Union Bosses Against School Choice

The National Education Association (NEA) and its state affiliates push an agenda that benefits union bosses at taxpayer expense. In America’s 28 forced-unionism states, teachers in NEA-organized schools who opt not to join must still pay dues, creating a huge pot of money for NEA to spend portraying teachers as victims and union bosses as their only friends.

NEA calls its political action committee “The NEA Fund for Children & Public Education.” Subtle, right? But NEA doesn’t stop at spending tens of millions on Progressives who will shovel money at public education without demanding reform for broken tenure and compensation policies. The nonpartisan materials on NEA’s member-funded website include, to sample a few recent items:

Given the union’s claim to stand for Middle Class workers, a casual observer might expect the salaries of NEA officers and staff to resemble the average working stiff’s. That casual observer would be very, very wrong.

Hourly Wage Percentiles, Full-time private industry vs. NEA

Based on the most recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, 90% of full-time private industry workers in America are paid $39.81/hour or less. Assuming a 40-hour week, NEA officers and staff are paid an average of $55.23/hour.

Average annual pay for NEA officers and staff is $114,882, using figures from the union’s most recent filing to the U.S. Department of Labor. NEA bosses preach collectivism while collecting hefty paychecks from members who they insist are underpaid!

You may want to put down any liquids before looking at specifics:

  • John Wilson, Executive Director: $492,484
  • Dennis Van Roekel, President: $460,060
  • Lily Eskelsen, Vice President: $371,904
  • John Yrchik, Executive Director: $328,617
  • Becky Pringle, Secretary/Treasurer: $325,384

Last year, 44 NEA staff and officers were paid more than $200,000. Out of just over 700 officers and staff, 446 were paid six figures. Review the numbers from the Department of Labor.

If an NEA member ever berates you about the shortcomings of school choice legislation, cut them some slack! Only an Obama strawman says free markets are perfect, but Obama strawmen are the only counterpoints offered in NEA materials. Wait for a pause in the union script, share this info, and ask why forcing kids to attend a school where teachers are forced to fund NEA beats messy individualism!

The National Education Association and its affiliates throughout the country will lie about who they are, reward themselves richly with member dues, and attack anyone who points out the appalling truth. Don’t let selfish NEA posturing dissuade you from fighting for what’s right.

Follow Jason on Twitter: @jasonahart