It’s interesting to see that after the swagger of the campaign, Chris Christie is realizing he has to honor contracts after all. You see, when unions agreed last year to take unpaid furloughs and put off a raise for 18 months, they obviously had to get something in return. That something was a “no layoff pledge” with teeth:
Christie said he was “wrong” in previously claiming that he would not be “bound by” the contract struck between unions and former Gov. Jon Corzine last June. The agreement called for 10 unpaid furlough days while deferring a wage increase in exchange for a no-layoff pledge through December 2010. It means two 3.5 percent wage increases are scheduled to take effect in the upcoming budget year, one in July and one in January.
No doubt Christie will try to drive a very hard bargain on the next contract, but Corzine did a good job in re-opening an existing contract, where he had traded pay increases for state workers having to pay for health care. When Corzine then wanted to take away the pay increases, he saved the state money while properly negotiating with the unions. Josh Zeitz puts it more unkindly:
“Chris Christie should be thanking Jon Corzine for saving him money,” Zeitz said. “It’s not Jon Corzine’s fault that he doesn’t understand the job … He should try negotiating.”
Another question is whether Christie knew he was wrong all along? I bet he did, his budget stories never held up to scrutiny, but after all, it worked. For unkindness and hilarity, let me go this time to conservative Rick Shaftan:
#RINO #Fraud @GOVCHRISTIE WON’T LAYOFF ONE STATE WORKER