Union Spending in Michigan: A Review of Union Financial Disclosure Reports

Union Spending cover

Administrative and overhead costs for unions are unusually high, and spending on workers' representation — the core task of labor unions — is correspondingly low, according to the findings in "Union Spending in Michigan: A Review of Union Financial Disclosure Reports." The study examined national, state and local data from federal LM-2 reports for six prominent unions and used the information to create estimated budgets. Director of Labor Policy Paul Kersey's review of union financial reports shows that less than half of a typical union member's dues go into representation which is nearly matched by the cost of overhead and administration. In contrast, a typical nonprofit will usually try to keep overhead and administrative costs at around half of what is spent on its core programs. Overall, six unions, all with a significant presence in Michigan, were examined: Teamsters, National Education Association/Michigan Education Association, United Auto Workers, Service Employees International Union, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, and United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America.