Ohio union leaders become very wealthy from forced dues taken from members

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The hypocrisy of union bosses is breathtaking.

OEA-boss-payMediaTrackers reminded Ohioans of that fact this week when the news site published the salaries of teachers union officials who have been railing against rich and greedy Americans in their quest to preserve collective bargaining.

“If (the Ohio Education Association’s) annual reports are an indication, a leadership position in the teachers union should be the highest aspiration of any Ohioan who would like to become extraordinarily rich by attacking the rich while pandering to the people forced to pay his or her salary,” according to MediaTrackers.

At the top of the OEA’s big money list is outgoing union president Patricia Frost-Brooks, who took home a whopping $998,949 in forced union dues between 2008 and 2012. OEA Vice President Bill Leibensperger received $949,231 during the same time frame, and union secretary James Timlin walked away with $923,658, the news site reports.

“Thanks to union contracts that existed long before many current teachers were hired, the vast majority of OEA’s revenue comes from the more than $450 per year in dues deducted automatically from tens of thousands of Ohio teachers’ paychecks,” MediaTrackers reports.

“Based on OEA’s annual report to the U.S. Department of Labor, the union collected over $58 million in dues and ‘fair share’ fees in 2012.”

What’s interesting is how little input members have about where that money goes. About 1,010 OEA members – less than .8 percent – voted in the last union election, in which Becky Higgins beat out VP Leibensperger for the union’s top post.

Frost-Brooks collected $267,916 as president in 2012 and it’s presumed that Higgins’ salary will be similar, although she wouldn’t respond to MediaTrackers’ inquiry about the subject.

We suspect that if Ohio’s hardworking classroom teachers realized their dues dollars were squandered on such extravagant salaries for union bosses, they wouldn’t like it very much. Unfortunately, because teachers in Ohio are required to pay the union as a condition of employment, there isn’t much they can do about it.

There is, however, a job opening if any are interested.

“OEA is currently in the process of hiring a new executive director – a position that paid $222,167 in 2012 – whose responsibilities include leading union front group We Are Ohio,” the news site reports.

 By Victor Skinner at EAGnews.org

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