Relentless Pursuit of Wisdom and Liberty

The weblog companion of, dedicated to pondering, "If Patrick Henry could see us now..."

Friday, June 10, 2005

The Teacher's Union - exposed!

CA State Senator John Campbell's blog has a great entry today uncovering many very interesting facts that relate to the California Teacher's Union and the leadership's political use of their members' dues. I thought of posting excerpts but then I figured I'd just repost the whole thing:
The CTA is spending millions of dollars to criticize Governor Schwarzenegger's policies and organization and goals. The LA Times wants to probe every aspect of the Governor's campaign team and finances. But what about the CTA? Where are the investigative articles on them?

A private research firm called the Education Intelligence Agency collected some very interesting information on this behemoth of Democratic politics. Here is some of what they found:

- The CTA has annual dues revenues of around $95 million, of which about $14 million is spent directly on political campaigns, media buying and government relations. And that is before the recent $18 million dues increase that is intended entirely for the demonization the Governor.

- They have a 21 member Board of Directors which represents the 300,000 members of the union.

- They are not a grass roots organization. In 1998, 70% of their membership supported the paycheck protection initiative Prop. 226, while their 800 member council unanimously oppsed it. The CTA bosses spent thousands of dollars in union dues against their own membership.

- The President, Barbara Kerr, whom you see on all the ads, has not taught a class in 12 years. Getting to the executive level in the CTA ivovles going up the ranks of the union, not shcools. She makes $170,000 per year, plus a $25,000 discretionary fund, plus a CTA owned house in Burlingame, plus 30 days vacation, child care, full pension, income tax preparation and financial planning costs amongst other perks.

- Other executives receive similar packages. They (and the board of directors) fly first class on flights of over 4 hours and get free dry cleaning, a gas card and gym costs.

- They have about 400 employees. The starting clerical salary is $41,000, which is higher than a starting teacher's salary.

So where is Elliot Spitzer to investigate whether the CTA is overcompensating executives while ignoring the interests of its members?
I plan on trying to generate some local interest into these kinds of issues, looking forward in earnest to the success of the paycheck protection initiative this fall.


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