The New York Daily News reports that “As nearly 5,000 city teachers face the ax, their union shells out millions of dollars on feasting, boozing and partying, the Daily News has learned. Free-spending United Federation of Teachers brass last year spent nearly $1.4 million for the UFT’s 50th anniversary gala at the Hilton – complete with a movie, a book and a paperweight.
Records show they:
Ponied up $514,000 to 16 separate caterers.
Dropped $278,417 on the annual Teachers Union Day ceremony at the Waldorf-Astoria.
Bought $6,100 in gift baskets from a lower East Side candy store – and plowed $179,000 into training retreats at a Connecticut resort boasting golf, scuba diving and aqua aerobics.
In one amazing feat of spending, they shelled out $114,870 for annual “coffee supplies” at their five offices across the city – paying the Coffee Distribution Corp. on Long Island $324,000 over three years, records show.
And while most New Yorkers spend hours trying to find a parking space, the UFT rents 25 slots in Brooklyn’s Renaissance Plaza Garage for members at an average annual cost of $75,000 over three years.
“I’m not going to apologize for spending money to service our members,” said UFT President Michael Mulgrew.