MEA enjoys 9.6% revenue increase from MESSA

The Michigan Education Association, the states largest teachers union, saw its membership shrink while it paid its leadership substantially more over the past year, according to the unions LM-2 report recently filed with the federal Department of Labor.

The MEAs Million Dollar Quartet Executive Director Luigi Battaglieri, President Iris Salters, Vice President Steven Cook and Secretary-Treasurer Margaret McLellan made a combined $983,872, an increase of $36,057 over last year.  Salters saw a $6,717 increase in compensation, bringing her to a whopping $297,458.

According to the National Education Association, the average Michigan teachers salary is $57,958.

The pay increase comes as union membership decreased by about 1,500 and the unions net assets continued to sink deeper into the red.  Last year, the union reported its net assets as being $124 million in the hole; this year, the shortfall increased to $132 million.

The deepening liability problem continues to stem from its retirement commitment to union employees. That increased by $8.75 million to $183,279,479, according to the financial report. In contrast, the union reported $130,880,761 in cash receipts for the 2009-2010 fiscal year.

Although the membership of MESSA, the health insurance arm of the union, has also been shrinking, union revenues from MESSA were up.  According to the report, MESSA gave the MEA $5.03 million, an increase of 9.6 percent over last years take.

Money from MESSA appears to be one of the few things keeping the unions financial head above water.

This is further proof that the union leadership continues to be out of touch with its rank-and-file, dues-paying members. School employees are making concessions, taking paying freezes and paying more for health insurance and yet the leadership appears to be immune from such things, despite the unions grave financial situation.  Hows that for solidarity?

The union is clearly disconnected from its members and from the average Michigan citizen. Its no wonder we continue to see the union demand more money from school boards and taxpayers, even during this dire financial time.

This is just more proof that the state and local school districts should not take advice from the MEA on how to get spending under control.  The MEA and its Million Dollar Quartet should concentrate on bailing water out of their own sinking ship.

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