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Teachers College, Columbia University
Teachers College
Columbia University
The Campaign for Educational Equity: Symposium 2008

For more information call:


11/17/2008 ~ 11/18/2008 at  Cowin Center, Teachers College

Randi Weingarten

American Federation of Teachers

Presentation Topic:

  • Why We Must Act Now To Close Opportunity Gaps -- and Why We Just Might Succeed [Summary to be posted soon]

Randi Weingarten is the newly elected president of the American Federation of Teachers, which represents more than 1.4 million teachers; paraprofessionals and school-related personnel; higher education faculty and staff; nurses and other healthcare professionals; and local, state and federal employees.

Weingarten has been president of the United Federation of Teachers, AFT Local 2, since 1998, representing 110,000 non-supervisory educators in the New York City public school system, as well as home child care providers and other workers in health, law and education. She also heads the city Municipal Labor Committee, an umbrella organization for 100 -plus city unions.

From 1986 to 1998, Weingarten served as counsel to UFT President Sandra Feldman, taking a lead role in contract negotiations and enforcement and in lawsuits in which the union fought for adequate school funding and building conditions. She assumed the UFT presidency in 1998 after Feldman became president of the AFT. She was elected to her first full term the following year and re-elected three times since. Under Weingarten’s leadership, membership in the UFT grew by 35% and salaries of UFT-represented public school employees have increased by 43 percent.

Weingarten sees her role as an advocate for students as well as union members. Her passion as leader of America''s largest union local is to make every school a place where parents want to send their children and educators want to work.

Weingarten holds degrees from Cornell University and the Cardozo School of Law.