David E. Seidemann

When I give a union $1000 in fees each year, I expect it to work to improve my contract and working conditions. But the faculty union at the City University of New York, which represented me, did anything but.

While we worked without a contract for six years, the union spent energy on its politics, including things like U.S. foreign policy issues. So I sued in federal court and won. It turned out the union had been hiding a lot of its political expenditures with phony bookkeeping, for example, by classifying street rallies as “office supplies.” Before my lawsuit, the union claimed it was spending only $1.60 of my money on politics. After my suit, they acknowledged that it was $178.

My case raises an important question: How is your union spending your fee money? I suggest you take a careful look. My union wasn’t working for me. Is yours?