WEAC’s Executive Director Dan Burkhalter confirmed today that layoff notices are being issued to 42 WEAC employees today, approximately 40 percent of the state-level organization’s workforce. The following statement can be attributed to Dan Burkhalter:
“Obviously WEAC is affected by Governor Walker’s union-busting legislation, and our organization is responding on many fronts. Layoffs and budget cuts are a reaction to the legislative action that was taken. …”
The “union-busting legislation” Burkhalter refers to is the provision that prohibits automatic payroll deduction of WEAC or local teacher union dues. As a poster on Fairly Conservative puts it:
Why would WEAC receive significantly less money under the new budget and Act 10. We know that the vast majority of school districts have not been forced to make layoffs and some have even hired more teachers. In addition to this, gross salary cuts were not part of Act 10.
This leaves the most likely source of the WEAC budget difficulties: teachers are taking advantage of Act 10 and choosing not to pay dues or are paying less in dues now that it is voluntary.
Before state law was changed, according to the Lakeland Times, state teachers working full-time paid $295.o1 in dues to WEAC, plus $19.99 to WEAC’s political action committee, plus $166 to the National Education Association, plus their local union dues. That $295.01 per full-time teacher generated $23.4 million in revenue for WEAC. Unlike their members, public employee unions, and particularly management of unions, contribute absolutely, positively nothing of value to this state.
On the other hand, perhaps WEAC wouldn’t have had to lay off 40 percent of its employees (and I wonder what their union thinks) had it made better use of those union dues instead of, say, spending $500,000 in failing to capture Democratic control of the state Senate. Or, for that matter, employing, with six-figure salaries, a president and an executive director. In fact, according to WEAC’s 2008 IRS 990 form, six WEAC management made more than $100,000, substantially more than any of WEAC’s members. (The average WEAC employee — as in $14,382,812 in compensation divided by WEAC’s 151 employees in 2009 — made $95,250, which is also more than any WEAC member.) Five management of the Wisconsin State Employees Union made more than $100,000 in 2008, and 19 management of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees made more than $100,000 in 2009.
Middle class, my … well, you finish the sentence.