January 11, 2019 at 4:38 pm

‘What Percent Are You?’: 1/3 of Teachers’ Union Employees are in Top 5% Income Bracket or Higher

Education Minnesota’s most recent federal filings covered the organization’s revenues and expenditures from September 1, 2017 through August 31, 2018. While this period does include the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on Janus v. AFSCME, it does not extend through the union’s resignation/opt-out window (which is limited to only seven days at the end of September). We will not know the impact of Janus on the union’s membership totals until early 2020.

We can, however, analyze other numbers, such as Education Minnesota salary disbursements.

The union reported 159 employees (including the president, vice president, treasurer, and part-time staff) in 2017-2018. At least 5 of these positions were temporary “campaign project” staffers.

Out of the 159, 70 employees made a gross salary of $100,000 or more. Only four of the 70 experienced a pay-cut, with the rest receiving increases.

Some of the more prominent pay increases included:

    • A director of human resources received a $24,835 salary increase (from $109,230 to $133,390)
    • A manager of field services received a $14,259 salary increase (from $110,418 to $124,677)
    • An attorney received an $11,115 salary increase (from $111,732 to $122, 847)

We do not know if these pay raises are a result of an increased workload or additional job duties, but their job titles did remain the same from the previous year’s report.

Using a calculator created by The Wall Street Journal, Americans can compare their personal incomes with other earners and determine what percentile they fall under. Users can also select categories (sex, race, generation, and the highest level of education completed) to further filter results.

Education Minnesota President Denise Specht’s gross salary of $192,481 placed her in the top two percent of Americans earning money. Around 1/3 of the union’s employees placed in the fifth percentile income bracket or higher. And 99 out of the 159 employees earned personal incomes higher than the average annual wages for secondary school teachers in Minnesota ($65,290).

The number of employees earning $100,000 or higher has steadily increased over the past three reporting cycles—in 2015, 56 employees had salaries $100,000 or higher; in 2016, 67 employees; in 2017, 70 employees. The number of employees earning more than $60,000 but less than $100,000 went from 47 in 2015 to 36 in 2016 back up to 38 in 2017. Those making between $30,000 and $59,999 have remained generally steady.

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