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Posts Tagged ‘NJ fiscal problems’

NJ teachers union breaks the bank on ads, close to $7 million spent in 2010

March 9, 2011 Leave a comment

The NJEA outspent every other special interest group in the state last year, and it wasn’t even close:

The state’s largest teachers union last year spent $6.6 million on an ad campaign targeting Gov. Chris Christie’s cuts to education, according to a report issued by the Election Law Enforcement Commission this morning.

The New Jersey Education Association blanketed the airwaves last year as it warred with Christie, and spent a total of almost $6.9 million on lobbying across the board, making it far and away the special interest group that spent the most to win over the public and elected officials. […]

The report also showed that Reform Jersey Now — an issue advocacy group tied to Christie’s closest advisers — spent $403,000 on communications in 2010. The group, which disbanded in December, raised a total of $624,000 from private donors, including ones with hundreds of millions of dollars worth of contracts with the state.

The pro-charter school group Excellent Education For Everyone was the second highest spender on communications behind the NJEA, shelling out $458,928.

The NJEA is a union with considerable financial muscle to be sure.  That’s what happens when you have a license to steal from fellow taxpayers.

 

NJEA robbing New Jersey taxpayers blind

April 5, 2010 Leave a comment

The fight between taxpaying New Jersey families and the crooked interests of the NJEA, the state’s teachers union shows no sign of letting up.  Governor Christie is taking the battle very seriously, and is proving that he really means business when it comes to calling out the corrupt and wasteful union.

One of the excuses the union is using is that the governor is playing politics, that the union is standing up for middle class working teachers and has the interests of the New Jersey students at heart. 

Really?

The average New Jersey family has an annual income of approximately $77,875. 

How much do NJEA bosses make?

[NJEA] executive director Vincent Giordano received $421,615 in salary and $128,508 in deferred compensation and contributions to benefit plans, according to the filing.

Union officials say the pay represented a temporary, one-year spike for Giordano, a former middle school science and social studies teacher who joined the NJEA staff as a field representative in 1970. He is now paid $300,000.

Barbara Keshishian, the NJEA president, is currently paid $256,450. Vice president Wendell Steinhauer and secretary-treasurer Marie Blistan are paid $170,974 each, according to the union, which said the salaries are appropriate to the demands of a 24-hour job.

That means that the top four individual positions in the union average over $255,000 a year–about three times more than the average NJ family makes in a year.  Giordano himself makes almost six times more than the average family.  If he were to give up just half of his salary, he could pay union dues for almost 300 teachers in the state.  Or maybe even pay health benefits for some of them. 

The union really has some chutzpah.  Despite all the bellyaching and whining about playing politics, despite all the bitching about inequality and claiming to support middle class teachers, the bosses are making out like bandits.  At the least, they’re making out better than most middle class New Jersey families–the very people they are screwing over.

What the NJEA is doing to New Jersey taxpayers is nothing short of robbery.

Chris Christie unleashed

March 26, 2010 Leave a comment

Governor Chris Christie is pulling no punches in what’s shaping up to be an epic battle between fiscal sanity and the obstinate teachers union. 

As I wrote earlier this week, conservatives nationwide should be paying attention to how the governor is calling out the teachers union and isn’t buying into their sob stories and their constant self-victimization.

Yesterday, Christie landed another jab:

Christie said teachers could avoid layoffs if they reopen their contracts, take pay freezes and pay 1.5 percent of their salary toward their health care. He said students should ask their teachers why they are unwilling to do that.

“They should ask their teachers, if they want to teach free thinking, why they’re in the throes of the dicta from their union, rather than resorting to common sense,” he said. “This is where they abuse their position of trust. Those are our children in that classroom. To be inundated with that type of propaganda – self-serving, self-interested, greedy propaganda – is reprehensible. And they know it.”

It’s so refreshing to see a Republican show some spine and not cave into the same, tired left-wing tactics.  Under the Corzine regime, when the teachers union yelled “Jump!”, the only answer from Trenton was, “How high?”. 

Christie apparently, doesn’t play by those rules.  He’s calling them out for the hypocrites that they are, and provided he himself doesn’t cave, the citizens of New Jersey will be much better off.

UPDATE.  The Washington Times picks up on the Christie story:

Most contentious have been his attacks on teachers and public-sector unions, which are getting a 7 percent pay raise over two years but contribute little or nothing toward health care at a time when one in 10 New Jerseyans are out of work. This week, the governor called on all public school employees to agree to salary freezes for the coming year and to contribute to their health insurance.

Mr. Christie’s budget proposal calls for laying off 1,300 public employees and looks to save $50 million by privatizing some state services.

“The leaders of the union who represent these teachers have used their political muscle to set up two classes of citizens in New Jersey: those who enjoy rich public benefits and those who pay for them,” he said in his budget address last week.

Here in New Jersey, the Christie/public union fight is all we’re hearing about on our local television and radio news.  Jersey is still deep blue, but that voters put Christie into office speaks volumes.  And I hate to rehash the election of 2009, but Christie picked up support in blue precincts and counties, especially in middle class areas, like along the Middlesex County corridor. 

Long story short, this is not a fluke.  Christie is doing exactly what the tax-weary electorate voted him in for.  The teachers union can stuff it!  

I can’t repeat it enough–this story should be getting national attention from conservatives and the Republican party.

[Via Hot Air Headlines]

NJ Transit raises fares by 25%

March 6, 2010 Leave a comment

Brought to you by eight long years of Democratic governance and liberal compassion.

Having stopped commuting into NYC years ago, and I gladly embrace my 15 minute commute on the GSP versus taking mass transit to wherever it is that I happen to be working, this really doesn’t affect me.  But when you live in New Jersey, especially the northern counties, every other person you know commutes to NYC by NJ Transit.