in dues revenue.

According to the in-house analysis of the data released by the Internal Revenue Service, 15 of the National Education Association's state affiliates reported a budget deficit in their last tax filing. A further 25 reported that the revenue collected via dues fell off last year.

Although nationwide NEA membership fell by 2%, the losses were mostly offset by dues hikes. Therefore, in total the NEA only suffered a .3% decline in revenues, which translates to about $3.7 million. The EIA is predicting that the losses will be more severe in 2011-2012.

EIA created a table, now posted on its web site, that lists the financial figures for NEA and each of its 53 "state" affiliates (50 states plus the directly affiliated Federal Education Association, which represents NEA teachers overseas and on military bases, the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly, and the Utah School Employees Association). The numbers include each union's dues revenues, revenues from sources other than members' state dues (advertising income from union publications, grants from NEA, et al.), and the amount devoted to employee compensation. The statistics do not include the income of any of NEA's 14,000 locals.

The table breaks down expenses for all the NEA affiliates and even shows their success at reducing expenses to better prepare for their new fiscal reality. According to the data, several affiliates reduced their staff-related expenses by cutting 111 positions from their pay rolls, but overall, the costs of personnel went up by 1.2% since the 2009-2010. Two affiliates, Michigan and Oklahoma, were unable to make up their operating expenses and their pension obligations to retired members from the dues collected over the course of the year.

The 15 affiliates that spent more than they took in from all sources were Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, UHPA and USEA.

Despite these financial hardships, it is important to note that total dues income for NEA and its state affiliates still exceeded $1.4 billion for the year.

This week's analysis only focuses only on one year's worth of information, but next week, the EIA says it will be publishing its projections for the future — along with predictions on which state affiliates are likely to still be around after the current wave of anti-union sentiment tapers out and which ones will not be able to "weather the storm."

10 24, 2012
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