Teachers union boss takes in $428K, demands shared sacrifice 

American Federation of Teachers president Rhonda “Randi” Weingarten has issued a statement slamming proposed cuts from the congressional deficit commission for not pushing shared sacrifice among the wealthy, but an AFT spokesman has told The Examiner that Weingarten will not be taking a paycut from the total $428,284 she received in salary and benefits during fiscal year 2010.

Weingarten wrote of the proposed budget cuts from the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform:

While we’re grateful the commission’s chairmen understood the need to hold education investment sacrosanct, count on a vigorous fight from us over proposed cuts to Social Security and Medicare that would hurt an already-ailing middle class. Shared sacrifice means holding millionaires responsible for their fair share of taxes and ending truly wasteful spending, not sawing off essential lifelines for the middle class, who desperately are trying to keep their heads above water in these precarious economic times. We can help solve the financial future of Social Security and Medicare by investing in putting our people back to work, so they can pay into these programs. Nothing is more important to the future solvency of the country.

Filings from the Department of Labor reveal that the American Federation of Teachers has disbursed $428,284 to Weingarten. Her gross salary is $342,552, but benefits and other disbursements raise that number to almost half a million dollars. She also earned a six-figure salary when she was president of Local 2 in 2009, during which she received $202,319. Neither of these sums, by the way, include her expenses.

When The Examiner called the AFT to ask whether Weingarten was planning on taking a paycut to demonstrate her belief in shared sacrifice, the spokesman said no. “No, absolutely not. She works 24/7 on behalf of union members and the people we serve. Making sure that people get a great education in public schools in America. She works to the bottom of her soul. You can’t put a price tag on that.”

I joked that, well, there is a price tag on that, and it’s apparently $428,284, but got no response. (Quick update: The average high school teacher salary is $43,293, h/t Amanda Carpenter.)

The spokesman also asked whether The Examiner was equally critical of Goldman Sachs “who has received taxpayer dollars” (we have been), though it’s a bit odd that a spokesman for a teachers union that lobbies to funnel more taxpayer dollars toward its members would be so critical of Goldman Sachs for taking taxpayer dollars.

The lesson from the teachers union is clear: Shared sacrifice for thee and not for me.

About The Author

J.P. Freire

Bio:
J.P. Freire is the associate editor of commentary. Previously he was the managing editor of the American Spectator. Freire was named journalist of the year for 2009 by the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). You can follow him on Twitter here. Besides the Spectator, Freire's work has appeared in... more
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