Life is good if you’re a union boss. A new report by The Seventy Four revealed that the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), National Education Association (NEA), and United Federation of Teachers (UFT) spent almost $6 million in dues money on luxury hotels, overseas travel, and car services from 2011 to 2014. Read more below:
Between 2011 and 2014, the country’s largest teachers unions spent more than $5.7 million booking rooms at the world’s poshest hotels and resorts, scoring flights to exotic overseas destinations and traveling back and forth in limos — luxury expenses paid in full by member dues.
Financial documents filed with the U.S. Labor Department…show a penchant for five-star business expenses that are far removed from the $56,000-a-year average teacher’s salary in the U.S. (Labor unions are only required to report expenses above $5,000, according to the department.)
This is nothing new, but no less striking. Still, NEA officials spent more than 2.2 million on luxurious stays in Las Vegas, Miami, and San Diego dating back to 2011. The AFT dished out over $1.3 million on luxury hotels, as well as “an eye-popping $59,368 on car services.” (Randi Weingarten’s union spent nearly $120,000 on a single limousine company just a few years back.)
The NEA also splurged on entertainment costs with the high-end Cruise Odyssey in Chicago and more than $7,800 dollars on Washington Wizards tickets in the nation’s capital. The love for professional sports was one-upped by the UFT, New York’s foremost teachers union, which “spent $221,544 on tickets for movies and professional sports games featuring the New York Mets, the New York Yankees and the Brooklyn Nets.”
As The Seventy Four notes, “To put these costs in perspective, for every member it represents, the UFT in 2014 spent at least 67 cents on car services, 55 cents on the Hilton retirement lunch and $1.19 on entertainment tickets.”
Meanwhile, the rank-and-file keep footing the bill—with no choice but to say yes.