State Unions Hold New Jersey Hostage

New Jersey residents pay the most property tax in the country. The average yearly property tax bill tops $7,000 a year. Even New Jersey Democrat Gov. Jon Corzine supports reforming the tax system but his proposals have been stymied by the state’s government union bosses who threaten to shut the state down if they have to.

Over 7,000 public employees rallied in Trenton last week to protest pension and health care reform that will be used as an offset to the proposed property tax cut. Barbara Keshishian, vice president of the New Jersey Education Association, one of the state’s most politically powerful unions, rallied the crowd, “We keep this state running and if we have to, let me tell you, we can shut it down.”

The Bergen Record has called the state employee pay system, “runaway pay.” They describe the problem as “New Jersey governments are awash in red ink. But from State Street to town hall, no one is tackling the biggest reason for our fiscal woes – what we pay public employees. Focusing on police officers and teachers, we describe a system that has produced $100,000 base salaries for the rank and file, generous pensions and no-cost benefit packages – all at a time when the private sector is going in the opposite direction.

“We don’t blame the workers. They’re paid what government employers are willing to pay them.

“We blame the people who established a system that’s so one-sided that local governments can’t get a break. Those governments sit down to negotiate contracts with police and teachers and its game over before it even begins. The big losers in the process – taxpayers.”

And what is stopping reform of the system – the monopoly unionism system protected by New Jersey’s union elite and their forced dues power.