Friday, March 3, 2017

NYSUT/UFT Finances in Distress?

UFT owes NYSUT almost $11 million for back dues, and $4 million of that is 90 to 180 days past due... If the UFT is having financial troubles, NYSUT, which declined to comment, can’t afford to bail it out. And if NYSUT is having financial troubles, its parent organization, the American Federation of Teachers, couldn’t afford to bail it out either, because about 40 percent of AFT’s income is the dues paid by those same NYSUT members. In other words, AFT doesn’t have enough members in the rest of the country to cover NYSUT’s losses.... Mike Antonucci, EIA 
With an upcoming NYSUT election coming up between ST and Unity Caucus, the question is what are they fighting over? Mike Antonucci reported at the Campbell Brown controlled site --- [whereby I spit on the ground] ---- that NYSUT is in deep financial trouble. Now I know people will poo-poo Mike's report due to political bias but as my readers know I take the facts Mike puts out seriously. And furthermore, Harris Lirtzman, one of our most astute people who was a former deputy comptroller, has been saying some of the same things for years.

We reported that the move to dump Karen Magee and give her a golden parachute into a newly created job at the AFT and replace her with the UFT's Andy Pallotta was a break in the 40 year tradition of giving a non-UFT the presidency while having the UFT control the money through the Ex VP - Shanker and Alan Lubin preceded Pallotta in that role. Now the UFT has decided to do a total takeover and the question has been WHY?

Karen broke ranks on opt-out before she was reigned in -- But we know a year ago she was dead meat and that was confirmed for us in Minn at the AFT convention when she barely made an apperance at the convention despite being president of the largest contingent of AFT members. 

Check out the salaries of current officers:

Leaders, Employees, and Salaries
Name    Title    Gross Salary
KAREN MAGEE    PRESIDENT    $268,951
PAUL PECORALE    2ND VP    $236,793
MARTIN MESSNER    SECRETARY TREASURER    $238,913
ANDREW PALLOTTA    EXEC VP    $238,370

I wonder if Karen's new position pays her the same salary? Bet they don't let white elephants take a cut.

Someone sent me this comment from someone in MORE who came up with some interesting reason for why the UFT is taking open control of NYSUT - to get control of the finances -
NYSUT will be bankrupt within a few years of Freidrichs II. No services to locals. And anyone who has ever worked for or now works for NYSUT would be at risk of getting pennies on the dollar for pensions and retiree health care. UNITY may have wanted to get full political control of NYSUT but it needs full economic control of NYSUT to try to 'manage' this disaster.....
Here are selections from Mike A's post on the [gag] 74.
Analysis—New York’s Teachers Unions Are Millions in the Red: A Look at the Numbers

Public schools in New York are among the best-funded in the nation, with the average spending per pupil exceeding $20,000 annually both in New York City and statewide. Not coincidentally, New York is also home to the largest state teachers union, New York State United Teachers, and the largest teachers union local, the United Federation of Teachers, in New York City.
Besides advocating for their members, the unions are also commercial enterprises operating in a market economy. They have buildings, employees, bills to pay, budgets to construct, and in-house “staff unions” they have to bargain with.
...... unions spend heavily on employee salaries and benefits — to the point of risking their future solvency. If a new court challenge similar to the Friedrichs case results in the end of agency fees — required union payments by non-members to compensate for collectively bargained benefits — the New York unions may find themselves unable to meet their obligations to members and employees alike.
The unions’ public policy agenda is designed to mitigate those risks, but ir would have the effect of placing the public treasury in similar straits.
That’s because most union revenue comes from member dues. These tend to increase along with increases in average teacher salary, either according to an established formula or by the vote of a body representing the entire membership. NYSUT collected almost $133 million in dues during the 2015–16 school year, an increase of 5 percent over the year before, according to its annual disclosure reports with the Department of Labor. 
UFT received $151 million in dues in 2015–16, a one-year increase of 5 percent.
Dues are a dependent source of revenue, however. As long as New York’s public schools hire additional teachers each year, and average teacher salaries increase, the unions’ income increases. No other legislative action or market condition has more than a marginal effect on union finances.
Having collected substantial sums, how do NYSUT and UFT spend them? 
Most of it goes to their officers and staff. NYSUT employed around 550 people (according to its most recently available tax filing) with a payroll of $60 million. That sum is trivial, however, compared with the union’s liability for post-retirement benefits. NYSUT estimates that it is on the hook for $504 million in health care for retired members and pension costs, according to its 2016 labor department report, an increase of 31 percent from the year before and 135 percent from 2010.
From 2010 NYSUT Organization Report — Dept of Labor:
 
Six years later, the union’s liability for retiree benefits and pensions had risen by 135 percent:


UFT had 690 employees and a payroll of $42 million in 2015–16; it ran up large post-retirement liabilities of $77 million — a one-year increase of more than 25 percent and a 30 percent increase since 2010.

The unions boast of their success in stifling efforts to reduce public employee pension costs, but NYSUT would have to devote its entire income for more than three years just to cover the cost of its own employees’ pensions and retiree benefits.
How will the unions remain solvent given their precarious current state? So far they’ve relied on deficit spending. Annual deficits have reduced NYSUT’s net assets to –$413 million, according to its most recently available federal tax filings. UFT managed a surplus in 2014–15 after a deficit the previous year, but its net assets were –$19 million.

Here’s another possible indicator of the union’s financial insecurity: UFT owes NYSUT almost $11 million for back dues, and $4 million of that is 90 to 180 days past due. This suggests — we would know for sure only if the unions were more transparent about their financial activity — UFT has at least a temporary cash flow problem.

“The UFT is confident it will meet its future obligations,” UFT spokesman Dick Riley said in an email.

If the UFT is having financial troubles, NYSUT, which declined to comment, can’t afford to bail it out. And if NYSUT is having financial troubles, its parent organization, the American Federation of Teachers, couldn’t afford to bail it out either, because about 40 percent of AFT’s income is the dues paid by those same NYSUT members. In other words, AFT doesn’t have enough members in the rest of the country to cover NYSUT’s losses.
 

8 comments:

  1. All the more reason to vote for Mike Lillis and ST Caucus. Pallotta is played out.

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  2. It is time to trim the union fat.

    Abigail Shure

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  3. Facts matter: The assertion that UFT owes NYSUT money is false. Fully paid up.

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  4. And yet AFT has millions to pour into the Clinton campaign and the Clinton Foundation.

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  5. Norm, I'd like to know what Antanucci's source is for the UFT not paying their dues to NYSUT?

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    1. Reporters don't reveal sources but would you be surprised if someone on inside leaked?

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    2. The information came from NYSUT's Labor Dept filings. If UFT is "fully paid up," it is a recent change. I have no reason to doubt Carl Korn but when reporting I can either choose to believe something he writes in a blog comment, or something NYSUT reports to the federal government under penalty of perjury. And why were the payments overdue?

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  6. Won't matter soon anyway

    https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/785/text

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