A recently obtained a list of CTA contributions from its Association for Better Citizenship political action committee shows that a proportionally great deal of it is going to San Bernadino and San Fransisco.
For November 2011 local elections, CTA donated $14,432 to county party committees, ranging from $80 to the Tehama County Democratic Central Committee to $3,500 to the Orange County Democratic Central Committee.
In addition, the union PAC contributed $226,542 to at least 63 local elections. These ranged from $350 to the Chualar Teachers Association to support the school board candidacy of Rosalba Moreno to $20,000 contributions each to the United Educators of San Francisco PAC and the San Bernardino Teachers Association PAC (three of four school board winners).
Here’s the full list of PAC contributions to local affiliates and their ultimate destination, if available:
Alvord – $3,000
Baldwin Park – $3,234 ($1,078 each to Jack White, Natalie Ybarra, and Mary Ferrer, school board candidates)
Banning – $2,000
Beverly Hills – $2,000
Brawley – $1,500
Burlingame – $600 (Measure E – education parcel tax)
Chaffey – $4,250
Charter Oaks – $1,800
Chualar – $350 (Rosalba Moreno, school board candidate)
Citrus – $2,000
College of the Canyons – $10,000
Compton – $5,000
Culver City – $3,000 (Nancy Goldberg, school board candidate)
Dixon – $1,400
Eastside – $2,000
El Centro – $500 (Patricia Dunnam, school board candidate)
El Monte Union – $1,500
El Segundo – $2,000
Empire – $1,000
Eureka – $2,500
Fairfield-Suisun – $9,466
Garvey – $1,450
Hacienda La Puente – $4,200
Hart – $8,000 ($4,000 each to Gloria Mercado-Fortine and Steve Sturgeon, school board candidates)
La Canada – $1,000
Laguna Salada – $830 (Yes on L – parcel tax increase)
Las Virgenes – $9,000 (Measure K – parcel tax)
Lynwood – $5,000
Modesto – $9,000
Mountain View – $1,890
Newark – $575 (Measure G – school bond)
Newhall – $4,536 (Measure E – school bond)
Norwalk-La Mirada – $6,300
Oakdale – $4,000 (Synthia Jones – $3,000, Tina Shatswell – $1,000, both school board candidates)
Pacific Grove – $2,000 (Measure V – parcel tax)
Palmdale – $13,500
Perris – $1,000
Pomona – $6,000
Potter Valley – $1,000 ($500 each to school board candidates Tammie Smith and Diane Johnson)
Rio Hondo – $10,000
Riverbank – $2,000
Riverside – $4,000
Rosemead – $500 (Qui Nguyen, school board candidate)
Salinas – $1,600
San Bernardino – $20,000
San Francisco – $20,000
Sequoia – $5,000
South Tahoe – $1,400
Sulphur Springs – $2,200 ($1,100 each to Denis De Figueiredo and Rochelle Weinstein, school board candidates)
Sylvan – $3,436 (Steve Miller – $2,000, Chuck Rivera – $1,436, both school board candidates)
Temple City – $1,925
Ukiah – $3,500
Vacaville – $5,000
Visalia – $3,000 googletest
Westside Union – $1,400
Wilsona – $1,200
In each instance, the above money is in addition to whatever money may be raised and spent by the local affiliate. In large cities, this may be substantial. In smaller towns, this may be non-existent, giving the local teachers’ union power over local elections far beyond its numbers.
What is it like to have the CIT Model working for your association?
Horizon Certificated Employee Association has retained Goyette and Associates since June of 2009. In this relatively short time, G&A has provided our association and its members many comprehensive and competent services by professional representatives including attorneys, professional labor negotiators and access to survey and research departments.
It is great having a multiple labor representatives and attorneys dedicated to our association, its members, and our school. Their intimate knowledge of how our school operates in addition to the understanding the nuances of our labor agreement have changed the dynamic between our school’s administration and our association. In three years G&A has provided exceptional representation for countless grievances, coordinating and overseeing multiple fair association elections, filed several unfair labor practices, provided representation during disciplinary hearings, assisted in the monitoring of school budgets, accounting and business practices in addition to coordinating contract negotiation preparation guidance and successful contract negotiations. G&A’s labor representative assigned to our association provides at a minimum weekly contact regarding personnel issues and any outstanding issues between our association and our school’s administration.
The most impressive aspect of the service provided by G&A is the personal connections they have made with our membership, our association’s executive board, and maybe even more importantly is the mutual bridge of trust, honesty and respect that they have built with our school’s administration and human resources department. The impact of this positive relationship building has had an immeasurable effect on our members, our communication and problem solving with administration, and as a result a better more effective school.
CTA takes a huge amount of dues yet has created a representation model in which your colleagues, as part of a largely volunteer set of officers, bargaining team members, and shop stewards, do the vast majority of the work for your members. The money you send to CTA goes to pay for a huge, and ever growing, administrative bureaucracy, that apparently leaves no money for professional negotiators and lawyers to handle your disciplinary matters, contract enforcement, and bargaining.
Our Better Model is predicated on your independent teacher association having the freedom to hire, and thus fire, the labor and legal professionals that provide services to them. We do this every day and know what it costs to represent public employees, including teachers. The cost is far less than what CTA charges you because we don’t have the overhead and administrative costs they do, nor the political lobbying expenses they incur. Any extra money that you save (at least 50% of your current dues and maybe as much as 80%) can be returned to the teachers or spent on the services and issue that your local association decides is most important to you.
The biggest pension fund for California teachers, CalSTRS, is experiencing a massive funding gap and the California Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) is proposing new accounting rules for calculating the fund’s liabilities that will make those numbers even worse. CalSTRS currently has a funding gap of 56 billion dollars–the difference between money it expects to have compared with what it expects to have to pay out in benefits. If the new GASB accounting rules take effect that funding gap will be almost tripled to over 150 billion dollars.
Either way CalSTRS needs more money from taxpayers, teachers or both to avoid running out of money that pays out these benefits over the next 30 years. This issue, and many like it have created a hot button political debate pitting conservatives and conservative groups, who say the current public pension systems in California are unsustainable, against unions, that, while making some concessions, have resisted major structural changes. Unlike CalPERS, who can simply demand more money from their participants (cites, counties, and special districts) CalSTRS needs a legislative solution. In other words, CalStRS needs lawmakers to find a way to balance the books.
In many ways, CalSTRS’ current problem comes down to an accounting question: How should pension funds measure their long-term liabilities? Right now, pension funds base their calculation on a forecast that their investments will earn 7.75% a year. However, because public pensions are guaranteed by the taxpayer, many argue including GASB, that the assumed investment return should be much lower comparable to safe investments like U.S. Treasury Bills. If the investment earning assumption decreases the pension fund simply needs more cash, a lot more. It is fair to assume the pension fund investments will earn at least 7.75% per year? Maybe, maybe not. Look at your own personal investments over the years for guidance. Certainly there have been years when average investment earnings have exceeded 7.75% (dot com boom, real estate boom, etc.) Of course there have been years when investment earnings have been far less than 7.75% or even in the negative. What the question really is: How much tolerance for risk does or should the California taxpayer have.