First of two parts
The National Education Association has 361 employees who make $100,000 or more a year, according to documents it filed with the federal government, and it collects $180 a year from each of the teachers who belong to its Michigan affiliate.
NEA President Dennis Van Roekel has the highest salary at $306,286 and a total compensation of $411,172 in 2013. Executive Director John Stocks made $301,588 in salary in 2013 and had a total compensation of $384,320. The NEA had $299.7 million in net assets as of 2013.
According to the Michigan Department of Education, the average teacher salary in Michigan was $62,530 in 2012-13. MEA dues are set at 1.5 percent of salary with a $640 cap. NEA dues are $180 annually.
"The teacher in Tinytown, USA, has no clue how much the executives in his/her union makes," said James Perialas, president of the Roscommon Teachers Association, an independent union that separated from the MEA in 2012. "They just assume that their dues are being spent wisely."
The NEA has 3 million dues paying members. But Perialas said union officials often mislead the public about membership. The NEA doesn't have 3 million employees, but instead a revenue stream of 3 million people, he said.
"They aren't managing them, the school districts manage them," Perialas said in an email. "Unions are created to serve their members. A UniServe director, or union executive should make a decent wage. However, that wage should not be 50 percent to 500 percent more than the average teacher/worker. That is just outrageous."
NEA Spokeswoman Sara Robertson didn't respond to a request for comment.