Thursday, April 17, 2008

It's Never the Money, Honey

When Randi Weingarten tells us how much she could have made as a lawyer, it reminds me of how Joel Klein says the same thing about the high salaries of his corporate minions making ed policy and ruining the schools in NYC. Actually, I never believe RW does things for money, but still....

This ite
m appeared in Mike Antonucci's EIA Communique. People like Unity's Leo Casey and ICE's Sean Ahern get all frothy at the mouth whenever I cite Mike - we all know his mission - to report when a union leader takes $10 while ignoring corporate heads when they take 100 billion.
But other than a willingness to turn the other cheek at massive giveaways and theft of entire school systems, he is sometimes right on.

By the way, Stroock, has done very well with the business Randi has thrown their way over the years.

Randi Weingarten Makes Her AFT Accession Official.
Spilling what was arguably one of the worst-kept secrets in American labor history, United Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten officially announced her candidacy for the presidency of the American Federation of Teachers.

She also made official her intention to continue as UFT president while holding national office. When the New York Daily News remarked that holding both positions would nearly double her annual salary to reach almost $600,000, Weingarten referred to her previous career as a Wall Street attorney and replied, "I took a huge cut in any kind of pay that I was ever going to make in my life to do this job. And so money has never been an issue with me other than to try to champion those causes for my members."

Weingarten spent three years as an associate for Stroock & Stroock & Lavan. While there is no way to know what career path she might have taken had she not been hired by UFT in 1986, it's pretty clear how much she would have made had she stayed at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan as an associate. She even mentioned it in a 2004 speech:

"If I were starting out today as a young new attorney in my old firm – Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, I would be starting at $125,000. After eight years as a teacher here in New York, I'd be making $60,700. After eight years in my old law firm, I'd be making a base salary of $215,000."

A more recent look at the firm's salary schedule shows a $280,000 level after eight years. Certainly we can generate scenarios in which Weingarten would have made more than $600,000 as an attorney, but in reality she made more money in her first eight years as UFT president than she would have had she spent those eight years as a Wall Street attorney.

The Education Intelligence Agency

COMMUNIQUÉ – April 14, 2008

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