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NJ Ups Union Contributions, Ends Bargaining

From a seething Associated Press:

Bill raising benefits costs advances in New Jersey

By Angela Delli Santi And Beth Defalco, Associated Press Mon Jun 20, 2011

TRENTON, N.J. – Bucking the state’s powerful public employee unions, the New Jersey Senate on Monday passed a bill requiring sharply higher contributions for health benefits and pensions from more than a half-million government workers, while suspending unions’ ability to bargain over health care.

That’s what we say: ‘buck the unions!’

As a gallery full of raucous union members looked on, the upper chamber moved the legislation with support from Republicans and a few Democrats in a 24-15 vote.

So it was a bi-partisan vote? And why doesn’t the AP give us the actual number of how many Democrats votes for this Democrat sponsored bill?

"The time for political calculations is over," said Senate President Stephen Sweeney, a Democrat and member of the ironworkers’ union, who sponsored the bill. "The time for passing the buck to someone else is over."

What an astonishing thing to hear from a Democrat and a union member.

It must still get through an Assembly committee, where it was also being considered Monday, and then pass the entire lower house before it reaches the governor’s desk. The full Assembly is scheduled to hear the bill on Thursday.

Republican Gov. Chris Christie, the driving force behind the landmark legislation, praised the Senate for its action.

"This is a watershed moment for New Jersey, proving that the stakes are too high and the consequences all too real to stand by and do nothing," he said in a written statement. "As a result of Democrats and Republicans coming together to confront the tough issues, we are providing a sustainable future for our pension and health benefit system, saving New Jersey taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars and securing a fiscally responsible future for our state." …

Apparently, Gov. Christie is able to bring about amazing things, such as lions lying down with lambs.

For the average New Jersey public worker — making $60,000 and contributing $900 toward health care — the yearly cost would jump to $2,056 for single coverage or $3,230 for a family plan after a four-year phase-in.

Even so, that is quite near the monthly cost for family health insurance on the open market. And this is for the whole year. So it is about 1/12 the non-subsidized rate.

The legislation is intended to shore up underfunded retirement systems, which are short of eventual liabilities by a combined $110 billion.

As a result of the legislation, Sweeney said the state will save $3 billion over 10 years in health care costs and $120 billion in pension savings over 30 years. However, the law contains a sunset provision that allows collective bargaining to resume over health care after four years.

Too bad.

A new tiered system would require teachers, police and firefighters and other public workers to pay a portion of their health insurance premiums based on income.

Which, we have to say, does not seem just. But they had to get the Democrat vote somehow.

Pension contributions would also rise by 1 percent immediately, and by an additional percent or more after a seven-year phase-in. Automatic cost-of-living increases would disappear, for now.

The outrage.

Public-sector unions are vehemently opposed, in part because the measure limits collective bargaining over health care. Hundreds turned out at the Capitol on Monday for another day of protests that started with a march across the Delaware River into Trenton

So it was just like George Washington’s crossing of the Delaware. Only different.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, June 21st, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

4 Responses to “NJ Ups Union Contributions, Ends Bargaining”

  1. arb says:

    “Apparently, Gov. Christie is able to bring about amazing things, such as lions lying down with lambs.”

    The lion and the lamb shall lie down together but the lamb won’t get much sleep.

  2. Liberals Demise says:

    Chips are falling for the once mighty unions. For too many decades the unions representing public workers fed off the taxpayers. It is now time the rank and file do for themselves. I worked for the Boiler Makers and Engineers union when I work at Womack Army Medical Hospital on Ft. Bragg, N.C.. Even with the union I had to pay $932.00 a month for family health care that my employer supplied. I lost my job due to down sizing by the company which had been bought out by another company and the union did nothing about securing my place with the new company even though I had 8 years working with them. Did I bitch and moan? No…….I moved on and its’ been an uphill struggle but hey……that’s life.
    To the cry babies that think their union is God, you deserve all you think you’re not and your union will count your money going out the door. Your days of entitlement are over because “We the People” are wiser and onto the scam!!

  3. Mithrandir says:

    ~Nutty / complaining parents have gotten how many teachers fired?
    ~Are evaluated and retained based on old spring break photos on facebook.
    ~Brat kids.
    ~Principals / school boards with Hitler-like agendas.
    ~Lack of materials to teach the classes properly.
    ~Everyone from President on down are elbows-deep involved with education. Too many chiefs, not enough indians…

    *Liberal agenda activists.
    *Gossiping, catty, immature HEN HOUSES! Most of these woman never really evolved past the 7th grade.
    *Dumbest people on campus.
    *Implement ‘Zero Tolerance’ policies for aspirin, scissors, butter knives. (this ain’t the airport ya know!)
    *180 days of work/year + weekends/holidays off.
    *Overpaid crybabies.
    *Run their schools as if it was part of Stalin’s empire. No respect for religion, privacy, history, or liberty of the student. –Or their parents.
    *Lazy / untalented S.O.Bs. Should be doubling as homeroom AND art or music or phy ed teachers. Can’t even clean their own classroom, need maid service to do it.

    Know they have a tough job, but also know they are some of the worst possible people involved in government at any level!

    • canary says:

      Mithrandir, I just found out how much the teachers get paid in my state and fell over. So, I do not feel sorry
      for them. 47,000 dollars for less than 8 months.

      Figure 4 months off (not including sick days) Spring vacation, 2 weeks Holidays, etc. other holidays,
      and summer break.

      lack of materials? Students have to buy copy paper, even though you have to get everything off the internet, to include report cards. Assemblies now cost, or students go to a room. Going to school game sports is outrageous costs in middle-school & high school. Students forced to do fund raising.

      But, good teachers can’t even be good, but at least they are getting paid well.

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