Thursday, February 19, 2009

EIA: AFT Active Members Total 725,000

Mike Antonucci reports in an EIA Exclusive

AFT Subsidies Kept Some Affiliates Alive. An examination of the financial disclosure report of the American Federation of Teachers reveals the national union spent a large percentage of its funds on local organizing projects, along with subsidies to keep troubled locals afloat.

Most of AFT's organizing expenditures were in support of its traditional membership – teachers, nurses and public employees – though the union is making a concerted effort to organize early childhood education employees, particularly in California.

Two locals required large subsidies. The United Teachers of Dade (UTD) still owes AFT $2.4 million, part of the hangover still remaining from the Tornillo scandal. UTD repaid only $47,520 of that loan during 2007-08, though AFT did list an additional $525,000 received from UTD as "miscellaneous income."

United Teachers New Orleans (UTNO) was depleted in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina (see item #2 here) and still owes $802,573 to AFT. The national union spent $1.1 million last year in an attempt to organize more members for UTNO.

The report provides other interesting facts about AFT. It isn't widely known that AFT has fewer than 725,000 full-time members, a large plurality of whom live and work in one state – New York.

AFT took in $152.5 million in "per caps" (the equivalent of national dues) in 2007-08 and spent $31.6 million on its payroll, plus another $11.9 million in employee benefits. Outgoing president Ed McElroy received a salary of $298,581 plus $32,890 in allowances, outgoing secretary-treasurer Nat LaCour received $239,931 in salary and $33,190 in allowances, and executive vice president Antonia Cortese received $229,267 in salary and $37,600 in allowances. The highest paid employee was Ronald Krouse, who received $213,704.

The union sent $1 million to its regular PAC account and an additional $3.7 million to a special PAC account, presumably for expenses related to the 2008 campaign.

One other entry of note: AFT received $38,015 in "salary reimbursement grants" from the Hillary Clinton for President campaign.

The Education Intelligence Agency conducts public education research, analysis and investigations. Director: Mike Antonucci. PO Box 580007, Elk Grove, CA 95758. Ph: 916-422-4373. Fax: 916-392-1482. E-Mail:

1 comment:

ed notes online said...

They claim 1.4 million but we know that the number is inflated by the 50,000 UFT retirees. NYSUT lists around 5-600,00 I think.

Full-time members in NYC would run around 110,000 - 120,000 if you include UFT patronnage - just joking. What about the nurses and now the recently organized home/day care ed workers which may total 25,000? I assume you are talking about fulltime educators.

I read that Chicago lost about 6,000 teachers to charter schools. The UFT should start losing people too if charters keep growing. That is why their counter strategy is to organize them but I bet they will sign sweetheart contracts if they do. They are interested in the dues after all.

People shouldn't get in a snit after seeing how the union at the school level has been decimated here as a sample of the lack of UFT aggression.

Do you have state numbers of how the 750,000 is broken down?