Teacher Union Spends Freely: Report

Thursday, Feb 24, 2011  |  Updated 10:41 AM EDT
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Teacher Union Spends Freely: Report

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The teachers union is spending millions of dollars on parties, food and booze, while thousands of its members face possible layoffs amid a city budget crunch.

The Daily News reported Thursday that records show the United Federation of Teachers spent nearly $1.4 million for the union's 50th anniversary part at the Hilton last year.

The group also spent $278,417 on the annual Teachers Union Day ceremony at the Waldorf-Astoria, and $179,000 on training retreats at  Connecticut resort.

The spending spree also included $8,339 on a farewell party for Randi Weingarten, the union's former head.

UFT President Michael Mulgrew told the newspaper that he's "not going to apologize for spending money to service our members."

"These people are heroes dedicated to making a difference in the lives of our children," he said. "They never get the respect they deserve."

Mulgrew got his own welcome party -- a $6,400 affair at a Brazilian steakhouse -- when he took over the leadership.

The union has an annual pot of $126 million in member dues.

Sol Stern, a Manhattan Institute scholar and veteran education advocate, said the union's spending was "wasteful, fantastic and outrageous."

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