Monday, February 11, 2008

The Rich Get Richer in the MEA

After spending some time with the MEA’s required Department of Labor report (LM2) it is apparent that when you’re involved with the MEA, life is really good at the top (click on highlighted text for details). In fact, it’s about 6 to 7 TIMES better than it is for the average teacher. I’m not saying that strong personal performance shouldn’t be rewarded, but when you don’t exactly understand what performance is being measured, then the rewards should be subject to question. In the case of MEA Directors with compensation over $100,000 a year (there are 156 of them for 2007) I’m not sure what they did to merit an average pay raise of 14% (click here to see the report analysis). Maybe it’s for negotiating 1.5% to 2.5% “raises” for teachers? Perhaps it’s for standing-by while the State Teachers Pension Fund quickly goes bankrupt to the tune of a $31 Billion Dollar deficit? Could it be for watching the UAW confront cold, hard economic realities while staunchly defending the MEA’s own version of an alternate universe? No, I don’t think that an average 14% increase in total compensation could be for these reasons.

I think it’s for the strong profit performance of the MEA’s insurance subsidiary MESSA. In 2006 MESSA earned over $130 million in excess proceeds (in the real world these proceeds are called “profits”); the earnings brought MESSA’s total assets to $269 million (according the the current filing that asset base is now $342 million - summary on this link and represents an additional $72 million of earnings). One thing’s for sure, teachers aren’t seeing any of those funds, but it sure looks like the MEA directors are.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Do you know how common the practice is of paying MEA local president's salaries out of LOCAL school district operating budgets?

Ending that nonsense once & for all makes a lot of sense. Obviously MEA has the bucks to pay their own way.