NY Post: Teacher Union Has its $way

The New York State teacher union spent an incredible $5 million in lobbying and campaign contributions in New York last year and their political spending helped secured a lucrative retirement deal that is an enormous hit on taxpayers. From the New York Post:

The teachers unions ranked among the state’s biggest-spending special interests last year, unloading nearly $5 million on lobbying and campaign donations to help score a series of legislative wins in Albany.

New York State United Teachers and its huge city-centric subsidiary, the United Federation of Teachers, spent a combined $4.8 million on lobbying and political donations in 2009, according to data the government-reform group NYPIRG expects to release today in its annual “Fat Cat Factor” report on Albany influence pushing.

While the number represents a decline from the staggering $6.6 million the two unions spent in 2008, it remains a hefty sum for a non-election year.

The spending came as NYSUT secured a lucrative early-retirement deal for its members.

And the two unions, which represent some 600,000 teachers and education professionals, successfully beat back two rounds of proposed school cuts and an effort to expand the state’s charter-school program.