Big Union Undergoes
Short Arm Inspection

The largest and most powerful union in Nevada found itself in unfamiliar waters last week: subjected to close inspection as to the real sources of its power.
Online Nevada, journal of the Nevada Policy Research Institute, looked closely at the Nevada State Education Association and its national parent organization, the National Education Association, and turned up a slew of interesting items. Among them:
  • The NEA is classified by the IRS as a union, not a professional association.
  • The NEA is exempt from sales tax on its real estate properties because of congressional charter given years ago, when it was a true professional association, has never been repealed.
  • NSEA officers make a lot more than the lowly teachers they supposedly labor for, averaging over $100,000 a year with hefty car and travel allowances and other perks thrown in. Nevada teacher salaries run from $21,220 to $45,977.
  • The union's 16.000 Nevada members pay an average of $500 each year in dues. Of the $8 million total, $3.6 mill goes to the NSEA annual budget, $2 mill goes to the NEA, and $2.4 mill apparently disappears in smoke.
  • When negotiations between the Washoe County School District and the NSEA's Washoe County Teachers Association go to arbitration, the arbitrators are normally employees of the NEA, the parent organization of the NSEA, with a clear conflict of interest.
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Illustration from
NSEA: The 800-lb Gorilla of Nevada Politics

  • Nevada school districts spend taxpayer money to collect NSEA dues from teachers and turn the money over to the NSEA.
  • Bargained into the Washoe County contract is a provision giving the president of the county teachers association "up to 40 days leave without loss of pay" for union business.
  • Sixty-six Clark County teachers could not pass a standard teacher competency test last year.
  • Fifty-three percent of all Nevada taxes (the state budget) goes for education.
The Online Nevada article was prepared and written by NPRI research analyst Erica Olsen. For a copy, write NPRI, P.O.Box 20312, Reno NV 89515 or fax (702) 786-9604

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