The salaries and benefits of U.S. teachers have risen substantially in recent years, with the average package now approaching $48,000 annually. But this compensation is paltry compared to the deal worked out by the staff of the National Education Association in Washington, D.C. The average NEA employee earned over $97,000 in cash and benefits last year — $70,780 in salary and allowances, and another $26,230 in benefits.

Nearly 86 percent of the union’s national employees received more than the average teacher. In fact, 130 employees — a full 22 percent of its work force — received more than $100,000 in cash from the union last year. NEA’s 597-member staff consumes a payroll of $42.3 million and an additional $15.7 million in benefits.

The top earner was outgoing President Keith Geiger, who walked off with $309,400. His successor, Robert F. Chase, received $244,000 as vice president.

The figures for Chase are particularly edifying because, at a conference in California in February, Chase claimed not to know how much he made. An insistent union member finally received a written response from Chase that pegged his salary in the $180,000 range. This half-truth conveniently leaves off several cash allowances — some of which total as much as 20 percent of annual salary.

The cash compensation figures cited here include basic salary, living allowances, “fringe benefit” allowances, travel allowances, companion travel payments and other taxable stipends. Benefit costs include medical, dental, retirement, life insurance and other payments not made directly to the employee.

These annualized averages may even be understated because, for the purpose of computing averages, WorldNetDaily has assumed that all 597 employees worked full-time for the entire year. However, 25 employees received less than $10,000 from the union, suggesting they worked less than a full year or part-time.

WorldNetDaily also omitted disbursements to NEA’s board of directors, whose salaries are mostly paid by the state affiliates they represent. Even so, an additional $2.3 million was disbursed to the approximately 160-member board.

Perks granted to NEA officials were unavailable, but it is likely they are comparable to those afforded to board members of the California Teachers Association, NEA’s largest affiliate. Board members receive:

  • First-class air travel when the trip exceeds four hours.
  • Authorization for chartered airplane travel in case “constraints of timeliness” would “make it imperative.”
  • Reimbursement for laundry, dry cleaning, in-room movies and exercise facilities when a trip consists of three days or more.
  • A separate union phone line in their homes.
  • Automobile maintenance and repair, plus comprehensive insurance coverage if the vehicle is driven more than 10,000 miles for union business. The union self-insures the deductible.
  • Office supplies and computer equipment for board members’ homes.
  • A new set of luggage and a briefcase every three years.
  • $300 per month for child, pet or garden care.
  • Companion travel to three union events per year.

Executive officers receive, in addition to the above benefits, 30 days paid vacation and 24 days of sick leave per year; companion travel for 30 days per year; additional credit cards; an $1,800 per year annuity; free income tax preparation and free financial planning services. The union self-insures the deductibles for their health and welfare benefit costs, and maintains residences near CTA headquarters in Burlingame for the primary use of the executive officers.

The accompanying table shows the top 50 NEA earners for fiscal year 1995-96. All numbers are rounded to the nearest hundred.

NEA Cash Compensation, 1995-96:

1)Keith Geiger, president $309,400

2)Robert F. Chase, vice president $244,000

3)Marilyn Monahan, treasurer $239,600

4)Don Cameron, executive director $217,100

5)Mary Elizabeth Teasley, director $155,600

6)Kenneth Melley, asst. exec. director $154,700

7)Daniel C. McKillip, regional director $152,600

8)Tony J. Rollins, asst. exec. director $151,000

9)Eugene Dryer, regional director $146,900

10)Earl H. Jones, director $142,200

11) Donald J. Keck, org. specialist $141,600

12) Linda Boitano, manager $141,500

13) Phillip A. Moeckli, regional director $140,700

14) Nelson S. Okino, regional director $140,400

15) John De Mars, director $139,300

16) Elverta Williams, regional director $139,000

17) Irma L. Kramer, asst. exec. director $137,500

18) Evelyn M. Temple, asst. exec. director $137,000

19) Lynn M. Coffin, senior director $136,300

20) Larry Diebold, special assistant $135,300

21) Kristeen Hanselman, director $133,000

22) Lawrence Sorensen, director $132,700

23) Barbara J. Yentzer, director $132,700

24) Wayne S. Diviney, asst. exec. director $131,900

25) Gerald T. Gripper, org. specialist $130,100

26) Sheila Simmons, director $129,600

27) Charles E. Bolden, org. specialist $128,600

28) Charles T. Williams, director $127,200

29) Edwin L. Haynes, director $127,100

30) Leon Felix Jr., regional director $126,700

31) John McKaharay, org. specialist $125,900

32) Patricia Ann Orrange, director $124,600

33) John Chase, manager $124,100

34) Fred Eugene Grooms, org. specialist $123,700

35) Arlene Suzanne Flores, manager $123,300

36) Carmen A. Quesada, manager $122,900

37) Samuel Pizzigatti, director $122,600

38) Ronald D. Henderson, director $122,400

39) Lynn Ohman, director $122,100

40) Terry A. Sarra, director $121,300

41) Mae Tanaka Kim, org. specialist $120,600

42) Barry A. Melamed, org. specialist $120,400

43) Warlene Gary, manager $119,800

44) John E. Dunlop, director $119,800

45) Richard J. Nuanes, director $119,300

46) Maurice Joseph, dep. general counsel $118,300

47) Peter Arum, org. specialist $118,200

48) Wilbur V. Luna, manager $118,100

49) Patrick H. Perez, org. specialist $117,800

50) William R. Martin, director $117,700

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