I am a Union leader. I've held many elected and non-elected positions over the past twelve years. Union leadership compensation is in no way related to the amount of dues money brought in. Mostly, it is whatever base pay is plus a few percentage points of override and expenses. In my case, I took a pay cut when I was elected.
at the local level yeah but the big shots that are over the whole union live like a king and they schmooze with the politicians and get all sorts of perks out of that.
Not true. National officer pay is based on member pay rates plus expenses since usually they don't actually live in DC. I don't consider living in a Courtyard Marriott to be any where near like living like a King.
And, I currently am on my Union's Government Affairs Committee. In other words, I am a lobbist. I can tell you right now that it is not fun and there are not any perks. I do it because it is import for my career and my family's livelihood.