How Membership Dues Are Spent at the California Nurses Association
With the pandemic out of control in this country and the demand for healthcare workers and particularly nurses soaring, the National Nurses United (NNU) has been all over the news explaining, defending, cajoling, opining, and talking about nursing in general.
Often referred to as the largest nursing union in the country, the NNU was formed in 2009 when the California Nurses Association (CNA)/National Nurses Organizing Committee/AFL-CIO (NNOC), the United American Nurses, and the Massachusetts Nurses Association came together as 4 founding organizations to create NNU, the largest union and professional association of nurses in the US.
It is important to note that CNA and NNU have a joint employee arrangement under which all NNU employee-related expenses including payroll and benefits are paid through the CNA payroll system. NNU reimburses CNA for these expenses. The Executive Director of CNA has been retained by NNU to also serve as Executive Director of NNU.
CNA is overseen by a board of 37 voting members, 28 of whom are independent. The Form 990 lists 30 board members, 27 of whom are female and 3 whom are male.
CNA is a non-profit 501 (c) 5 labor organization with more than 100,000 members in hospitals, clinics, and home healthcare agencies in the US. For the year ending June 30, 2018, CNA reported total revenue of $123 million (compared to $108 million the prior year) with nearly all revenue coming from membership dues and assessments. Membership dues to unions are often based on gross income so a specific dues amount is not disclosed. However, if there are 100,000 members, then the average membership dues were about $1,200 annually. If there were about 125,000 members, then the annual membership dues were about $1,000.
CNA reported total expenses totaled $86 million (not including $2 million in depreciation) – 70% of revenue – and can be categorized as follows:
- $41 million (33% of revenue): Compensation
- $20 million (16% of revenue): Per Capita Payment
- $12 million (10% of revenue): Travel and Conferences
- $ 6 million (5% of revenue): Office-Related Expenses
- $ 3 million (2% of revenue): Fees for Services
- $ 2 million (2% of revenue): Other Expenses
- $ 1 million (1% of revenue): Advertising and Promotion
- $ 1 million (1% of revenue): Grants
Using the above information, every $100 in revenue was spent as follows:
-$ 33: Compensation
-$ 16: Per Capita Payment
-$ 10: Travel and Conferences
-$ 5: Office-Related Expenses
-$ 2: Fees for Services
-$ 2: Other Expenses
-$ 1: Advertising and Promotion
-$ 1: Grants
-$ 70: Total Expenses
$ 30: Excess Revenue: To General Fund
Another way to look at this is to assume the membership dues were $1,000 for each member. Only $700 of the $1,000 was spent (with the remaining $300 retained in the general fund) as follows:
$1,000: Membership Dues
-$ 330: Compensation
-$ 160: Per Capita Payment
-$ 100: Travel and Conferences
-$ 50: Office-Related Expenses
-$ 20: Fees for Services
-$ 20: Other Expenses
-$ 10: Advertising and Promotion
-$ 10: Grants
-$ 700: Total Expenses
$ 300: Excess Revenue: To General Fund
As illustrated above, the CNA only spent 70% of the revenue reported with the two largest expenses being compensation and a “per capita payment” (the meaning of which is unclear). 741 employees were compensated $41 million, which equates to an average compensation of $56,000. 143 employees received more than $100,000 in compensation with the most highly compensated employee reported to be Michael Griffing, who received $580,707.
It is also important to note CNA paid for first class or charter travel. No detail was provided.
In summary, CNA is part of the largest nurses union in the country. More than 100,000 members provided $123 million (or an estimated $1,000-$1,200 annually each) in revenue in 2018. CNA spent 70% of revenue with the three largest expenses being compensation for the 741 employees, per capita payments, and travel and conferences (including first class or charter travel). The unspent revenue ($35 million) was retained allowing the net fund assets to increase to $237 million at year-end.
To read the IRS Form 990 (for the year ending June 30, 2018), click here.