NEA: Dues up, membership down
Full-time union teachers will pay $179 in national dues for the 2013-14 school year. This is in addition to dues paid to their state affiliate; for Ohio Education Association members, state dues are an additional $508. Ohio is not a right-to-work state, so most teachers must join the union. In Virginia, a right-to-work state, fewer than 20% of teachers join the union.
While the NEA is still the largest workers union in the nation, membership is down. Some teachers choose to quit the union as state laws change to allow this. The union is more socially liberal than the majority of teachers and some do not subscribe to the radical union agenda. Union President Dennis Van Roekel still claims three million NEA members, but the modified 2013-14 NEA Strategic Plan and Budget predicts 2,410,200 full-time members.
Of those, 1,685,000 are “active teaching professionals.” The balance is made up of those who do not pay as much in dues as teachers such as education support professionals, staff, substitutes, retired, and student members. Total NEA annual dues amount to over $347 million.
The union Executive Committee received a 3% bonus at a time when other budget areas are being cut. Some union members were unhappy about this. Delegates at the 2013 convention passed New Business Item 47, which demands that union leadership provide justification for any future bonus they receive.