I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Thursday, May 27, 2010

"One bad decision..."

Kevin Manahan knows who to blame for the bad rap teachers are getting: it's the teachers!

At Saturday’s rally in Trenton, teachers wondered when the Earth started spinning in the other direction...
How did it happen? That’s easy: One bad decision, one stupid miscalculation: An overwhelming majority of teachers refused to accept a pay freeze. They could have won taxpayers’ eternal gratitude, but instead demanded their negotiated raises and fought against contributing a dime toward budget-breaking health insurance benefits. Teachers could have pitched in, but they dug in.
They thumbed their noses at taxpayers, who have lost their jobs, had their pay cut, gone bankrupt and fallen into foreclosure. As taxpayers made less, teachers demanded more. You do that, you become a villain. Fast. It doesn’t matter how many stars Junior gets on his book report.
Uh-huh. It really had nothing to do with a governor who's crisscrossing the state comparing teachers to drug dealers.

And try to follow the logic here:

So, the question is: Was it worth it?
The average public school teacher makes $63,000, and the average raise this year was roughly 4 percent, so teachers traded $2,520 for these scars, which never will heal. And because Christie and taxpayers asked only for a one-year pay freeze, it’s money teachers could have recovered next year.
Imagine how differently teachers would be perceived today if they had agreed to a pay freeze and willingly offered a few bucks toward their health policies. They’d be heroes.
So, the money the governor was asking demanding from the teachers is really negligible, what with their $60K salaries, but it was enough to affect a $29 billion budget. Right...

Kevin is on the Star-Ledger editorial board, which has called for a reinstatement of the millionaires tax. Christie has vetoed said tax. Where is Kevin's column calling that "One bad decision, one stupid miscalculation"?

And, finally - who else, Kevin, has been asked to make a sacrifice of this magnitude to help the budget? Who else has the governor hectored to take a pay freeze like this?

Christie has had it in for teachers from the start because the NJEA supported his opponent. Any opinion writer who doesn't recognize this as Christie's primary motivation is willfully blind.

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