Saturday, June 18, 2011

How NJ's Legislators Confronted The Unions

Here's an excerpt from a fine editorial in the Newark Star Ledger on the day [Thursday] when Republicans and Democrats (led by Christie, Sweeney and Oliver) worked together to hammer out a new agreement on public workers' benefits and pension reform:
Mark this as the day that the spell was broken, the day that the public worker unions finally lost their stranglehold on the Legislature, the day that Democrats ginned up the courage to confront the most important special interest group in their coalition.
Union leaders were in a daze, like jilted lovers who couldn’t believe the breakup was actually happening.  
This is Jersey, and they have been kings for a long time, even when Republicans were in power. A decade ago, they got a 9 percent pension boost just for asking. They rigged the rules on collective bargaining so they couldn’t lose, sending the average police salary to nearly $100,000. It became almost impossible to fire them, so no one even tried.  
Then two things happened: The costs grew and grew, and the recession hit.  
That led to the breakup. Because while politicians felt the fury of their taxpayers, the unions didn’t.
Click here to read more.

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