NEA Affiliates Prepare for Labor Department Oversight

Unions which represent private sector employees are covered under the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 (LMRDA).   The United States Labor Department is responsible for administering the LMRDA.  While most National Education Association (NEA) members are public sector employees, which are governed by the laws of their several states, those NEA affiliates which represent even one private sector employee, must file a report with the Labor Department under the Office of Labor Management Standards (OLMS).

If  the Labor Department puts this plan into effect,  ALL NEA affiliates would be required to file annual disclosure reports as an “intermediate body” of the National NEA union.  The reports to be filed will put NEA affiliates under a microscope.  The reports will be available not only to NEA members but also to the general public.  The reports, usually designated an LM-2 report, are filed annually and contain vital information about where union members’ money goes.  Disclosure includes officers’ salaries, assets, liabilities, and most other categories of how each union spends its members’ dues, including charitable contributions.   The availability of this tool should enhance union democracy and empower union members to ensure their union truly does represent them.

Mike Antonucci reports on how NEA affiliates are preparing to file LM-2 reports.

Under the new regulation, all NEA and AFT affiliates would be subject to the law, because they are “intermediate bodies” of the national unions.

NEA has battled against this interpretation since it was first proposed during the George W. Bush administration. In one respect, it has given up the fight.