|Meanwhile, at Union Headquarters…|
|posted by: Alana | December 09, 2015, 11:34 AM|
Just imagine you’re at the Rosewood London, a restored Edwardian mansion enjoying the finest linens and the classiest wait staff, at Disney World, wining and dining at world-renowned restaurants and rooftop lounges, or at the Ritz Carlton in Santiago, Chile, relaxing in premier spas and relishing the complimentary fitness trainers– all without paying a cent of your own money. Sounds like the life of luxury, does it not? Well according to documents recently uncovered by the74million.org, this scenario is actually a reality for some or the nation’s leading teacher union leaders.
In fact, trips to New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan, Korea, Thailand, and more have jam-packed union financial record books for decades. Between 2008 and 2014, one union spent more than $450,000 on car services alone, and another spent over $221,000 on tickets for movies, professional sports games, and other forms of entertainment. Between 2011 and 2014 alone, the major teachers unions spent a combined total of more than $5.7 million on these extravagant hotel rooms, flights to exotic foreign destinations, and limousine transportation. These are all expenses funded through teacher union dues.
With an average teacher salary of $56,000 per-year, most teachers cannot afford the same privileges these union leaders enjoy. NEA and AFT representatives refused to comment or offer any kind of explanation to the teachers from which these lavish initiatives were funded.
Lavish spending is only the tip of the iceberg. If these expenses weren’t outlandish enough, the AFT and the NEA spent a whopping $26 million dollars on the 2012 elections alone.
Wasteful expenditures like these are prime examples of why teachers are leaving the union in record numbers. The issue has even led a group of teachers in California to take their case to the Supreme Court in Friedrichs vs. CTA, arguing that mandatory dues violate their right of free speech because of their union’s political activities.
As a “Friend of the Court” with an active AAE member acting as a plaintiff on this case, we are excited for the prospects of that Friedrichs vs. CTA could have for teachers. AAE is adamantly against any policy where teachers are forced to pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment. We believe that teachers, as college-educated professionals, should be able to decide whether union membership matches his or her budget and beliefs. The fact is there are thousands of educators who do not want to be represented by a union and do not want to pay union dues but are forced to because of state laws.
For more information about the Friedrichs vs. CTA case, watch our video, Lawsuits with Impact!