by Dr. Robert Luebke
Director of the Center for Effective Education, John Locke Foundation
Once again, the Office of the State Auditor could not verify the number of employees for the North Carolina Association of Educators. The State auditor is legally required to verify and certify the number of members of employee associations to authorize state payroll deduction. In a recent report on the subject, the State Auditor said it was not able to verify and certify membership count because the North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE) refused to furnish the information and because the local the auditor lacks the authority to compel an organization to provide the information.
This has been going on for years.
NCAE refuses to provide the information presumably because any reliable count of membership would show the organization well below the 40,000 member threshold to authorize dues deduction.
While the State Auditor may not be able to access the information, the information is available.
Mike Antonucci a veteran teacher union watcher, has been writing about changes in membership for NEA and its state affiliates for years. Antonucci’s data is culled from NEA Secretary Treasurer/Independent Auditor financial reports.
I’ve been writing about the slide in NCAE membership for the past decade and citing Antonucci’s data. See here and here. According to many, his data is the most reliable source for changes in teacher union membership on the subject.
Antonucci recently reported 2019-20 NCAE total membership at 26,849. The figure was widely reported. And to my knowledge, neither NEA or NCAE contested the numbers.
The State Auditor may not know NCAE membership, but others do.
A little common sense can furnish an easy solution; and stop the state from providing benefits to an organization that clearly fails to meet the current requirements for providing dues check off.