NEA Income, Salaries, and Benefits: EIA 8/4/08

1)  The Working Life: NEA Salaries and Benefits. The National Education Association expects to take in $346 million in the 2008-09 school year, a budget about two-thirds larger than that of the national AFL-CIO, which has 56 member unions. All but $1.2 million of this total is received in the form of dues and agency fees.


There are many ways to categorize the national union's spending, but the least controversial is to say that it is roughly divided in thirds. One-third is disseminated to state and local affiliates in the form of UniServ grants (which help pay the salaries and benefits of state UniServ directors, the labor and political action professionals of the NEA structure), and other subsidies for various purposes ? release time, ballot initiatives and media, organizing,, or help for small state affiliates. Another third covers headquarters expenses such as equipment, supplies, utilities, travel, and the other nuts-and-bolts necessary to fuel any medium-sized business (including fuel). The final third pays the salaries and benefits of some 560 employees and three executive officers, as well as stipends of varying amounts to other elected officers and sundry temps.


When Dennis Van Roekel takes the reins as NEA president on September 1, his base salary will be $280,155. Vice President Lily Eskelsen and Secretary-Treasurer Becky Pringle will each receive $246,280. NEA also offers its three executives a 20% housing bonus to cover the costs of maintaining a residence in DC during their tenure, plus an additional 20% to pay for benefits, since as elected officers they are not eligible to participate in employee benefit programs. While these bonuses are not technically salary, they are paid in cash and are taxable income. Previous NEA officers have found it sensible to defer some of this income until after they leave office. The union will spend more than $910,000 in release time and benefits for the other six members of the NEA Executive Committee.


As members of staff unions, with a labor union as an employer, NEA employees enjoy substantial compensation. The union will spend almost $109.6 million in salaries and benefits for 560 employees, which is an average of nearly $196,000 per employee.