New York City's teachers may do well to ask why their union, the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), has an office in Boca Raton, Florida. A recent article in the New York Post figured that rent alone for the Boca Raton branch costs UFT members $183,603 per year. That's not peanuts for a union fretting about its financially strapped members.
One reason for the Boca branch, as I noted a little while back, is that the retirees in the UFT are more active in UFT elections than the current teachers. The UFT website notes, "The UFT maintains an office in Boca Raton to service our retired members in Florida. These members make up a potent voting bloc, last year helping to elect two new members of Congress with favorable positions on our issues." NYC teachers may wonder whether their retired brethren are allies, or a competing constituency.
For states and municipalities to get a handle on pension and health care costs, they are going to have to somehow convince retirees that it is in their interest to accept less.
Judging by this kind of thing, good luck with that.