He continued to plug a state aid proposal that Commissioner of Education Bret pitched to him and which Christie in turn took public. Designed as an alternative to layoffs, school districts in which teachers agree to one-year wage freezes would receive state aid equal to the amount of social security and Medicare payroll deductions that would accompany salary increases.A proposal which will save maybe 200 jobs - 0.14% of the teaching/administration workforce.
And the Bridgewater school board prez points out that if teachers do agree to cutbacks that aren't total wage freezes, they may not be eligible anyway:
"If the proposal requires a total freeze of teacher salaries, we would not be eligible unless the union were to make significant additional concessions," Brookner said. "If lesser concessions suffice to trigger the proposal, then we may be entitled to a restoration of some aid cuts."Again, the money's so small, it's not going to do much anyway.
And I really love the people skills here:
In response to a reporter's question about whether he's hearing any positive feedback from teachers regarding the wage freeze proposal, the governor said, "Yes, but I wouldn't attribute it to them. I think people are hearing from their constituencies, and what the people of New Jersey are saying is that it's reasonable to ask teachers to take a one-year pay freeze."So teachers are giving back, but don't give them credit. Oh, and Guv - if teachers have a "constituency" - it's their students. Teachers aren't politicians. They're not running around the state preening for the cameras, using autistic kids as political props.
When you leave for your next presser, teachers will actually stay and help this girl. A little acknowledgement of that would go a long way.
* Update: I reread that quote again: "Yes, but I wouldn't attribute it to them." Man, that REALLY bugs me! He finds teachers who AGREE with him, and he still has to take a swipe at them.
I'm not a fan of armchair psychology, but I am sorely tempted to to practice some here - what the hell is this guy's problem? Why is everything so personal to him?
At the very least, it points out a real lack of political skills.