Saturday, February 8, 2014

UFT Dues Structure: Regressive for Everyone But Retirees

As to the calculated rate for teachers and other inservice groups, why should it be aligned to the salary of a near maximum teacher (i.e. 8B, L20) instead of being a percentage of a person's actual salary?... As to the pass throughs from the state and national unions, they are voted on at their respective conventions without direct membership approval. 

Not the last point -- a chunk of the dues is passed on to the AFT and NYSUT and the dues we pay here is decided by those Unity Caucus dominated conventions.

I know there are people saying that NYSUT stuff I've been writing about is irrelevant to our struggles to organize the rank and file and that teachers in the schools don't know or care about NYSUT. Ask them to check the pockets as a way to introduce the issue.

A retiree sent this historical note
Hi Norm,
This link (http://www.uft.org/our-rights/uft-dues) is to UFT's description of its dues structure. As you can see, there has not been a membership referendum on dues since 1982 and no modification in the calculation of dues has been voted on by the Delegate Assembly since 1999. Of particular note is not only the automatic nature of dues increases, but how they are calculated and how pass throughs from NYSUT and the AFT are also part of an automatic increase regimen. As to the calculated rate for teachers and other inservice groups, why should it be aligned to the salary of a near maximum teacher (i.e. 8B, L20) instead of being a percentage of a person's actual salary? In real terms, the dues paid by a teacher this year of slightly more than $1,200 is a much bigger (and unfair) hit on a beginning teacher in the $45,000 or so range than the maximum teacher approaching $100,000. 

And, in case you were not aware of it, retirees pay dues proportionate to their retirement income i.e. at the modest rate of .4 of one percent. As to the passthroughs from the state and national unions, they are voted on at their respective conventions without direct membership approval. 
Here is the simple point: even though the delegate assembly is still heavy Unity dominated and would vote for WW III if told too, at the very least each and every dues increase should be voted on. And Yes, the dues for working members should be based on a progressive not a regressive structure, as it is for retirees.

2 comments:

  1. Under Federal law the membership, not the DA, decides on dues increases. I wasn’t around in 1982 but I am fairly sure that there was a membership vote on the present dues structure. The automatic nature of dues increases was an ingenious way to skirt federal law. The UFT knows, and has known for some time, the membership would never approve a dues increase or any change. Such a vote, with campaigning from outside groups, could cripple the finances of the UFT. We had entertained a challenge to the present dues structure but would need to go into Federal Court. As you may recall this was rejected but I still think it is viable.

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  2. And lets be sure that everyone is aware that our dues in NYC are slightly less than TWO TIMES those of districts in Westchester. The pay scale in
    Westchester is much higher than NYC. Please refer to the pay scale chart that Sean Ahern made available. I believe that Jericho checked in at the highest salary, top salary at $154,000. or thereabouts.
    Let's also keep in mind that retirees DO NOT HAVE UFT PROVIDED PRESCRIPTION COVERAGE. Other districts, such as Malverne, keep their prescription coverage benefit for life.

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