Labor Union

Virginia Education Association

Location:

RICHMOND, VA

Tax ID:

54-0540102

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(5)

Budget (2016):

Revenue: $12,173,216
Expenses: $11,540,071
Assets: $12,285,555

The Virginia Education Association (VEA) is a left-of-center labor union that represents teachers in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The union is based in Richmond, Virginia. The VEA is an affiliate of the National Education Association (NEA), the largest labor union in the United States. The VEA claims a membership of over 40,000 teachers and education support staff and maintains several local and county affiliates all over the state.

The VEA has supported COVID-19 lockdowns and opposed in-person school instruction throughout the pandemic. [1] The VEA has faced internal controversy. Several of its members have filed lawsuits, walked picket lines, and sought sanctions against the VEA as it fought to expand its ability to engage in collective bargaining on behalf of public school teachers in Virginia. [2]

Overview

The Virginia Education Association is based in Richmond, Virginia and sees itself as the representative of public school teachers and support personnel in Virginia. The organization claims a membership of over 40,000 teachers and school support personnel, spread throughout the commonwealth. The members are organized in a variety of local and county affiliates of the VEA. [3] The VEA is affiliated with the powerful, left-of-center National Education Association. [4]

The VEA advocates for increased spending on public education in Virginia, higher salaries for teachers and support personnel, and increased labor regulations. The VEA lobbies state, county, and local education officials on behalf of its members, while also providing professional education services for its members and endorsing public education. [5]

The VEA also defends its members against purportedly unjust termination by school districts and helps teachers who have lost their teaching licenses get the licenses reinstated. The VEA recruits among active teachers, education support personnel, those in education degree programs in universities, and even among retired teachers. [6]

Leadership

In May of 2020, the Virginia Education Association elected James J. Fedderman as its president. Fedderman was previously the vice president of the VEA, beginning his term in 2016. Fedderman is the first African-American man elected to the position of president of the VEA. [7]

Fedderman, a choral music teacher in Accomack County, has also worked as the Virginia representative to the NEA. Fedderman has prioritized opposing school choice programs, expanding the collective bargaining power of Virginia teachers unions, and increasing legal protections for the LGBT community. [8]

Carol Bauer was elected the vice president of the VEA in 2020. [9] Brenda Pike works as the executive director of the VEA, a position she has held since 2018. Previously, Pike worked as the executive director of the Alabama Education Association and she was hired to that position in 2016. Before that Pike worked as the chief executive officer of the Indiana State Teachers Association. [10]

The two NEA directors representing Virginia are Christina Bohringer and Charlotte Hayer. [11]

The VEA has a 24-member board of directors 21 of which represent various regions of Virginia, two of which represent retired teachers, and one of which represents teaching students. [12]

The VEA has 15 committees that oversee the VEA’s policies and provide advice to VEA leadership. These committees include committees on communications, legislative affairs, membership, ethnic minorities’ and women’s concerns, and various professional development committees among others. [13]

History

In 1863, a statewide meeting of teachers founded the Educational Association of Virginia in the basement of the First Baptist Church in Petersburg, Virginia in order to improve the quality of public education in the state. The association also fought to ensure that public school teachers used the most up-to-date textbooks and educational practices, while working to guarantee the highest possible pay and benefits to public school teachers in order to entice the best teachers into Virginia public schools. [14]

The organization has since changed its name numerous times, adopting its current name in 1925 when the Virginia State Teachers Association became the Virginia Education Association. [15]

In 1967, the VEA merged with the Virginia Teachers Association, a union of predominately African-American teachers. Since then, three Black women have sat as VEA’s president: Mary Hatwood Futrell (1976-78), Cheri James (1996-2000), and Princess Moss (2005-08). [16]

In 2020, the VEA held a rally at the Virginia state capitol to increase funding for public education. [17] The VEA also rallied to campaign for the expansion of collective bargaining for teachers and support staff, which was enacted in 2020 by the Democratic-controlled legislature. [18]

Coronavirus

The outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020 forced the closure of Virginia public schools in the spring. As the outbreak continued, local and state education officials made plans to reopen the schools to in-person instruction. The VEA has opposed any return to in-person instruction. [19]

In August 2020, the VEA polled its members and found that 57% of them opposed a return to in-person instruction on the grounds that they believed that their classrooms would not be safe due to COVID-19. In addition, another 11% of its members said they would take medical leave, early retirement, or even resign from teaching if forced to teach in person. [20]

VEA president James Fedderman said that the threatened departures by teachers would exacerbate already existing teacher and staff shortages in the schools and urged school authorities to “be cautious” when reopening schools. [21]

In October of 2020, Hampton City Schools planned to resume in-person instruction. Hampton teachers involved in VEA protested the move, holding a rally before the school board voted on the proposal. Fedderman attended the rally to show his support for the protest. [22]

Controversies

In 2008, the VEA sent an email urging teachers to encourage eligible students to register to vote and support the candidacy of then-Democratic nominee Barack Obama. School administrators across the state deleted the email, criticizing  the email as encouraging teachers to use their influence over students for partisan political purposes. [23]

In 2020, the VEA was pushing to secure the right of collective bargaining on behalf of public school employees in Virginia. Commentators at the time pointed out that the VEA had internal problems that had resulted in lawsuits and sanctions from its own unionized employees through the Virginia Professional Staff Association. [24]

In October 2012, the VPSA walked a picket line against the VEA. In 2014, the VPSA sued the VEA after the VEA eliminated a specific staff retiree stipend. In February of 2018, the VPSA asked the National Staff Organization, its parent union, to file sanctions against the VEA. [25]

In July 2018, VEA members called the police on VPSA members who were handing out leaflets outside a VEA workshop at the University of Richmond. The incident led the VPSA to file an unfair labor practice complaint against the VEA. [26]

Financials

According to the 2018 Form 990, the union generated $13 million in revenue and spent $12.3 million. [27]

References

  1.         “Virginia Education Association President Speaks To WFXR News, Says Majority Of Members Do Not Believe Schools Are Ready To Reopen Safely”. 2020. WFXR-TV. https://www.wfxrtv.com/news/health/coronavirus/virginia-education-association-president-speaks-to-wfxr-news-says-majority-of-members-do-not-believe-schools-are-ready-to-reopen-safely/. ^
  2.            Antonucci, Mike. 2020. “Analysis: Virginia Education Association Wants Collective Bargaining For Teachers — But Talks With Its Own Employees Led To Lawsuits, Sanctions”. The 74 Million. https://www.the74million.org/article/analysis-virginia-education-association-wants-collective-bargaining-for-teachers-but-talks-with-its-own-employees-led-to-lawsuits-sanctions/. ^
  3. “Who Are We”. 2020. Virginia Education Association. Accessed November 16. https://www.veanea.org/about/who-we-are/. ^
  4. “Who Are We”. 2020. Virginia Education Association. Accessed November 16. https://www.veanea.org/about/who-we-are/. ^
  5.           “Who Are We”. 2020. Virginia Education Association. Accessed November 16. https://www.veanea.org/about/who-we-are/. ^
  6. “Who Are We”. 2020. Virginia Education Association. Accessed November 16. https://www.veanea.org/about/who-we-are/.    ^
  7. Todd, Sara. 2020. “Virginia Education Association Elects New President”. WSET. https://wset.com/news/local/virginia-education-association-elects-new-president. ^
  8. “Personality: Dr. James J. Fedderman”. 2020. Richmond Free Press. http://richmondfreepress.com/news/2020/jun/04/personality-dr-james-j-fedderman/. ^
  9. “Leadership”. 2020. Virginia Education Association. https://www.veanea.org/about/leadership/. ^
  10.      VEA Names Dr. Brenda Pike New Executive Director. 2018. Ebook. Virginia Education Association. https://www.veanea.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/NR-BPike-new-ED-20181022.pdf. ^
  11. “Leadership”. 2020. Virginia Education Association. https://www.veanea.org/about/leadership/. ^
  12. “Leadership”. 2020. Virginia Education Association. https://www.veanea.org/about/leadership/. ^
  13. “Leadership”. 2020. Virginia Education Association. https://www.veanea.org/about/leadership/. ^
  14. “History”. 2020. Virginia Education Association. https://www.veanea.org/about/history/. ^
  15. “History”. 2020. Virginia Education Association. https://www.veanea.org/about/history/. ^
  16. “History”. 2020. Virginia Education Association. https://www.veanea.org/about/history/. ^
  17. Pace, Bailey. 2020. “Virginia Education Association Hosting Rally At State Capitol For Public Education Funding”. WVVA. https://wvva.com/2020/01/27/virginia-education-association-hosting-rally-at-state-capitol-for-public-education-funding/. ^
  18. Menas, Amanda. 2020. “Following Rally, Virginia Educators Push To Restore Collective Bargaining | NEA”. National Education Association. https://www.nea.org/advocating-for-change/new-from-nea/following-rally-virginia-educators-push-restore-collective. ^
  19. “Virginia Education Association President Speaks To WFXR News, Says Majority Of Members Do Not Believe Schools Are Ready To Reopen Safely”. 2020. WFXR-TV. https://www.wfxrtv.com/news/health/coronavirus/virginia-education-association-president-speaks-to-wfxr-news-says-majority-of-members-do-not-believe-schools-are-ready-to-reopen-safely/. ^
  20. “Virginia Education Association President Speaks To WFXR News, Says Majority Of Members Do Not Believe Schools Are Ready To Reopen Safely”. 2020. WFXR-TV. https://www.wfxrtv.com/news/health/coronavirus/virginia-education-association-president-speaks-to-wfxr-news-says-majority-of-members-do-not-believe-schools-are-ready-to-reopen-safely/. ^
  21. “Virginia Education Association President Speaks To WFXR News, Says Majority Of Members Do Not Believe Schools Are Ready To Reopen Safely”. 2020. WFXR-TV. https://www.wfxrtv.com/news/health/coronavirus/virginia-education-association-president-speaks-to-wfxr-news-says-majority-of-members-do-not-believe-schools-are-ready-to-reopen-safely/. ^
  22. Jones, Matt. 2020. “Some Hampton Teachers Rebel Against Reopening Plan As Classroom Return Approaches”. Daily Press. https://www.dailypress.com/news/education/dp-nw-hampton-return-school-teachers-protest-20201029-ss2yfkm6p5dk3oy3igtf34mmwq-story.html. ^
  23. “Va. Education Association E-Mail Draws Ire Of Parents, Educators”. 2008. Roanoke Times. https://roanoke.com/archive/va-education-association-e-mail-draws-ire-of-parents-educators/article_8ae4ebef-a511-5923-afd7-6758d5737b5c.html. ^
  24. Antonucci, Mike. 2020. “Analysis: Virginia Education Association Wants Collective Bargaining For Teachers — But Talks With Its Own Employees Led To Lawsuits, Sanctions”. The 74 Million. https://www.the74million.org/article/analysis-virginia-education-association-wants-collective-bargaining-for-teachers-but-talks-with-its-own-employees-led-to-lawsuits-sanctions/. ^
  25. Antonucci, Mike. 2020. “Analysis: Virginia Education Association Wants Collective Bargaining For Teachers — But Talks With Its Own Employees Led To Lawsuits, Sanctions”. The 74 Million. https://www.the74million.org/article/analysis-virginia-education-association-wants-collective-bargaining-for-teachers-but-talks-with-its-own-employees-led-to-lawsuits-sanctions/. ^
  26. Antonucci, Mike. 2020. “Analysis: Virginia Education Association Wants Collective Bargaining For Teachers — But Talks With Its Own Employees Led To Lawsuits, Sanctions”. The 74 Million. https://www.the74million.org/article/analysis-virginia-education-association-wants-collective-bargaining-for-teachers-but-talks-with-its-own-employees-led-to-lawsuits-sanctions/. ^
  27. Form 990. 2017. Ebook. Guidestar. https://pdf.guidestar.org/PDF_Images/2018/540/540/2018-540540102-10f98b6b-9O.pdf?_ga=2.2226928.1557024133.1605496210-1729401998.1573449492. ^
  See an error? Let us know!

Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: August - July
  • Tax Exemption Received: September 1, 1978

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2016 Aug Form 990 $12,173,216 $11,540,071 $12,285,555 $12,436,848 Y $0 $11,947,581 $183,587 $381,357
    2015 Aug Form 990 $12,407,022 $11,060,909 $11,052,317 $10,318,980 Y $0 $12,270,153 $97,674 $380,468 PDF
    2014 Aug Form 990 $12,769,661 $11,396,205 $10,744,177 $8,462,700 Y $0 $12,683,112 $21,710 $373,010 PDF
    2013 Aug Form 990 $13,089,909 $12,034,520 $9,947,483 $8,253,426 Y $0 $12,970,064 $23,285 $375,443 PDF
    2012 Aug Form 990 $13,779,445 $12,754,472 $9,305,598 $14,381,509 Y $0 $13,668,628 $36,733 $0 PDF
    2011 Aug Form 990 $14,098,071 $14,004,974 $9,309,617 $11,884,606 Y $0 $13,959,904 $58,608 $0 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Virginia Education Association

    116 S 3RD ST
    RICHMOND, VA 23219-3704