Massive drop in California Teachers Association membership

Internal documents from the California Teachers Association reveal that the union has far fewer members than it claims – and that union leaders expect that number to drop further.

Investigative journalist Mike Antonucci reports that the union’s 2022-23 fiscal year budget is 267,270, a loss of 42,730 members, or nearly 14%.

The California Teachers Association said it had 310,000 members. The union’s budget foresees a drop of nearly 4,000 members in the coming year.

Those who can’t teach math: CTA’s website still claims 310,000 members.

The decline in membership began with the 2018 Supreme Court decision in Janus v AFSCME. In Janus, the court said that government agencies (including school districts) cannot require their employees (eg, teachers) to join political organizations (like the California Teachers Association).

Despite declining membership, a recently imposed dues hike means the CTA expects its annual revenue to increase by $2.3 million to $214 million. The revenue increase is “good news for the union’s three leaders, who are set to receive a combined $150,000 increase in wages and benefits,” Antonucci reports.

If the loss of 14% of its members in four years earns its leaders such a nice pay rise, imagine what the loss of 30% would do for them.

Full disclosure: The California Policy Center has a dog in this fight. We exist to eliminate the teachers union’s stranglehold on public education – and not just teachers, but all government workers in all government unions. We have worked tirelessly to educate them all about the realities of union membership, starting with the fact that membership is optional. They leave mainly for three reasons – because they want to keep their money; because of the use of this money by unions in politics; and because the union works above all to defend the worst workers.

To learn more about Janus v AFSCME or how to withdraw from your union, visit the CPC

Andrew B. Reiter