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

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Things I Learned (For Real!) From Listening to NJ 101.5

So, today, I'm listening to Former NJ Education Commissioner Jim Gearhart during my week off, because there's nothing I love more than aurally delivered masochism.

And I actually learned something! Jim had on a president of one of the firefighters unions (sorry, forgot the name and the union; yeah, getting old...). He explained to Gearhart that both firefighters and police in New Jersey are not eligible for Social Security, and do not have FICA collected from their taxes.

Now, I'm a teacher, and I just finished my tax return, so I can tell you for sure that I pay FICA (Social Security tax), and I will collect a benefit when I'm eligible. But here's the thing:

The cops and the firefighters pay 8.5% of their salaries toward their pensions; teachers pay only 5.5%. BUT...

Teachers pay FICA taxes of 6.2% on their salaries, up to $106,800 (not a lot of teachers making that kind of scratch; administrators, sure).

Yet Christie wants to raise the teacher contribution up to 8.5% just like the cops.

Hold on there, Chris - are you telling me I have to pay FICA and a MANDATORY 8.5%!?!?

Because I've not once heard you say teachers would no longer have to contribute to Social Security.

I want all of you who love to prattle on in the comments sections of newspapers about "gold-plated benefits" to ask yourselves how you feel about a MANDATORY contribution of 14.7% to your retirement. Plus another 1.5% for health care, although that's going to go up soon as well.

Let me be clear: I stand proudly with the firefighters, the police, the state workers, and all public workers in decrying the disgusting and immoral plans put forward by Christie, Sen. Steve Sweeney, and every other politician who continues to blame us for the woes that have really been caused by over 40 years of horrible conservative policies.

But I really do have to ask: why are the teachers getting a deal far, far worse than the cops and firefighters?

Hmmm....
Spanky reminds me of someone...

2 comments:

Njunions said...

Jazzman, This is important info!!! I never knew this. I asked my wife (a teacher) and she agrees w/ you. As A fireman I agree too. I do think that Christie is just going way too hard on you guys....oh wait I`m sorry, not you, the union leaders(ha ha what a joke!) We have got to stick together! Oh BTW, the union is FMBA and the president is Bill Lavin. He spoke at the teachers rally you guys had in Trenton 2006 when we came down to support you guys. Thats also where I met my wife...union activism has its perks! We are asking everybody to call the State on Mon. 4/11 to say NO! to Senate Bill 2718, details at http://njunions.wordpress.com maybe you can make this info a post on your blog??? Thanks Jazz!

njunions said...

Jazzman, This is important info!!! I never knew this. I asked my wife (a teacher) and she agrees w/ you. As A fireman I agree too. I do think that Christie is just going way too hard on you guys....oh wait I`m sorry, not you, the union leaders(ha ha what a joke!) We have got to stick together! Oh BTW, the union is FMBA and the president is Bill Lavin. He spoke at the teachers rally you guys had in Trenton 2006 when we came down to support you guys. Thats also where I met my wife...union activism has its perks! We are asking everybody to call the State on Mon. 4/11 to say NO! to Senate Bill 2718, details at http://njunions.wordpress.com maybe you can make this info a post on your blog??? Thanks Jazz!