Ohio Teachers Union Officials Are Paid Twice As Much As Teachers
Ohio’s largest labor union is in the business of selling worker “solidarity,” and for union bosses, business is good.
Ohio Education Association president Becky Higgins was paid $209,039 to preside over a union that took member dues and mandatory fees from 121,625 teachers during the fiscal year ending Aug. 31.
Regular OEA dues for full-time teachers are $504 — $42 a month — in addition to local OEA chapter dues and $183 in National Education Association dues sent to NEA’s Washington, D.C., headquarters.
Union staff and officers working for OEA’s Columbus headquarters were paid an average of $109,789 with money taken from teachers’ paychecks; Ohio teachers were paid an average of $55,916 during the 2013-14 school year, according to the Ohio Department of Education.
The average chief executive officer in Ohio is paid $183,640 — less than Higgins, whose job is to agitate for higher taxes to fund the public education system from which her living is siphoned.
Jade Thompson, a Spanish teacher at Marietta High School, told Ohio Watchdog it’s “excessive” for so many teachers union officials to take home paychecks that dwarf what actual teachers earn.
“There are three pages of union employees who make over $100,000,” Thompson said of the union’s latest annual report. “I don’t make $100,000; I’m just a regular teacher doing my job, and I’ve been teaching for 15 or 20 years.”
“Where does the income for those salaries come from? When you think about where our forced dues go — we’re not a right-to-work state, so we have to pay — it really starts to make you upset,” Thompson said.
In many Ohio schools, teachers like Thompson who opt out of OEA membership are required to pay “fair share” fees to the union to have a job. Thompson has to pay OEA and its affiliates $600 per year.
Jason Hart ([email protected]) is a reporter for Watchdog.org and Ohio Watchdog. An earlier version of this article was published at http://watchdog.org/251955/ohio-teachers-union-vs-teachers/. Reprinted with permission.