Sunlight had a chance to look at the NJEA’s latest financial statements (for the fiscal year ending August 31, 2021) and there were some interesting nuggets of information:
- NJEA Leaderships pensions continue to be gold-plated and very secure. Sunlight did an extensive report on the NJEA leadership’s gold-plated, well-funded pensions – as contrasted with the NJEA membership’s modest and severely underfunded pensions. The FY2021 financials show that the NJEA leadership’s pensions continue to be an exceptionally strong 96%-funded (in other words, there are 96 cents set aside for every dollar owed), and this is using a very conservative 2.8% discount rate. Remember that NJEA members’ pensions are funded at 35.6% using a 7% discount rate. If members’ pensions used a 2.8% discount rate, their funding ratio would be substantially lower and at deep crisis levels.
- The NJEA’s Super PAC has $6.4 million reserve (slush fund?) funded by members’ dues. Not only does the NJEA pour millions of dollars into its Super PAC, Garden State Forward, every year ($9.4 million in FY2021), but it now has $6.4 million in assets as some sort of floating reserve – dare we say “slush fund” – available to be used to win elections wherever and whenever the NJEA leadership chooses. That’s a lot of firepower lying around unused, which all goes to show that the NJEA is simply awash with members’ highest-in-the-nation dues and content to leave it sitting around.
- The NJEA is clearly losing members. In FY2021, the NJEA raised its highest-in-the-nation dues from $950 to $999, a 5.2% increase. Yet the NJEA’s dues revenues only increased 1.4%. That leaves a difference of 3.8%. The NJEA no longer provides actual membership levels and now we can guess why. We know from news reports that a significant number of teachers retired early during the pandemic, and we know that some teachers quit the NJEA because they no longer wanted to be members. So Sunlight asks: how many members does the NJEA have?
OVERARCHING THEME: The NJEA Leadership continues to look out for its own interests, making sure their pensions are gold-plated and very secure and that they have millions of members’ dues-money to spread their influence around New Jersey’s political system. No wonder the NJEA is losing members.