Teacher's Union One-Percenters Make More than $300K Per Year

“It’s not fair that we have to live paycheck to paycheck.” – Randi Weingarten, American Federation of Teachers president, annual salary $472,197.

It seems that we are always hearing stories of how teachers aren't paid enough, of teachers going on strike for increased wages, that "the rich" need to be taxed more so that their income may go to the teachers. Education website The 74 Million found that, while these teachers in the classrooms speak of their financial struggles, their union bosses are some of the richest people in America.

To be in the top 1 percent of wage earners in the country (ah, the ever-vilified one-percenters!) in 2016, a person would have had to earn $300,800. At the National Education Association (NEA) and American Federation of Teachers (AFT) unions, there were a few:

NEA President Lily Eskelsen García ($317,826) and Executive Director John Stocks ($355,721) easily cleared the threshold, as did AFT President Randi Weingarten ($472,197), Secretary-Treasurer Lorretta Johnson ($359,584), and Executive Vice President Mary Cathryn Ricker ($325,314).

Another 18 NEA employees were in the top 2 percent of wage earners in America, and 104 were in the top 5 percent:

All told, NEA’s payroll for 2016 was just over $68.6 million for 555 employees — an average of $123,613 per worker. That average worker fits into the top 8 percent of U.S. wage earners. By comparison, the average 2016 teacher salary of $58,353 placed that individual in the top 30 percent.

That's just looking at wages. When you look at the benefits, the inequality is even greater. Pensions (some starting at early ages or limited years of service), several weeks of vacation on top of sick days and more paid holidays than anyone knew existed, 4-day work weeks, and even things like "incarceration pay." 

Teacher's don't have it all that bad. Many people have it far worse than making nearly $60,000 per year and summers off. When compared to what they're paying for union "protection," though? It makes it look like a racket. Maybe the unions should consider spreading the wealth around. Where have I heard that before? 

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