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How The WEA And Affiliates Spend Money

In RCW 41.59, the state legislature granted private organizations the ability to secure a monopoly franchise to provide workplace representation services for school district employees. The Washington Education Association (WEA) garnered nearly all school districts roughly fifty years ago.

Over the years, teachers unions have changed from professional organizations to voluntary unions, and then to forced-fee unions. In the meantime, key consumer protections have not been included in the laws governing the union enterprise. Currently, WEA and affiliated unions typically charge more than $1,000 for their services. They have taken on a range of roles and financial ventures which are far afield from the core employee assistance which they use to justify the fee.

Union members have no legal right to see the financial records of the union, and Washington state laws do not require any public disclosure which might help union members evaluate the merits of the union expenditures. Federal laws require minimal disclosure for state-authorized public sector unions. Some of the political activities are disclosed as well. However, nonmembers – those who pay only an agency fee – do have a legal right to see the financial details of union expenditures.

A “Hudson Packet” is the report that the unions must disclose to those nonmembers. It contains the calculation of how much of the unions’ dues/fees the union claims is used for legitimate workplace representation and how much it admits is used for refundable extraneous purposes.

Listed below are resources, and a list of highlighted expenditures, that show some of the ways in which the WEA and affiliates spend their members’ dues money:

Washington Education Association

WEA officials will often point to the voluntary political action committee, WEA-PAC, as the source of political expenditures but this leaves out several key facts.  First, WEA can and does transfer funds from general dues into the PAC whenever they wish. See examples of nearly one million dollars transferred from dues to WEA-PAC here.

Examples from IRS reports and Public Disclosure Commission reports include:

$50,000 Paramount Duty, lobbying organization for taxes and collective bargaining preeminence
$38,000 Washington State Labor Council
$25,000 Economic Opportunity Institute, socialism advocacy group
$10,000 Opportunity for Olympia, Olympia income tax campaign
$5,220 Equal Right Washington, LGBTQ advocacy
$5,000 Washington State Budget & Policy Center, advocacy group for redistributive policies
$5,000 One America, advocating for diverse communities, immigrants & refugees

WEA also donates directly to campaigns from the general funds. Recent examples include:

  • $100,000 of WEA general dues given to the minimum wage initiative, Raise Up Washington, in 2016
  • $30,000 of WEA general dues given to oppose the initiative requiring a 2/3 vote for tax increases in 2015
  • $30,500 of WEA general dues given to Step Forward Washington in 2015
  • $5,000 of WEA general dues given to an initiative in SeaTac to set wages in 2013
  • $5,000 of WEA general dues given to the same sex marriage ballot measure in 2012
  • WEA’s 2017 Representative Assembly action report is available here.
  • WEA’s 2016 Representative Assembly action report is available here.
  • WEA’s 2015 Representative Assembly action report is available here.
  • Washington’s Public Disclosure Commission database is available here.

National Education Association

WEA and NEA Highlighted Expenditures


Reported Expenditures

Year Union Recipient/Cause Notes Amount Source
2016 WEA Addressing Institutional Racism $299,300 RA report
2016 WEA Seattle Pride Parade $250 RA report
2016 WEA Gender Neutral Restrooms $400 RA report
2016 WEA LGBT Discrimination none RA report
2016 WEA Take the LEAD as Long as It Takes $37,100 RA report
2016 WEA PoliSPARKS poltitcal action training $5,600 RA report
2015 WEA NW Teaching for Social Justice $1,000 RA report
2015 WEA Strengthening… Political Systems political involvement $1,300 RA report
2015 WEA The Time is Now – Widespread Strikes strike support up to $786,000 RA report
2015 WEA Becoming a Political Candidate political workshop $32,800 RA report
2015 WEA Survey LGBTQ Allied Concerns $8,800 RA report
2015 WEA Fuse Washington $5,000 2015 990
2014 WEA Step Forward $6,500 2014 990
2014 WEA Yes for Seatac $5,000 2014 990
2012 WEA Washington Education Association PAC transfer to PAC $972,684.80 Form C3
2012 WEA Washington United for Marriage $5,000 Form C3
1993 WEA Hands Off Washington $75,000 WEA Letter


Reported Expenditures

Year Union Recipient/Cause Notes Amount Source
2015 NEA America Votes $355,000 LM-2
2015 NEA Defend Oregon $500,000 LM-2
2015 NEA Progress Now $225,000 LM-2
2015 NEA Center for American Progress $255,000 LM-2
2015 NEA National Center for Transgender Equality $12,000 LM-2
2015 NEA National Women’s Law Center $10,000 LM-2
2015 NEA People for the American Way $125,000 LM-2
2016 NEA ProgressNow $150,000 LM-2
2016 NEA Net Roots $25,000 LM-2
2016 NEA MoveOn.org $5,000 LM-2
2016 NEA Main Street Advocacy Group $250,000 LM-2
2015 NEA America Votes $110,000 2015 990
2015 NEA Americans United for Change $50,000 2015 990 
2015 NEA Gay Lesbian and Straight Ed Network $15,000 2015 990 
2014 NEA Progressive States Network $113,300 2015 990
2014 NEA National Center for Transgender Equality $12,000 2014 990
2014 NEA Gay Lesbian and Straight Ed Network $15,000 2014 990
2014 NEA American Bridge 21st Century $150,000 LM-2
2014 NEA America Votes $534,500 LM-2
2014 NEA Campaign for America’s Future $30,000 LM-2
2014 NEA NEA Advocacy Fund $9,834,365 LM-2
1998 NEA NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund $1,000 – $2,499 NOW