Christie: I was wrong

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:


Comments (22)

  1. Jersey Shore John

    We Were Wrong.

  2. Bill Orr

    I thought lawmen were taught to think before they shoot.  This is not the first time our top lawman has displayed his trigger-happy ways.  The more bad shots he takes, the easier target he becomes for our soon-to-be legislative sharpshooters.  

  3. firstamend07

    Poor Chris Christie!

    Stop right now.

    He knew months ago that he could not legally break that deal.So now he goes “public” and the taxpayers are going to go ballistic. Christie will tell them that he can’t reinstate “needed ” programs because he has to pay state workers their “7%” increase.

    Christie can now do just about anything and blame it on the State workers.

    Christie also knows that Article 41 of the state worker contract clearly states that if the Legislature does not appropriate the money to pay for the terms of the contract then the terms become null and void.

    Poor Chris Christie will simply say that he would like to stop this money from being appropriated but his hands are tied by the Legislature.

    Poor Chris Christie also knows that the renegotiated contract agreement ends on January 1,2011. So 6 months into the fiscal year he can order massive layoffs to make up for this 7% raise. He will use the contract terms against the union leadership and make them either reopen the contract again or be blamed for thousands and thousands of layoffs.

    Chrisite is no dummy and he is certainly not “handcuffed”. He is a skilled politician who will use this situation to get public anger to a fever pitch.

    If the Unions were smart they would immediately offer to reopen the contract ” for the sake of the over taxed taxpayer” and renegotiate publicly any new  terms.The unions however are not smart and will look on this as a victory.This will antagonize taxpayers even morewhich is just what Christie wants.  

    To out smart a fox you must think like a fox

  4. speedkillsu

    the magic kingdom …pension funding …unions would be short sighted to think the public will stand for this …his other tools …outsourcing ,benefit cuts …let pensions implode …Christie has the public support on this one ,I think the union handed him a golden opportunity

  5. speedkillsu

    So now Christie cannot  reduce expenses , and he  is not allowed to layoff or furlough employees, once NJ runs out of money and cannot issue paychecks, what recourse will people who normally get their their paycheck directly or indirectly from the state have? Pretty aggressive trump card to throw down on the gov’s part but once the well runs dry, probably does not matter what someone’s employment agreement says – the paycheck will bounce if there is no money in the account.

    If Christie is smart  his next move is ” I’ve got plenty of jobs at $11 and hour but none at $24, let me know which works best for you.”…

  6. HobokenSchmo

    Corzine made a deal designed not to ensure the fiscal health of NJ but to garner Union votes. Anyone who is happy with the Corzine deal is short sighted because it means the 2010-2011 cuts won’t include layoffs so the cuts that are made will have to be deeper. That means the state program that provides blind Rocco with brail books might be cut entirely, school aid may be gone entirely, other programs helping the vulnerable may be reduced or eliminated.

    On the national stage the Republicans are the “Party of No” it seems the Democrats are becoming the same for NJ. I want to see the Democrat plan to close the 2010-2011 budget gap? What do the Democrats want to cut or what taxes do they want to raise.

  7. speedkillsu

    The proper way for Christie to     negotiate is as follows: Either the union reopens the contract for savings or every single current union member will be fired at the end of the contract. It really isn’t that hard, . Christie  holds all the cards if  he would bother to play them …RR played then just fine ask the air controllers how they made out  


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