Ohio Education Association Dumps Teachers’ Dues into Leftist Politics

Ed Schultz addresses OEA
MSNBC Host Ed Schultz addresses the Ohio Education Association, May 2013

The Ohio Education Association (OEA), Ohio’s largest labor union, claims to speak for all teachers while subjecting its members to a constant barrage of leftist politics. This has been the case for years and remains true today, as evidenced by even a casual glance at OEA communications.

OEA’s adoration for far-left MSNBC host Ed Schultz, who was presented with the OEA “Friend of Education” award at the union’s spring Representative Assembly meeting, is a stark example of the teachers union embracing politics guaranteed to alienate a large percentage of educators.

In an announcement of the award, OEA wrote that Schultz “is a friend to everyone who works for a living, everyone who belongs to the middle class, and everyone who longs for an America that treats all its citizens with respect and fairness.”

Anyone who has watched thirty seconds of The Ed Show knows this is patently ridiculous; Ed Schultz is paid to spew his hatred of conservatives, with a special focus on any politician or pundit who speaks out against Big Labor.

In addition to whatever he was paid by leftist cable network MSNBC and the radio stations that broadcast his talk show, unions paid Schultz more than $300,000 in 2011 and more than $200,000 in 2012.

Data for the current fiscal year are not yet available, but OEA spent over $58,000 on its 2012 spring Representative Assembly meeting based on its annual report to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Other recent examples of divisive liberal advocacy paid for with teachers’ OEA dues include:

Though OEA is one of Ohio’s most powerful lobbying groups – reporting over $58 million in forced dues last year – the union releases a steady stream of propaganda positioning itself as a victimized ally of “the middle class.”

Many of these talking points carry the We Are Ohio brand, but OEA also shares “Unions 4 Workers” memes on a regular basis. Several examples:

Keep in mind, the average Ohio Education Association employee is paid over $100,000 per year in mandatory dues.

Like Ed Schultz, the OEA president and executive director are both paid well over $200,000 annually.

In schools across Ohio, educators can be required to pay OEA “fair share” dues even if they opt out of union membership. More than a dozen Ohioans are currently suing the union, claiming they were forced to pay for political activity which they disagree with.