Update: Carvalho turned down the job in dramatic fashion on Thursday. More here.
How much will Alberto Carvalho earn as New York City’s next chancellor? $353,000, according to the city — on par with schools chiefs in many other districts, but 50 percent more than the woman he’s replacing.
The discrepancy is raising eyebrows, especially given Mayor Bill de Blasio’s efforts to diminish wage gaps for people doing the same work.
Last year, de Blasio signed a new law that bars employers from asking potential hires how much they earn in their current job. The goal was to ensure that salaries reflect the work people do, not their previous ability to negotiate — an approach that disproportionately benefits men, especially white men.
Carvalho’s $352,874 salary in Miami was public — as is Fariña’s in New York, $234,569 — so city officials didn’t have to ask to know what it would take to match his current pay. But the fact that they are allocating city dollars to make the match seems to flout the spirit of the law, if not the letter, according to New Yorkers who are hammering City Hall on social media over the issue.
Here’s one representative post:
Wonder how gender wage gap happens? re new NYC Schools Chancellor: "Mr. Carvalho earns $352,874 in Miami compared to (current NYC Chancellor) Ms. Fariña’s $234,569. Mr. Carvalho will get $353,000, to match Miami salary."He will get $120K more than her 4 same job #WomenRevolution— lucy sexton (@factress) March 1, 2018
The criticism has put City Hall on the defensive. On Twitter, a press secretary for de Blasio called the salary pushback “extremely misleading” and noted Fariña’s pension from her previous retirement:
Extremely misleading. HE disclosed it & negotiated for that #. It was his number for us to meet. We didn't peg for it because we knew. Huge difference. Also: 2014 v 2018. Also, Carmen Farina has a $211k pension in her package. She takes home nearly $100k MORE than new chancellor. https://t.co/1rcj69f6BT— Eric Phillips (@EricFPhillips) March 1, 2018
Phillips offered some more details in an email to Chalkbeat. He noted that superintendents in small districts near New York City earn as much as the city has offered Carvalho.
“That’s in line with what big city systems are paying and we wanted the best,” he said. The job’s historical low pay had been seen widely as an impediment to attracting top-tier superintendent candidates. One solution city officials had discussed was recruiting private donors to supplement the city’s salary, but Phillips confirmed that city funds would cover Carvalho’s entire paycheck.
The flareup began even before Carvalho announced whether he was actually accepting the job. Miami school board members were still waiting for his official announcement during a meeting Thursday morning.