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

Friday, March 18, 2011

Simple Answers to Simple Questions - NJEA Edition

Barbara Keshishian, in an excellent rejoinder to a lazy and ill-informed editorial by the Star-Ledger, asks a simple question:
How can The Star-Ledger criticize the media’s failure to hold Christie accountable for his misinformation, and then criticize NJEA for doing that in our advertising? Isn’t that just a bit hypocritical?

ADDING: This is really bothersome:
Even more disconcerting is The Star-Ledger’s saying that our advertising fell on deaf ears because most teachers chose not to accept a salary freeze last year. Here’s a fact: NJEA does not have the authority to force our members to reopen the approximately 1,000 contracts under which they work.
We did, however, provide them with information outlining the pros and cons of taking a freeze, to help them decide what to do in their districts. One of the cons was that taking a freeze could not guarantee there would be no layoffs, because the law at that time prohibited any such linkage — which is why many local unions that did negotiate freezes were understandably upset when the savings went to priorities other than the rehiring of laid-off colleagues.
That is why NJEA filed legislation requiring any savings from salary concessions be used to restore laid-off staff. The bills, S1940/A2773, passed both the state Assembly and Senate by overwhelming bipartisan margins and await Christie’s signature.
He should sign it because, last year, he ran a dishonest campaign against school budgets. Spreading the false claim that if all teachers had taken a pay freeze, there would have been no layoffs, Christie urged voters to reject their budgets if their teachers had not agreed to a freeze.
Only one problem: Last April, the state’s Office of Legislative Services reported that if every teacher in New Jersey took a pay freeze, districts would still be $849 million in the hole, thanks to the governor’s cuts in state aid. Christie, to put it bluntly, was misleading voters. His response? He simply rejected the OLS report — his typical reaction to data with which he disagrees. It’s a tendency that The Star-Ledger has criticized on more than one occasion.
Not nearly enough. Christie goes around making this outrageously false claim for one reason: because he can. The S-L should be hammering him for this; instead they hammer the NJEA for spending money on advertising to counteract his lies.

Just curious: how much of that money was spent on ads in the S-L? If they spend more, would the Editorial Board be as critical?


Teacher Mom said...


Duke said...

Wow. Great stuff - welcome to the blogasphere. Your voice is needed.