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West Chester Union Dues Not Used for Lobbying PSEA Says

Union dues collected by the West Chester Education Association cannot legally be used for lobbying.

In the past few school board meetings .

School Board Vice President Hedi Adsett wrote a letter to the Daily Local where she stated:

“This money gets used by the state (PSEA) and national (NEA) teacher unions for various political lobbying activities, and under a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United case it can also be used for independent campaign expenditures.”

Amanda Wollert is the West Chester teachers’ union Pennsylvania State Education Association representative, and she said that it is illegal for union money collected by the district to be used for political causes.

“It’s completely illegal for that money to be used for lobbying or any political issue in the state or nationally,” Wollert said.  “The only thing that money is used for is to help teachers.”

Besides being used to help in contract negotiations, union money can also be used for representation in wrongful termination litigation or a number of other ways. 

It cannot be used for political contributions or lobbying.

However, the PSEA does have a political action committee named PACE, or the Political Action Committee for Education.

Members of PSEA can voluntarily donate money to PACE, but they are not required to do so in the West Chester Area School District.

According to Wollert, there are districts that collect PACE dues as well as PSEA dues, but West Chester is not one of them.

To read more about the contract negotiations please click on any of the following links:

Simon says August 03, 2012 at 05:34 PM
Simon says respect my authority, or rather my lack thereof, while I spew more political propaganda upon you minions under the guise of the first amendment. Look at me mum, don't I make you proud?!
Seavet1 August 03, 2012 at 07:57 PM
Thanks Jake, will find out how to make a donation to PACE
Simon says August 03, 2012 at 10:25 PM
Simon says don't contribute to PACE at www.psea.org/apps/pace.aspx or join Partners for Public Education at http://www.partnersforpubliced.org/PartnersForPE.aspx?ekfrm=8626. Oh bollocks, someone peed in my Yorkshire pudding!
Who Is Monk August 04, 2012 at 12:08 PM
I join Seavet1 in thanking Jake again for explaining this to the public. The Patch has far surpassed the Daily Yokel on reporting! And I too will make a donation to PACE. I will continue ignore addressing all nasty, tiny twits who mention pee in their pudding.
Simon Campbell August 04, 2012 at 02:17 PM
This report is 100% inaccurate and regional PSEA representative Amanda Wollert doesn't have the slightest idea what she's talking about. Jake, if you want to get a quote from someone in PSEA who actually knows this issue then you should contact PSEA Staff Attorneys Michelle Duggan or Richard Burridge in Harrisburg. You just published a report that makes you look bad because it is totally false. It is a statement of fact that PSEA and NEA spend money on lobbying because the Unions themselves disclose it on their federally mandated LM2 reports which are available for inspection and download at the U.S. Department of Labor's website. And the reason that a so-called "fair share feepayer" (non-Union teacher forced to pay dues) pays a lower rate of dues than a Union member is precisely because that person cannot be compelled to pay for the Union's political or ideological speech under numerous U.S. Supreme Court case precedents. I'll put out a website soon giving the public the facts since Patch just became little more than a mouthpiece for the teachers' Union to have false information published. And Heidi Adsett isn't the President either.
Simon Campbell August 04, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Jake, the reason this news report is embarrassing to Patch is because you never sought an opposing view to give readers the chance to consider that this PSEA regional rep doesn't know what she's talking about. PSEA and NEA are required by federal law to file LM2 financial disclosure reports. You can get PSEA's most recent report by entering their File Number 512989 at the top of: http://kcerds.dol-esa.gov/query/getOrgQry.do Then you click on the words "2011 Report". Scroll down to Statement B and you see that they declared $4.2 million in "Political Activities and Lobbying". If Patch wishes to become nothing more than a mouthpiece for the teachers' Union then nobody except teacher Union fans is going to bother reading it. The same LM2 report shows Amanda Wollert earned $70,912 salary plus $3,734 additional disbursements for a total of $74,646. I decided to look up whether Ms. Wollert is a licensed attorney since she is commenting on legal matters. A search for her name at http://www.padisciplinaryboard.org/pa_attorney_search.php reveals no result. You got a legal opinion, Jake, from a PSEA regional rep who is not an attorney and who gave you false information and you never thought to check with anyone whether what she said was accurate before you printed a story. Sloppy, sloppy, journalism.
Simon says August 04, 2012 at 04:44 PM
Oh Jake, you silly little twit. I am Simon and Simon says everyone who disagrees with me is wrong, I am clearly perfect and you all should do as I say. If you would like, I could write something for you, just like I do for my other minions. (You rock on, Heidi!) Now stop getting my knickers in a bunch!
Simon Campbell August 04, 2012 at 05:25 PM
These types of comments are embarrassing to the anonymous Union bloggers who post them. Facts are facts. And public record financial disclosure forms do not lie. I suggest Mr. Anonymous that you grow up because the teachers' Union is seriously unpopular in the court of public opinion.
Cathy Binder August 04, 2012 at 09:22 PM
Mr. Campbell. With all due respect when you tell people - grown adults to basically be quiet and listen to you only all credibility is lost. I am not a union shill, but I am a taxpayer in this district. My taxes are not high, I have been very impressed with the teachers and administrators, not so much with the board. I read a lot and sorry, I do not agree with you and what I perceive by and large as your largely ideological view. Perhaps I live in the world of parents, but we are not teacher and union haters. In fact by and large the people I talk to support our teachers and want to see a fair contract. The money they earn is theirs and honestly if they want to contribute towards espousing their point of view last I checked that is what America is all about. Same as you do, in a community that is not your own.
Simon Campbell August 04, 2012 at 11:40 PM
Ms. Binder, you seem to have a problem with facts. I see no reference to requiring anyone to listen to anyone. What I do see a reference to is PSEA's 2011 LM-2 financial disclosure form as posted on the U.S. Department of ,Labor's website; showing the Union's expenditure of money on political activities and lobbying. Thereby refuting the false information given by the PSEA regional rep that formed the basis of this report. I'm sorry that you have a problem with facts. But facts are facts. As to your notion as to what is "fair" for teacher compensation I have little to say to liberals who don't understand Act 1 & PSERS, and what it would mean to students to issue a pay raise under these constraints ...simply because liberals don't understand money they only understand feelings. And feelings don't pay the bills.
Cathy Binder August 05, 2012 at 12:34 AM
Say what you want sir, but I do not think your facts as you call them are irrefutable. And our teachers have bit the bullet. I,even as a taxpayer, do not believe they need to be the scapegoat for all that is wrong with the system. I do not believe they are overpaid at all, but are fairly compensated and deserving of a cost of living increase. Our test scores are high, and absent some type of equitable and fair merit pay system that rewards then we may for the foreseeable contract be stuck with the step system with some modifications. I got a merit increase this year in the private sector and my husband a cost of living. We work in the corporate world. So, in reality while times are tough we must realize that the gloom and doom you want to portray is not everywhere, and in WCASD it is not as bad you want to make it out to be. So argue your facts all you want, I respectfully disagree and could cite by own, but you have I believe no interest in listening. And I must wonder, what is your interest in our little community? I am sorry but I smell a rat with you here, just again my humble opinion, and based on the first amendment I am free to express it - factual or not.
Seavet1 August 05, 2012 at 12:44 AM
I agree with Simon in one point, there is no requirement that you listen to him or acknowledge him. So lets carry on with out him. Cathy I agree we parents are the ones who need to watch what this board is doing, I stil believe we need a parents watch dog group.
Simon Campbell August 05, 2012 at 01:29 PM
The fact that PSEA and NEA are required by federal law (the Labor Management Reporting Disclosure Act of 1959) to file an LM2 financial report is an irrefutable fact. The fact that both Unions disclose the expenditure of money on political activities and lobbying on these disclosure returns is an irrefutable fact. The fact that the U.S. Dept. of Labor makes them available for public viewing on its website is an irrefutable fact. I just posted the link to where anyone can get them. It's ridiculous to pretend these facts don't exist! If a Union-member teacher is happy with his or her Union dues being spent on political causes that's his or her decision. The point however is whether that teacher should have a right to use governmental resources to assist the collection of political money. Mrs. Adsett says no. I agree with her, as do many other people. Let the Union collect it's own money. That decision aside, facts are facts about what the Union spends it on. It's in the public record!
Simon Campbell August 05, 2012 at 01:39 PM
As to watch dog groups I'm setting up one for the Board too, to make sure they stop pandering to Union and liberal activists at the expense of students and taxpayers.
Cathy Binder August 06, 2012 at 01:15 AM
Simon - don't you have a school board you are supposed to be serving on? Why are you here stirring the pot? I don't sense anyone as upset as you on these boards. We may have people in our community with different points of view - fine. But you seem bent on making trouble. Again I must ask - why? The rat stink is getting worse by the day.
Simon Campbell August 06, 2012 at 02:02 AM
Now I'm being told how to live my life. Priceless! The only rat stink is the West Chester show called "Liberals Run Wild" that has been playing in town for the last two years. We've got false information being given in online news stories; and liberals who want all teachers forced into Unionism, with taxpayers collecting the political dues money, and kids allowed to be thrown out of school. Next thing I know a liberal will be complaining after I publicly post all teacher union members names, salaries, and compensation details on the web. And the liberal argument will be "we don't like public information being public!"
Truth hurts August 06, 2012 at 05:41 AM
UNIONS?! Where are unions when you need them, i.e. Walmart putting full time employees at the public trough for healthcare, meanwhile $65,000 for a teacher who works 7.5 hour days and has summers off. (Sounds like Walmart employees should unionize, huh?) Teacher unions?! How dare teachers work with kids, even during lunches and planning periods, and then still spend time off the clock, helping kids, grading papers, making lesson plans, etc. And a masters degree you say? In what? gymteacherismology? Probably got that at night, when they could have been spending time with their families. Unions figured this stuff out, give politicians huge bribes, er, um, I mean campaign contributions out of their own pockets. It's not like there are extremely wealthy individuals giving bribes, er, um, I mean donations to ultra right wing conservative politicians so that they don't have to pay taxes. And unions have another trick all you whiners need to learn, they vote in huge blocks, and are not shy about letting the politicians and the public know exactly why. How dare they talk about meaningful issues that effect everyone. Its not like investing in education keeps crime down while creating stronger communities. How dare they keep in place everything everyone has fought for over the last 70 years. It's not like we've all benefited from 40 hour work weeks, paid vacations, fair and equitable salaries, or just-cause, you know, like fighting wrongful terminations and unfair working conditions.
Cathy Binder August 06, 2012 at 07:10 AM
Oh Simon, you love to make an issue where one really doesn't exist. What I want is the contract settled so we can get back to school. Your perceived liberalism gone wild is a fantasy. It would seem that the numbers themselves would mostly likely establish the teachers in this district are happy with their union. In this district their dues are not going to the political arm of the PSEA and those contributions are voluntary. And in the end, so what. My tax dollars seem to be spent daily by a board whose views I do not espouse at all, and last I checked they are supposed to represent the community not their narrow ideology. But, I live with that as they were duly elected. But I can speak out, I can state my unhappiness even though they try their best to silence me. And how are kids being thrown out of school? And go ahead and post your salaries - who cares. I only ask when you do you are sure to post also the salaries of the administrators, and also the years of service and education. Then, go on to post the salaries of all the other employees in the unions that are also negotiating contracts, the support personnel and maintenance staff. They are also unionized, and I see you have not chosen to include them in your diatribes. They also are part of the school employee pension system, can also strike, and have.
Simon Campbell August 06, 2012 at 11:55 AM
If a teacher is happy with the Union then fine. But your support of forcing all current or prospective non-Union teacher into paying Union dues is a good example of liberalism gone wild. The dues are being spent on political activity, political causes, and political lobbying. And the dues are mandatory given the existence of the maintenance of membership and so-called fair share provisions in the contract, and this political money is being processed through payroll. The voluntary arm to which you refer is merely the hard campaign money. These are the facts. Liberals love this artificial forced taxpayer support of Union coercion and political power. Regular people do not.
Cathy Binder August 06, 2012 at 01:10 PM
And should our school board be imposing their political views upon our community, or should they be be putting the needs of children first? I point out as one example the turning down of a $500,000 GRANT that would have benefited literacy. Despite their protestations to the contrary this would not have added anything but good to the community. In the end you are a one trick pony Mr. Campbell. I see the teachers doing good every day. They more you speak the more I understand why teachers need unions and a political arm to defend them and what they do. You seem to understand nothing of education and what it takes to be a quality district. We have one here, and I would like to keep it that way. If that means I pay a bit more in taxes - okay. I bought my house here because of the high quality schools, teachers and program. I expect to pay for it. If that means my teachers are paid more, fine. If they lobby to be sure their rights are protected - good. That is what America is all about. As far as payroll deduction - well let's stop deducting for United Way then too. I would be curious how much our teachers and staff contribute to that each year? I am sure some of those dollars go to causes you would not support. In the end this is the TEACHER's money. Why do you focus on this trivial nonsense. In my mind this is like an issue looking for a problem.
Simon Campbell August 06, 2012 at 01:34 PM
The needs of the children do come first which is why the WCASD Board needs to propose an across-the-board salary cut in order to maintain available resources for students given the constraints of Act 1 and PSERS. You are little more than a liberal mouthpiece for the militant agenda of the teachers' Union, Ms. Binder. If you ever debated these issues with someone like Mrs. Adsett on television then you wouldn't last five minutes. Compulsory Union dues, compulsory continued Union membership, and payroll deduction of Union political money are all legitimate negotiating points to discuss under current state law. It is your belief that these appalling practices should continue, that constitutes a radical political view you seek to enforce upon the community. The reasonable person wants this types of Union coercion and politics to be removed from our public education system. I once heard the PSEA President Mike Crossey, at a Senate hearing, attempt to liken the deduction of the Union's political money to the deduction of money for charities like the United Way (proving once again how you sing from the Union playbook); and he literally got laughed at by the audience. To suggest that a political entity like PSEA is the same as the Red Cross or the United Way is so absurd as to be laughable. If it's trivial then just agree that teachers should just set up direct deposit to their political Union. People can see through teacher Union-lovers easily.
RoxyD August 06, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Simon Campbell can keep stroking Heidi Adsett's ego all he wants. I hope he talks her into debating someone on television. It was just show how polarizing they are. It's all talk and bullying. He can't bust his own union so he is looking for a minion to do it for him. Check out the Pennsbury Teacher's Union website: http://www.peaunited.com/ .
Simon says August 06, 2012 at 04:35 PM
Simon says only Simon can refute irrefutable facts. Long live Simon the Irrefutable! Time for tea and krimpets!
Cathy Binder August 06, 2012 at 05:14 PM
Funny how when these lovely board members of ours were running for office they ran from any opportunity to debate their opposition. Speaks volumes to me. Mr. Simon can characterize me as a radical all he wants. He does not clearly even know what the term means. In the world I went to school in simple disagreement with the status quo does not make one radical. Those who want to change the system are the radicals Mr. Campbell. And I have never said change may not be needed, but the tone of his rhetoric disturbs me and suggests an ulterior motive.
Simon Campbell August 06, 2012 at 06:25 PM
Now that is just funny. Oh no, not the scary PEA!! Their candidates have been crushed in the last two election cycles at Pennsbury. Literally beaten by 18-20 points. That said, who's talking about busting any Union? Why would a Union be busted if it couldn't use the government to collect it's money? And why would a Union be busted if it couldn't force non-members to pay dues? Please explain this logic. According to liberal Ms. Binder the Union is popular with the teachers, meaning they should all want to belong and want to pay their dues. How hard would it be for the Union to send them a direct deposit authorization form to pay their dues from their personal bank accounts? You folk are just proving my point! Namely that everyone knows the teachers' Union only derives its artificial power through the coercion of others and the collection of money by the the govt. I can tell you definitively that most Board Directors have no idea that these items are negotiable under current law so there's no way they'd even know campaign on them (although I did). When they find out, the good ones take a stand. If left-wing liberals want to take the Union view on such matters then those liberals should run candidates promising to please the Union and then count the votes.The idea that pleasing the Union would be popular among regular people is amusing.
Simon Campbell August 06, 2012 at 06:29 PM
And I do want to change the system Ms. Bender. Monopoly union bargaining inside public education is a disaster for students and taxpayers alike. Let's eliminate it. You are the one who loves the status quo of forced unionism, strikes, and politicizing the payroll dept. You can have whatever disagreement you like. The problem at WCASD is that the Board has been too weak in dealing with left-wing liberals on the outside.
Cathy Binder August 06, 2012 at 09:29 PM
Mr. Campbell, please go take your medication. You are just too funny. I am glad this consumes so much of your life, as clearly you do not have one. All I know is that I love my community, my schools, my teachers. We are pretty happy around here and your screaming and yelling about the so called "liberals" is quite entertaining. Even if the teachers had to submit a direct deposit form - so what, who cares - most of us see this as a NON ISSUE!!!!!! Do you get it yet. Virtually all our teachers opt in to the union. We as a community do not see them as some evil force to be reckoned with. Those that do in my estimation probably have not spent much time in our schools, with our teachers. Is there dead wood - sure. Can we improve - always. But so can every organization. The things you demand and think are the solutions will not make improvements. Our taxes are the lowest in the county, our schools rated in the top ten districts in the state, and our teachers do not make at the top of the pack by any measure. So really Mr. Campbell aside from sticking your nose in where it is not wanted - what is your problem. And don't you have a real job to go to every day?
RoxyD August 06, 2012 at 10:42 PM
Mr. Campbell, how should the WCASD Board deal with those you consider "left-wing liberals on the outside"? How have you been successful in doing so? To me it seems they are desperate to get rid of you in your district. How long have you been at this now? Your approach doesn't really seem to be very effective.
Truth hurts August 08, 2012 at 12:54 AM
Again, there are plenty of underachieving schools as well as districts in our urban areas, such as Philadelphia. Why wouldn't outspoken activists on a mission focus their efforts there first? Why would affluent high performing school districts with low taxes draw their attention? Could it be they were asked? Could it be it is just easier and safer to cause trouble? How does this help kids in need?

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