US union salaries

January 7th, 2013 at 9:10 am by David Farrar

Jason Hart at Red State writes:

Dennis Van Roekel was paid $389,620 in fiscal year 2012 as president of the National Education Association (NEA), America’s largest labor union. Van Roekel was one of 14 NEA bosses paid more than $250,000 with dues taken from teachers in Ohio and other forced-unionism states as a condition of employment.

Incredible. Compulsory unionism in the US. We are somewhat better here, but not entirely. You can’t get a collective contract unless you join a union, and in the public sector, public servants are often effectively paid by taxpayers to join a union.

As current union contracts expire, Michigan’s new workplace freedom law will make Michigan the 24th state to protect the right of educators to choose whether they contribute to the following NEA paychecks.

24 states done, 26 to go!

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22 Responses to “US union salaries”

  1. Manolo (13,517 comments) says:

    Union bosses: the same parasites and leeches all over the world.

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  2. wreck1080 (3,865 comments) says:

    I listened to a podcast the other day — US firefighters in the US can retire at 55 on 100k-120k (USD) pensions for the rest of their life. It sounds a bit like Greece.

    The US labour market is behind ours in many ways.

    Sure, the unions of ensured very high salaries. But, the US is going broke at the same time.

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  3. wreck1080 (3,865 comments) says:

    Oohhhh, pardon my grammar :) “US firefighters” of course come from the US ha ha.

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  4. Fletch (6,251 comments) says:

    I followed the Michigan thing with interest as it was occurring.
    Interesting as it was the unions who brought it upon themselves –

    Perhaps more surprising than the measure’s passage, though, is it’s genesis. The new law is the direct result of an epic strategic miscalculation by the state’s union bosses.

    Spooked by the success Gov. Walker was having in reforming the state’s public sector unions, unions in MI hatched a plan to put an initiative on the November ballot. The initiative would enshrine public sector collective bargaining rights in the state constitution. GOP Gov. Rick Synder, who largely has governed as a moderate, warned the unions not to push the initiative.

    He even threatened to bring up the right to work (RTW) issue if they went forward with the ballot measure. 
    The unions obviously rejected this advice. A knowledgeable source close to the events in Michigan told Breitbart News that almost immediately after the unions launched their initiative a small group of activists, legislators and businesses began meeting to plot a legislative strategy for the RTW bill.  

    They, very smartly, secured a key commitment from the Governor. He agreed to support the RTW effort if the union initiative, known as Proposal 2, failed. On election day, the initiative failed spectacularly. 

    58% of Michiganders voted against the union initiative. The unions had spent tens of millions of their members’ dues promoting the initiative. Yet, the same electorate that strongly backed Barack Obama’s reelection and increased Democrats’ standing at all levels of government overwhelmingly opposed the unions. 
    I guess they were right to be spooked that the public was moving away from them. 

    My source told me that the scale of the unions’ defeat made the RTW bill almost unstoppable. As the vote neared, some legislators started getting cold feet about backing the legislation. On the eve of the vote last week, Gov. Snyder publicly reaffirmed his support of the issue and promised to sign the legislation into law. This move stiffened the wavering legislators, culminating in today’s historic vote. 

    From what I read somewhere else (and I can’t find it at the moment) they kept this very quiet until almost the last moment and sprung it on the unions. Of course (being the Left) there was a lot of violent protest. They pulled down a huge tent with people still inside etc and assaulted Steven Crowder.

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  5. Fletch (6,251 comments) says:

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  6. Fletch (6,251 comments) says:

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  7. Fletch (6,251 comments) says:

    Hmm, what happened to the inline youtube video posting?

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  8. burt (8,190 comments) says:

    Union bosses – the 1% of the union that live well on the backs of the 99% who struggle everyday to keep food on the table for their family.

    Great to see the fees extracted from the low paid workers are used to keep the troughs full of cream for the bosses.

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  9. Dave Stringer (188 comments) says:

    Burt
    didn’t you know that this is how socialism works?
    Jusr look at the USSR, where the party insiders had three or four houses, chefs and limosines, and the ‘average’ citizen had a walk up one bedroom flat, with a walk to work and a queue for bread.

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  10. itstricky (1,770 comments) says:

    > Great to see the fees extracted from the low paid workers are used to keep the troughs full of cream for the bosses.
    > didn’t you know that this is how socialism works?

    And… wait for it… replace “fees” with “wages” and what do you have… capitalism!

    I am surprised that the words compulsory-union-membership would be something even uttered in the US.

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  11. SPC (5,569 comments) says:

    Those union bosses must have been basing their salaries on the going rate for management jobs in the corporate sector. How dare they.

    As for how capitalism works, productivity gains are now no longer shared with workers but are kept by the shareholders and bank losses are socialised.

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  12. itstricky (1,770 comments) says:

    Those union bosses must have been basing their salaries on the going rate for management jobs in the corporate sector. How dare they.

    Boy, the nerve of it, a? Some people. Who do they think they are? ;)

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  13. burt (8,190 comments) says:

    itstricky

    Who do they think they are?

    Special … But the real point is – who is paying for their lifestyle… Oh that’s right – low paid workers they claim to represent….

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  14. SPC (5,569 comments) says:

    burt, management earn their higher salaries and bonuses by keeping workers wages low and corporate profit high.

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  15. Yoza (1,774 comments) says:

    “burt, management earn their higher salaries and bonuses by keeping workers wages low and corporate profit high.”

    Not necessarily, there are a large number of examples of big corporates making huge losses yet senior management continue receiving massive salaries and bonuses.

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  16. SPC (5,569 comments) says:

    Yes, but once the losses are socialised they become proiftable again.

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  17. F E Smith (3,324 comments) says:

    Not necessarily, there are a large number of examples of big corporates making huge losses yet senior management continue receiving massive salaries and bonuses.

    And if the shareholders are happy with that, where is the problem?  The company belongs to the shareholders and it is their money, not yours or the governments.

    but once the losses are socialised they become proiftable (sic) again.

    So long as we have weak-willed Keynesian politicians who are unwilling to allow large companies go under then of course this will happen.  The solution is to simply let them go bankrupt.  There is no such thing as a company that is too large to allow to fail.

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  18. Nostalgia-NZ (5,093 comments) says:

    America: The ultimate pyramid scheme.

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  19. burt (8,190 comments) says:

    F E Smith

    I don’t fancy your chances of convincing people who think it’s valid for union bosses to act like the fat cat corporate raiders they fight against that public money shouldn’t be spent propping up large corporate’s – hell large corporate’s are often heavily unionised … let them fall over and the union bosses might also need to take pay cuts.

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  20. BlairM (2,317 comments) says:

    I am surprised that the words compulsory-union-membership would be something even uttered in the US.

    Me too. It’s pretty crazy – in many ways the labour laws are quite backward in a lot of states, especially in the public sector. The trouble with Americans is that they like to talk a lot, and they like to talk themseves up, but at the end of the day they are saying one thing in public and doing another once the door is locked and bolted. On balance I’d say America (or Texas at least) is still a freer place than New Zealand, but much of it is swings and roundabouts, and there are some things that New Zealand does better. No capital gains tax, for one thing.

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  21. Camryn (553 comments) says:

    I have enjoyed living in California for the last six years, but it certainly does have some major in the public sector labour market. For a start, politicians in the past kept salaries down by promising better and better retirement schemes. Now, most public sector employees can retire after 30 years of service (less for those in “public safety” roles, which is defined broadly) on a high % of their final salary. The unions have then ensured that promotions are based on tenure and so almost everyone cycles through a few promotions immediately prior to retirement so they actually retire on more than they typically earned or were competent to earn. I’ve seen a lot of people managing departments they’ve never worked in (e.g. an IT person managing an HR department) because they were entitled to take any position at the next level up. In general, since they retire so young, most public sector employees take new jobs… and many of those are in the public sector! All up, California collects more tax per capita than average and spends less per capita on average on budget items that actually matter to taxpayers because 20% of the state budget goes direct to former state employees. Euch. It’s hard to renege on past promises to people that they will have relied on, but the state is going to collapse unless this gets fixed. Don’t even get me started on the rest of CA’s messed up political and budgetary situation!

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  22. itstricky (1,770 comments) says:

    Oh that’s right – low paid workers they claim to represent….

    burt, whilst I agree with some of SPCs comments Re: the same in the corporate world I agree that this is a different relationship (union organisation membership versus employee)

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