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NJ Cuts Benefits For Union Public Employees

From a tear stained New York Times:

New Jersey Lawmakers Approve Benefits Rollback for Work Force

June 23, 2011

TRENTON — New Jersey lawmakers on Thursday approved a broad rollback of benefits for 750,000 government workers and retirees, the deepest cut in state and local costs in memory, in a major victory for Gov. Chris Christie and a once-unthinkable setback for the state’s powerful public employee unions.

And if The Times and the rest of the news media had their way, it would still be unthinkable.

The Assembly passed the bill 46 to 32, as Republicans and a few Democrats defied raucous protests by thousands of people whose chants, vowing electoral revenge, shook the State House

Thanks to the midterm elections, the New Jersey Assembly now fears the voters even more than they fear the unions’ rent-a-mobs.

By the way, note that this was a bi-partisan vote. 14 Democrats voted for the bill. In fact, as we have noted previously, the Senate version of this bill was sponsored by the President of the Senate, who is a Democrat.

In a statement released after the vote, Mr. Christie said, “We are putting the people first and daring to touch the third rail of politics in order to bring reform to an unsustainable system.”

Politics has so many ‘third rails.’ But what they all have in common is that they either funnel money into the Democrat Party or they make more people dependent on government, which makes them dependent on the Democrat Party.

The legislation will sharply increase what state and local workers must contribute for their health insurance and pensions, suspend cost-of-living increases to retirees’ pension checks, raise retirement ages and curb the unions’ contract bargaining rights

In the Assembly’s version, making an employee making $60,000 a year would see his health insurance costs go from $900 to $2,056. Pension contributions will also rise by 1 percent immediately, and by an additional percent after a seven-year phase-in. This is not what most people would call a sharp increase.

The fight over benefits reflected both Mr. Christie’s ability to exploit the divisions among Democrats, through his alliances with more conservative Democratic party bosses and legislators, and his success at using the public-sector unions as a foil in his drive to shrink government spending. It has also allowed a nationally known but highly polarizing governor to claim the mantle of bipartisan conciliation, telling audiences that New Jersey is setting an example that other states and the federal government should follow

What wonderfully objective reporting from The Times.

On Thursday, thousands of people wearing union T-shirts and buttons filled the Assembly visitors’ gallery, the State House corridors and, in a high-decibel protest, the sidewalks, lawns and streets around the building. A procession down State Street included a hearse draped with a banner saying “The Soul of the Democratic Party,” and organizers with bullhorns led the crowd in chants of “We’ll remember in November!” and “Kill the bill!”

The trouble for them is that many of the New Jersey legislators can still remember last November.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, June 24th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

8 Responses to “NJ Cuts Benefits For Union Public Employees”

  1. Rusty Shackleford says:

    For the record, $2056 is $171.34/month. Or if they get paid bi-weekly, $80/paycheck. If that person makes $60,000 a year, it is very affordable. However, with TWMBR on the way, maybe not so much after 2013 when the first people to get dropped out will be public employees.

  2. Reality Bytes says:

    My kid landed her first teacher job in NJ. The union is all over them for cuts. She asked me to look at what they gave her – they’re complaining that they have to now pay 25% of their healthcare.

    Ever the optimist, Daddy RB exclaimed, “LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE, THAT MEANS YOU GET 75% FOR FREE.”

    (yes, SG I was yelling).

    Hope you’re all well. I’d love to have someone pour over their propaganda & retort their bile. I’m a little busy trying to make payroll.

  3. Reality Bytes says:

    He already has LD, – more than I’ll ever know – until that day we meet face to face that is.

  4. canary says:

    I think the way to argue the health insurance costs going up is put the blame on Obama, the unions, and

    People need to be asked what do you think carrying dependents til 26 years old, as in mother in the shoe full of children has done to health insurance.
    Then explain the reason is to force people on Obama Owns your Health Care policy.

    What I find draws silence is telling people is you do understand Obama Care is not free. You will be forced to pay at least 500 dollars a month for it, or the IRS will get involved and take it out of your paychecks as you will be working 3 jobs.

  5. Mithrandir says:


    1. Reduce your pay.

    2. Work weekends, holidays, and summertime, as you should be doing anyway, for the SAME PAY.

    Japanese school kids go about 240 days a year. America: 180.

    And WHY is every Republican, or anything offensive to liberals, “controversial?” It’s another liberal code-word that say, “just so you know, I am on your side, I don’t like this either, but I have to report on it, so don’t think I am trying to cover this in a positive way.”

  6. Reality Bytes says:

    UPDATE: From my daughter – 1st yr NJ teacher: Teachers are split by age. The union is trying to get what they think is the best they’re going to get – 1% annual increases w/ no lay offs in exchange for longevity bonus for senior teachers. Longevity as I understand it is $3,000 per yr after 20 yrs + $5,000 per yr after 25 yrs & $10,000 per yr after 30. This is on top of my kid’s guess that with new hires making $48K, seniors make twice that – $98K. That’s 98K for 10 months work BTW.

    So, while the fogies curse, swear, throw things & storm out, the young ones, many of them in tears testified that it took them years to get a teaching job; that they love to teach & are very happy with what they have.

    Kind of restores your faith in Americans again don’t it? Funny thing, the flower generation with all their anti establishment bullsh*.*t grew up to be more materialistic, greedy, selfish slobs than their parents ever were.

    Though you’d all want to know.

    Play Christie for Me!

    • proreason says:

      Self interest. Libwits can sugar-coat it anyway they want. 99.99% of humanity wants what is best for SELF.

      Marxism plays on this. For the little guy, marxism is simply a justification for stealing from the other guy. For the big guys, it’s a justification for tyranny.

      The most fundamentally correct aspect of the Constitution is that the framers understood human nature and constructed the thing with checks and balances to prevent exactly what is happening by the old pervert teachers in NJ, and the perverts in DC. Your story RB, is an example of how brilliant the founders were.

      Of course, that doesn’t stop the Marxists from doing everything in their power to undermine it.

      We are at a pivot point in history. It could go either way.

      So it’s good to know that the young teachers in NJ at least have a ringing example of the hypocracy of leftists.

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