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, August 16, 2013

Dear NJ Teacher Voting For @GovChristie: ARE YOU INSANE?!?!

Dear Fellow NJ Public School Teacher Getting Ready To Vote For Chris Christie This Fall:

Are you out of your freakin' mind?!?!
Christie presented his major accomplishment as breaking the back of public-sector unions with government employees while simultaneously wooing private-sector unions. 
“We have the endorsement of 24 building-trade unions,” he said. “We have an opportunity as a political party to drive a wedge in the union movement, and the laboratory where that’s happening right now is in my state.” 
Now, I know some of you, my fellow teachers, have had problems with your union, be it the NJEA or AFT-NJ. Maybe it's at the local level; maybe you don't like the tactics and/or strategies of the state-level unions. That's perfectly legitimate; lord knows I've had my beefs on occasion as well.

Of course, you have every right, if not a duty, to get involved with your local, your county organization, and the state-level unions if you want to see changes. Run for your local's board; that's how Karen Lewis took over the Chicago Teachers Union and became the most dynamic labor leader in America.

But if you think any problems you might have with your union will be solved by electing Chris Christie, you are out of your damn mind. Here he is, admitting that his goal is to break apart the public and private sector unions. Why? Because he knows that splitting us will guarantee lower wages, fewer benefits, and less workplace protection for all.

And there is one union that he has targeted over and over again for special ire - the NJEA:
“The teachers union in our state collects $140 million a year in dues. … It’s a $140 million political slush fund for them to use however they wish in mandatory dues,” he said. “That’s who we’re up against. So we decided very early that we had to fix the pension and benefit problem, at least move toward fixing it. And the only way to do it was to take them on directly. 
That is a lie - Chris Christie, as he has shown many times before, is a lying liar. The dues the NJEA collects cannot, by law, be used for political contributions; NJEA has a PAC that uses voluntary contributions to fund campaigns.

Furthermore, the notion that Christie has moved toward "fixing" the pension and benefits problem is, at best, a gross exaggeration. After breaking his promise to us during the last campaign (look at the top of this blog and never forget), Christie just this past spring said he refuses to guarantee he'll make the promised pension payments he swore he'd make when he slashed our pensions and health care. He never "saved" our pensions, just like he never "reined in health care costs." Chris Christie's record is just one broken promise and one lie after another.

And yet he revels in stupidity like this:
“My philosophy on this can be best described this way: When you come to a new school yard and you’re the new kid in school — like you are when you’re the governor and you come to Trenton for the first time — and you walk onto the schoolyard and you see a bunch of people lying on the ground bloody and beaten up, and you see one person standing there with their arms folded across their chest staring at you. That’s the bully,” he added. “In New Jersey, that bully is the New Jersey Education Association.” 
Christie said his approval rating fell into the low 40s after the teachers’ union spent $20 million on ads attacking him but popped to 56 points after he began “making the case” during 35 town hall meetings. 
You got two choices as governor: You either sidle up next to ’em [and] whisper sweet nothings in their ear and try to hope they just don’t punch you. Or the second alternative is: You punch them first!” [emphasis mine]
Let me ask you something, my fellow teacher who is contemplating voting for this jerk: if one of your students talked about another in school like this, wouldn't you have to file an HIB report?

But this is the level of class we've come to expect over the last four years:

I know talk radio tells you this is "refreshing" and "candid," but it's really "obnoxious" and "embarrassing." Just like when Christie compared you - no, not your union, but you - to a drug dealer.

Folks, I understand you might want to base your vote on something other than Chris Christie's jihad against the teaching profession. I know some of you have very sincere beliefs on topics like abortion. I'm not going to try to dissuade you from voting your conscience: I am, however, going to point out that if you pull the lever for Chris Christie, you are letting him take money out of your own pocket: money you need to feed and house and educate your own family.

You're also guaranteeing that your school will not get the funding it needs to educate your students. You've already given plenty back: your health care costs have skyrocketed, your raises are barely keeping pace with the cost of living, and your pension has been cut. You made it easier to fire bad teachers, but you're also working now under an evaluation system that still hasn't been fully worked out and promises to be a mess. You've sacrificed more than enough for your students, while the extremely wealthy people who fund Chris Christie's campaign have given up nothing.

For the sake of your family, your students, and yourself: no teacher in New Jersey can possibly consider voting for Chris Christie this fall!

You really want four more years of this?!


Mrs. King's music students said...

I'm sorry Jazzman but NJEA IS a bully-or better yet, a Mean Girl. As for applying for one of those positions or running for office - they too are reserved for members who 'keep their mouths shut no matter what' and close their eyes to the atrocities perpetrated on our own membership.

But setting aside my up close and personal encounters and focusing on the big picture - untenured teachers are indentured servants in the eyes of the law, and held to a level of accountability typically reserved for elected officials or CEOs - not buck privates. I don't know where the mandatory dues went but I do know they weren't applied to changing the laws or the situation for incoming teachers. What kind of org throws its own young to the lions like this?

I think this is the real reason Christie targeted the NJEA. He can't lose.

Commuting Teacher said...

ALL unions have LIFO, even the private sector ones that support this thief and liar in Trenton. Do not fool yourself, those private sector unions are being hired left and right by the state and county governments on YOUR dime at astronomical rates, but no one talks about that. Why do you think they support that man? They have been bought. *golf clap* They are too close-minded to see that it is only a hop, skip, and a jump until their union job is gone as well. I just don't understand how the ex-middle class is okay with being exterminated in this way.

WC Mencken said...

Dear ANYONE Thinking of Voting For @GovChristie: ARE YOU INSANE?

WC Mencken said...

This is how the antiChris feels about the people of New Jersey He said the following “You got two choices as governor: You either sidle up next to ’em [and] whisper sweet nothings in their ear and try to hope they just don’t punch you. Or the second alternative is: You punch them first!”

Mrs. King's music students said...

I think the ex middle class is being exterminated because we're the only ones being held accountable for anything in every scenario. We pick up every gauntlet, respond to every challenge, and do administrator's work in addition to our own for 'leaders' that are accountable to no one. The one thing we won't do is agree that this union needs an overhaul to make it servicable.
As for all the other unions turning out just like NJEA, I guess we'll know that 10 years from now.

Mrs. King's music students said...

PS-I am by no means the last in. I'm untenured with 13 years public school teaching experience (10 in NJ) and not one failed teacher evaluation. Makes me think LIFO isn't what's really steering this ship. So what could be even worse than mandating dues from half your membership to whom you have no obligation? (not including turning your back on the tenured teachers in Jersey City). I'm sure that was fluke right?

WC Mencken said...

We are paying almost $4 a gallon for gasoline and no jobs and the antichris whipping boy is the NJEA.

Teacher Mom said...

My union had my back when I needed them, so I'll support them in return. You can't just sit online complaining. GO GET INVOLVED!!

WC Mencken said...

If it wasn't for unions there never would have been a middle class.