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December 20, 2021

Executive Compensation at the American Federation of Teachers (2020)

by Anne Paddock

The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) is the second largest teacher’s union (although membership is not limited to teachers) with 1.7 million members (after the National Education Association) in 3,000 local affiliates in the USA. A non-profit, tax-exempt 501 (c) (5), the AFT is based in Washington, DC and is an affiliate of the AFL-CIO.

For the year ending June 30, 2020, AFT reported total revenue of  $206 million (mostly from membership dues) and expenses of $195 million (with the unspent funds added to the general fund). The largest expense for the organization was compensation for the 365 employees who received $60 million, which equates to an average compensation of $164,400. However, only 225 employees (62%) received more than $100,000 in compensation. The 7 most highly compensated employees were reported to be:

  • $534,240:  Randi Weingarten, President
  • $376,147:   Loretta Johnson, Secretary-Treasurer
  • $327,285:  Jessica Smith, Chief of Staff
  • $322,378:  Philip Kugler, Asst to President for organization
  • $307,229:  Michael S Powell, Asst to President for communications 
  • $302,803:  Mark A Bostic, Director, Organizing and Field
  • $302,340:  Darrin L Nedrow, Director, Organizing and Field

4 of the 7 (57%) most highly compensated employees are male while 3 of the 7 (43%) are female (with the three being the most highly compensated). Interestingly, the organization is overseen by 45 voting members of the governing body, 42 of whom are independent.  The Form 990 lists 47 voting members (due to timing differences), 27 (57%) of whom are male while 20 (43%) are female.

AFT paid for first class or charter travel. Specifically, AFT allows officers (there are 47 listed on the Form 990) and vice presidents to fly first class travel when the scheduled flight time is TWO hours or longer.

AFT paid for companion travel. Specifically, an officer or vice president could bring a family member and have the family member’s ticket paid for by AFT if the two tickets together were equal to or less than a first class ticket.

AFT paid a monthly housing allowance to AFT officers.

80 independent contractors received more than $100,000 in compensation.  Five independent contractors received more than $100,000 in compensation:

  • $2,671,513:  New Target, Inc., of Alexandria, VA for IT system software contractor
  • $1,367,591:  K&R Industries, of Chantilly, VA for advertising consultant
  • $  699,879:  Matrix Trust Co, of Denver, CO for trust services
  • $  652,396:  Tag1 Consulting, Inc., of Pompano Beach, FL for software consultant
  • $  450,000:  Stillwater Solutions 23 LLC (work in child ID), of Waco, TX for consulting

However, the above information appears to be a reporting error because the exact same information was listed on a Form 990 two years prior (2017 for the year ending June 30, 2018).

To read the IRS Form 990 (2019 for the year ending June 30, 2020), click here.

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