A full-time teacher and member of the Pennsylvania State Education Association pays $654 a year in union dues to state, national and local affiliates of the union. While part-time teachers and other school workers such as janitors and secretaries pay less, nearly all must pay “fair share fees” to keep their jobs.
So how does the PSEA spend its members’ hard-earned money? By valiantly defending our teachers, right?
Well, only if you count golf outings, ski trips and luxury getaways as fighting for the little guy. The pie chart below on the PSEA’s 2010-11 spending shows 18 percent went to “union administration”—including the aforementioned junkets, which frequently appear as “leadership conferences” in the union’s annual report. A further 21 percent went to overhead costs. A reported 6 percent went to lobbying and political activities.
In other words, almost 45 percent of PSEA’s expenditures simply went to running the union, lobbying and leadership meetings, while union bosses devoted a mere 14 percent to “representational activities” that are meant to directly benefit rank-and-file members.
Here’s a sampling of the luxury outings the PSEA took around the state (and beyond) last year, according to its annual report:
- $29,000 at Eden Resort Inn in Lancaster, for a “region house of delegates meeting.”
- $31,000 at Liberty Mountain Resort in Carroll Valley, for a “region leadership conference.”
- $8,000 at Pinecrest Golf Club in Lansdale, for another “region house of delegates meeting.”
- $48,000 at Seaview Dolce Resort on the Jersey Shore (with golf club and spa), for a “regional continuing professional education conference.”
- $30,000 at Seven Springs Mountain Resort in Champion, for another “regional continuing professional education conference.”
- $26,000 at Bear Creek Mountain Resort in Macungie for a “region meeting.”