Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis may be a hardcore liberal who professes to represent the ordinary teacher, but that doesn't mean she wants to live like one. In addition to an annual salary and benefits totaling $235,000 annually, she owns three homes, including a vacation house in Hawaii.
For comparison's sake, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel earns a $212,000 annual salary. Lewis has clashed repeatedly and bitterly with the mayor over his efforts to rein in the city budget. The union president has denounced him as "Mayor 1 Percent."
However, Lewis receives an annual salary and benefits that put her in that category. She gets about $155,000 from CTU and receives another $80,000 in salary and other compensation from the Illinois Federation of Teachers, where she serves as executive vice president.
She had previously promised that she would not earn more as union president than the city's highest paid teacher. She told the Chicago Sun-Times that she didn't break her promise because "her CTU salary is for working the full year, rather than a 39-week school year."