The Star-Ledger Editorial Board declares that NJ’s “collective bargaining system is broken” (referring to the sound and fury expelled during negotiations in Marlboro [see here and here], where the local board pulled tried every tactic but, in the end, agreed to a contract whereby teachers will contribute nothing to health care premiums and will receive pay increases of 23% over five years). The Star-Ledger’s recommendation: freeze all public salaries for a year (only possible if local union affiliates agree to reopen negotiations or the Legislature passes a law) and reenact the ability of boards to exercise “last, best offer” (only possible through Legislative action).
If we were a private company, we’d be General Motors.
So it’s time to go nuclear. It’s time to rewrite the rules. It’s time for the showdown with unions that has been brewing for years.
Many of the local unions, especially the militant NJEA, are likely to opt for layoffs rather than reopen contracts they believe to be sacrosanct. Then they will blame the reduced services and larger classrooms on the politicians and vow political revenge.
The unions will argue this drive amounts to an assault on police officers, firefighters, teachers, and social workers.
Don’t fall for that.
Labels: NJEA, school boards