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 2017-2018 Hudson Packet is available here.
- WEA’s 2016-2017 Hudson Packet is available here.
- WEA’s 2015-2016 Hudson Packet is available here.
- WEA’s 2014-2015 Hudson Packet is available here.
- WEA’s 2013-2014 Hudson Packet is available here.
- 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.
- WEA’s 2017 IRS Form 990 is available here.
- WEA’s 2016 IRS Form 990 is available here.
- WEA’s 2015 IRS Form 990 is available here.
- WEA’s 2014 IRS Form 990 is available here.
- WEA’s 2013 IRS Form 990 is available here.
- WEA’s 2012 IRS Form 990 is available here.
- Washington’s Public Disclosure Commission database is available here.
National Education Association
- NEA’s 2017 LM-2 report is available here.
- NEA’s 2016 LM-2 report is available here.
- NEA’s 2015 LM-2 report is available here.
- NEA’s 2014 LM-2 report is available here.
- NEA’s 2013 LM-2 report is available here.
- NEA’s 2012 LM-2 report is available here.
- NEA’s 2015 IRS Form 990 is available here.
- NEA’s 2014 IRS Form 990 is available here.
- NEA’s 2013 IRS Form 990 is available here.
- NEA’s 2012 IRS Form 990 is available here.
WEA and NEA Highlighted Expenditures
|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|
|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||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||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|