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LFT: Where Do Your Union Dues Go?

A LOOK AT Louisiana Federation of Teachers SPENDING in 2022

The Louisiana Federation of Teachers (LFT) represents 12,782 teachers in the Pelican State. As a union that represents public and private sector employees, LFT files a LM-2 financial disclosure form with the United States Department of Labor. So, what does this filing reveal about the union?

Firstly, the union is in a stable financial position. As of July 2022, the union holds over $2.4 million more in assets than it does in liabilities. Cash and U.S. Treasury Securities account for about 77 percent of the union’s assets. Retirement obligations account for 50 percent of the union’s total liabilities, while accrued sick leave and vacation time account for most of the remaining liabilities. The union’s net position has improved by over $180,000 since 2020. This makes sense, as the union took in more than it spent in 2021 and 2022.

LFT’s biggest source of income is membership dues and per capita tax collected from affiliates. In 2022, dues and per capita tax accounted for 96 percent of total revenue for the union. In 2020, dues and per capita tax accounted for almost 93 percent of revenue. 2021 was an exception, with dues and per capita tax only accounting for 64 percent of revenue, thanks to the $770,000 sale of a fixed asset. LFT charges each of its members $12.50 in dues per month, which adds up to $150 annually.

How does LFT spend the money it gets? In 2021-2022, representational activities accounted for only 31.5 percent

of total expenditures. The second largest expense was employee benefits. This category accounted for 24 percent of all expenditures. During the reporting period, LFT spent $547,060 on employee benefits, which represents a 21 percent increase from last year’s spending of $450,455. Employee pension and retirement expenses accounted for 47 percent of this spending. 43 percent of this spending went towards employee medical, life, and dental insurance. The third largest expense category was general overhead, totaling $453,659 or 20 percent of total expenditures. LFT President Larry Carter Jr. took in $128,524 during 2022, which is 2.4 times the average teacher salary in Louisiana.

LFT also spends money on political activities and lobbying. The union reported spending $152,828 of members’ dues on political activities and lobbying, compared to $122,565 last year. All this year’s expenditures went directly to union employees and officers for their political and lobbying efforts while on the clock.

LFT is politically active in other ways too. The union has an associated Political Action Committee (PAC). In 2022, LFT’s PAC gave $2,000 in direct campaign contributions, $1,000 of which went to East Baton Rouge Parish School Board candidate Jamie Robinson. The remaining $1,000 went to Kisha Newsom, a candidate for the Caddo Parish School Board. Additionally, LFT sends members updates and issues statements on happenings in the state legislature.

The LFT is affiliated with American Federation of Teachers, meaning that LFT members also pay dues to this union. For more information on how the American Federation of Teachers advocates for left-wing politics and policy, see the link below.
AFT: Where do your union dues go?