Friday, June 02, 2006

WTU spending under scrutiny

The WTU has submitted their 2005 financial disclosure report to the Department of Labor (for the second time; their first submittal was rejected) and the Times has had a peek. The Union found itself more than $600K in debt for the second year.
The new report notes that the union's membership has fallen from 4,500 teachers to 4,128 and that total debt at the end of fiscal 2005 was $609,910, compared with $682,913 a year earlier.

Nonetheless, the union paid $8,960 to District-based Odyssey Cruises, whose Potomac River yacht packages feature dinner and dancing.

The union paid $37,227 to the Walker Marchant Group, a local public relations firm, and $20,336 to the Maritime Institute for an annual conference for union-building representatives in July 2004.

The riverboat cruise on Sept. 8, 2004, also was for a building representative conference, the report said.

Alex Wohl, a spokesman for the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the local union's parent organization, said the conference and riverboat expenses "were not extraordinary costs."
According to the union's President, George Parker, the debt now stands at around $400K.

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