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As nearly 5,000 city teachers face the ax, their union shells out millions of dollars on feasting, boozing and partying, the Daily News has learned.

Free-spending United Federation of Teachers brass last year spent nearly $1.4 million for the UFT's 50th anniversary gala at the Hilton - complete with a movie, a book and a paperweight.

Records show they:

* Ponied up $514,000 to 16 separate caterers.
* Dropped $278,417 on the annual Teachers Union Day ceremony at the Waldorf-Astoria.
* Bought $6,100 in gift baskets from a lower East Side candy store - and plowed $179,000 into training retreats at a Connecticut resort boasting golf, scuba diving and aqua aerobics.

In one amazing feat of spending, they shelled out $114,870 for annual "coffee supplies" at their five offices across the city - paying the Coffee Distributing Corp. on Long Island $324,000 over three years, records show.

And while most New Yorkers spend hours trying to find a parking space, the UFT rents 25 slots in Brooklyn's Renaissance Plaza Garage for members at an average annual cost of $75,000 over three years.

"I'm not going to apologize for spending money to service our members," said UFT President Michael Mulgrew.

"These people are heroes dedicated to making a difference in the lives of our children. They never get the respect they deserve. A cup of coffee, a bottle of water and a few parking spots is the least we can do for them."

The $284,078-a-year union boss got a little more than coffee when he took the reins in August 2009: The UFT feted him with a $6,400 "Welcome, Michael" party at a Brazilian steakhouse.

Mulgrew describes it as dinner for 130 union members, most of them volunteers, that came to barely $50 a head.

Three months later, the union bid farewell to his predecessor, Randi Weingarten, with a goodbye bash at the Tribeca Grill. Price tag: $8,339. "Mayor Bloomberg came and I tried to get him to pay," Mulgrew said. "Wouldn't do it."

Drawing from an annual honeypot of $126 million in members' dues, the union last year flung open the spigots even as it took fire for protecting dismal teachers and fighting reforms.

"These are wasteful, fantastic and outrageous expenditures, and they learned their profligate ways from the government spenders they negotiate with," said Sol Stern, a Manhattan Institute scholar and veteran education advocate.

Not Paris, but it is the Hilton

The spending orgy comes to light a week after after The News disclosed that cops bounced 24 rowdy UFT reps from an Albany eatery after they caused a ruckus over an $1,800 tab - and the modest size of a $40 gourmet quail.

Turns out over-the-top spending and a party-hearty culture is a union trademark.

Documented in the UFT's 2010 annual report to the U.S. Labor Department are details of the union's "Golden Jubilee," a gala bash last March that drew 2,500 members of the "UFT family."

It cost to $679,246 for the event at the Hilton New York.

To mark the milestone for posterity, a CUNY TV Foundation crew was paid $220,000 to film the documentary "UFT: Celebrating 50 Years," and all attendees got a DVD.

The UFT paid a printer $262,406 for a special book and anniversary journal. Paperweights emblazoned with the UFT logo cost $46,333. Balloons, $20,000 for entertainment and other expenses brought the tally to $1.4 million, filings show.

The UFT says it recouped $125,000 by charging members $50 a head, and donations from vendors and advertisers brought in an additional $275,000. Bottom line: That left the UFT out $1 million for the gala.

"We're very proud of the work we've done in 50 years as a union, and it deserved to be celebrated with dignity and respect," Mulgrew said.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local...l_as_teachers_face_layoffs.html#ixzz1Fao5MNvA
 

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Grey Squirrel
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While I'm no big fan of the teacher's union, the money they spent comes from the dues paid by the 80,000+ NYC teachers.... the city does not contribute money to the union coffers. As I see it, they can spend the money how they see fit and if the members take umbrage there are tools in place for them to challenge it. The NYC schools are a complete disaster, you couldn't pay enough to send my children to school there.

As an after thought, the mayor uses layoff threats as a means of forcing concessions from all the public unions. Seemingly at the ned of the day he never lays anyone off. This is also a city that cried doom and gloom and claimed a billion dollar budget deficit..... and by the stroke of luck when they were forced to go to the state to request money for this shortfall they uncovered two billion dollars through an "accounting oversight". Mayor Bloomberg is a savy business man who changed the term limts laws to suit his own needs, his popularity is falling like a lead balloon, and he's a flat out liar.
 

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hmm, did you know, the union bosses all have their pensions fully funded? They have nothing to lose... and everything to gain.
 

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Grey Squirrel
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hmm, did you know, the union bosses all have their pensions fully funded? They have nothing to lose... and everything to gain.
Union leaders are teachers, they are part of the teachers retirement system just like all NYC teachers, City University (CUNY) professors, and some NYC Charter schools.
 

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Grey Squirrel
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Yes, and who pays their salaries?
What does that have to do with anything? Once it is paid in a salary it is the recipients to do with as they please, in this case pay union dues. To say the tax payer has a say in how a union member's salary is spent is a little over reaching.. The taxpayer does not directly fund the union and has no say in how union funds are spent, the union members are the ones who have a say and in this case apparently aren't bothered by it as they all receive financial statements from the union every year that details how the dues money was spent.
 

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What does that have to do with anything? Once it is paid in a salary it is the recipients to do with as they please, in this case pay union dues. To say the tax payer has a say in how a union member's salary is spent is a little over reaching.. The taxpayer does not directly fund the union and has no say in how union funds are spent, the union members are the ones who have a say and in this case apparently aren't bothered by it as they all receive financial statements from the union every year that details how the dues money was spent.
Far reaching? :rolling:


Ok. :laughing:
 

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Can you be a teacher and not be part of the union? If so, how much pressure is exerted to force you into the union?
When CCE (coca-cola enterprises) faced a union vote in FL in 1991 while I was an employee they so detested the union they promised to fix all the problems. We believed and voted 90% to 10% against the union. I was in FL last year and talked to a CCE employee. The changes they promised us are still in effect. unions are no longer needed. Just the threat of them. Companies are willing to do basically what it takes to keep them out.
 

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Grey Squirrel
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Far reaching? :rolling:


Ok. :laughing:
Should a tax payer who is anti smoking say that a teacher shouldn't buy cigarettes with their tax payer funded salary?

As I have said, I am in no way a fan of the UFT for a number of reasons. The main purpose of this article to give the false impression that the taxpayer is on the hook for these pricey expenditures and it seemes to have worked convincing many.
 

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Grey Squirrel
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Can you be a teacher and not be part of the union?
Yes, but if the teacher chooses not to be a member the union does not provide the dental and vision coverage and does not provide legal representation when facing legal actions stemming from their employment. The dental and vison benefits, although not very good, are reason enough to get a teacher to join the UFT.
 

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If a teacher chooses to smoke the tobacco industry does not fully support one political party or the other. typically democrat. I think that is a giant 'smoking" hole in your argument.
 

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At the company I work for the only way you don't get the benefits you described is if you choose not to pay for them. Not whether you belong to a group of people you either do or don't want to belong to.
 

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Also, I agree the taxpayer is not directly paying for the expenditures that were described. But again the unions only support one side of the story and that is my biggest problem.
 

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Grey Squirrel
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If a teacher chooses to smoke the tobacco industry does not fully support one political party or the other. typically democrat. I think that is a giant 'smoking" hole in your argument.
I happen not to agree, no one has any say in how another spends their salary, you'll never convince me otherwise. This is the members money, not the tax payers money.

Now if you want to argue that the tax payer has a say in how the individual school district spends its allocated money I'm in full support.

I'm no big fan of unions but you can't blame them for things that simply are not true simply because they are viewed as the evil.
 

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Its been a while, but I completely agree with Ponch. Teachers' salaries are completely independant of union dues. The union can make their dues whatever they can get from the teachers, but that does not change the salary the state pays teachers every week.

Look at it this way. Boehner likes to play golf, his salary comes from tax payers. Should I be outraged that he plays at expensive private course vs cheap park district courses? No, he got his money and can do with it what he pleases.
 
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