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Letter: Christie a 'Sheep In Sheep's Clothing'

Hopatcong teachers union head says governor lies.

On Monday, the State Senate passed a bill aimed at

The bill, which passed 24-15 and must get through the Assembly before landing on Gov. Chris Christie's desk, makes various changes to how public employee retirment systems operate and to the benefit provisions of those systems.

Hopatcong teachers union head Jeff Ryder, a high school social studies teacher, expressed his views on the bill—and Christie—to Patch via email.

This as an unholy coalition between a corrupt governor and a group of spineless legislators who are using this to curry favor with an electorate for November.

This is not leadership, it is cowardly behavior. As Winston Churchill said, they are "sheep in sheep's clothing."

Throughout this entire discussion I have not seen this governor make any comment about him committing to make the payments he is obligated to do. He just spouts off about bipartisan efforts.

The question the press needs to ask the governor is, WILL HE NOW COMMIT TO PAYING HIS BILL? Or will this corrupt snake find another reason to avoid doing the right thing on behalf of the people of New Jersey? And, yes, that also includes tens of thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of public employees.

Everyone likes to talk about how they like collective bargaining. However this governor chose not to engage. He barged into the legislature's redistricting meetings more often than being involved in the bargaining process. I can only assume his comment, "I love collective bargaining, let me at them," was just another lie from a corrupt man.

I would like to see the press follow some of these issues though.

Bronson June 21, 2011 at 07:38 PM
Why should he pay the past few democratic Govenors didn't......and since he loves the status quo so much he should not expect anything else!!! Way to go Christie.....NJEA keep the ads coming...Ryders overpaid anyway time to exit!!!
james June 21, 2011 at 07:38 PM
Im a public employee too and its all about getting what we were promised when we took our job. If u believe this governor will do anything that helps you, you are extremely naive!
james June 21, 2011 at 07:40 PM
So because past governors STOLE from the pension fund its the employees fault?
Lurky Loo June 21, 2011 at 07:46 PM
Well it certainly isn't my fault but they keep taking it out on my taxes and I don't recall anyone having an issue with Corzine or McGreedy not paying into the system so what's really your beef? That you have to pay more now? Boo freakin' hoo. Go cry to Ryder, I'm sure he'll be sympathetic to your cause. You can both retire together.
james June 21, 2011 at 07:54 PM
So they were taking it out of your taxes but not putting where it was supposed to go. Sounds like you were lied to also. Of course we had a problem with the other govs not contributing but they didn't try to punish us for it. And u do understand that we pay taxes too right?
genesko June 21, 2011 at 08:10 PM
promises... did you ever promise your kid something you wanted to give them but then later, through no fault of your own, could not deliver? it happens. Lets say my company promises to pay me $40/hr x a 40 hr work week. then down the road, because of the economy, they cant make ends meet. Instead of laying me off, they offer me a cut in pay and/or a cut in hours or benefits. If I can't deal with that, it is always my perrogative to simply quit and find a new job. they promised me $40 @ 40 hours but now can't deliver. If the money is not there, it is not there. promise or not. contract or not. Just where do I want them to get that money they promised me? Or maybe they should lay off some other guy so I don't have to suffer. You always have a choice. It just might not be a very pleasant one. No one likes getting off the gravy train. Just look at Greece. Everyone was on the gravy train and now no one wants to get off and there is mayhem in the streets. But the money is not there. 'Doesn't matter how it happened (except not to repeat the mistake) but the here and now must be addressed logically. Collective bargaining is sheep mentality. The great thing about America is that each individual has individual rights and liberties and responsibilities. If you choose to relinquish some of those rights as a collection of employees, well you get the good and the bad of that.
james June 21, 2011 at 08:14 PM
GAC June 21, 2011 at 08:19 PM
How many years does a public employee need to work to retire with full benefits? Why is it so difficult for the unions to agree to having their constituents pay more for these really good benefits? What percentage of income tax (federal and state should a couple people making over $400,000 pay? Why hasn't 115 or so tax increases over the past 10 years solved this problem? Why are public unions hellbent on making the taxpayer suffer more?
GAC June 21, 2011 at 08:19 PM
"The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service," Roosevelt wrote in 1937 to the National Federation of Federal Employees. Yes, public workers may demand fair treatment, wrote Roosevelt. But, he wrote, "I want to emphasize my conviction that militant tactics have no place" in the public sector. "A strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to prevent or obstruct the operations of Government." FDR
james June 21, 2011 at 08:21 PM
It hasn't solved it because your beloved governors have been taking the money! Since u can't grasp that public employees are taxpayers too, good luck with your taxes. Who are you going to blame now?
GAC June 21, 2011 at 08:22 PM
The bottom line seems to be that Public sector unions do not want to CONCEDE anything, just continue to wallow in the public trough. With all the wisecracks about the governor's weight one would think that the truly OBESE (NJEA leadership) would look in the mirror.
Willa Scantlebury June 21, 2011 at 08:27 PM
Bad choice of photos - these kids have nothing to do with Ryder's opinions or decisions. (Regardless how someone will try to twist these words.) I'd be really mad if my kid were in this photo!
Koren Böstrom June 21, 2011 at 08:44 PM
Well put genesko. I appreciate this is a touchy subject matter, but I truly do not think the insults and accusations accomplish anything. What I would like to say is threat my daughter has Mr. Ryder as a teacher and thinks highly of him. In this day and age, that is a difficult thing to find with many teachers and for that I am grateful. For the state of affairs in New Jersey, the blame is significant and falls on the shoulders of many, past and present. The negativity coming out of the mouths of so many is not in the least bit productive in correcting the situation. For myself, I choose to focus on the things that I can change. The things that truly matter at the end of the day. The things in which my voice can be heard.
Cherie June 22, 2011 at 12:01 AM
There are 2 sides to every story however using a picture of a teacher along with 3 students suggests that these students gave permission for their photo to be used for this discussion. A picture with underage students should not be used for a politicial/union discussion unless parents & kids sign off on the picture. There are so many issues with NJ but using kids as a persuasive measure is wrong.
The Watcher June 22, 2011 at 04:26 AM
They "STOLE" from social security too but I don't see anyone being forced to replace the money for that. Maybe the entire country needs to unionize and make congress return the money they took from the taxpayers under false pretenses. Then maybe we can stop fighting amongst ourselves and start focusing on the government that lied to the taxpayers about where the money was going. I hear tell that Mr. Wiener is going to get $54,000 in retirement and can keep his membership in the super private gym(s) in congress. Romney had trouble finding anything smaller than a $100 bill in his pocket. BOTH parties are at fault.
Giuseppe June 22, 2011 at 04:50 PM
The party is over for Jeff and for all of the other Union Parasites. I have nothing against public workers but finally we have a politician that is willing to take on the New Jersey Extortion Association (NJEA). Jeff, it is time to pay MORE $$ into your pension and MORE $$ into your Cadillac heath insurance benefits. If you and your Union does not like it than retire, quit or maybe get a new job in the public sector! Try it I dare you!
Sue Hill June 22, 2011 at 11:46 PM
Sounds like a lot of mismanagement to me. That's NOT okay! Time to clean things up instead of punishing certain groups - excuding the millionaires, of course!
Sue Hill June 22, 2011 at 11:55 PM
I do not consider my job to be a "party." I love it, but I also know that it is a job that many people could not (and would not) do. Why am I being vilified because I love to teach? Why am I the bad guy who is a middle class taxpayer and now being told that I don't pay enough? What did I and my colleagues do to turn the public against us. Don't blame the NJEA - they have been there for us in time of need, and in our profession, that occurs far more than in the public sector. So, please lay off the teachers, firefighters and police officers. We are service oriented and we are not greedy. On another note - I have a friend who is fresh out of college and working in the public sector. Has a 401k and gets bonuses. Got a raise within 6 weeks. The starting salary? 62k. That's about 20k more than a teacher... and year to year raises tend to be better. Plus.... bonuses! I could go on and on, but those people who hate teachers will continue to do so. It's a shame. We went into the profession to teach children, not to "take" from the taxpayers!
Lurky Loo June 23, 2011 at 12:17 AM
Well they tried to punish the millionaires but they left the state along with 70 billion in wealth over the last 10 years because of oppressive tax rates. Rich can go where ever they want. They don't need to be punished by high taxes, they can take their money and employee hiring businesses and go to Fla or De or TX (more than 40% of the nations jobs created since 2009 have been in Tx because they are a right to work state and are not strangled by union thugs) where there is no state tax SO who does that leave to pick up the slack??? Give you one guess.
james June 23, 2011 at 12:27 AM
They all blame the njea and public employees but have no facts to back up their nonsense other than " christie says so" . Give me facts. What did the njea do to affect u personally?
Giuseppe June 24, 2011 at 03:53 PM
GREAT JOB GOVENOR CHRISTIE! FINALLY! If the public sector parasites do not like the new rules then they should try another line of work. Perhaps you could use your extensive talents and education to land a job in the public sector. Good luck! There is a new sheriff in town! The party is over! Socialism is dead in New Jersey! The Unions have lost - RIP!
james June 24, 2011 at 08:57 PM
Really? Now the state is OBLIGATED to make the pension payments that it has skipped for 17 years, which is why we're in this situation. So tell me, what positive effect has this had on you? Thanks for finally contributing to my pension!
Roll Back Our Tax June 26, 2011 at 12:21 PM
Amen....they're the ones I really feel sorry for in this whole matter.
Roll Back Our Tax June 26, 2011 at 12:26 PM
You two should get over it. You're lucky you still have a job and the taxpayers are still flipping the bill. But things are changing. Wait till this next leg goes down with this economy and we'll all be in panic mode because the unions don't want to come down to reality and take concessions. Then see where we'll all be. Right now the way I and others see it the public workers have made great strides in income, health benefits and retirement to the point it's way out of line with todays economic reality.
Roll Back Our Tax June 26, 2011 at 12:34 PM
AMERICANS ARE LOSING FAITH IN THE ECONOMY AND DOUBLE DIP COMING. http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/losing-faith-in-the-u-s-economy EMPLOYEES IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR ESPECIALLY TEACHERS SHOULD BE CONCERNED. http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/become-a-teacher-10-examples-that-show-why-becoming-a-teacher-is-a-dead-end-in-this-economy IF YOU WANT THINGS THE SAME YOU WILL BE PAYING THE PRICE. THEY CAN'T BE THAT WAY. IN WISCONSIN THE PROTESTS ARE A PRELUDE TO THE ECONOMIC RIOTS HERE IN AMERICA. http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/do-the-wild-teacher-protests-in-wisconsin-foreshadow-the-economic-riots-that-are-coming-soon-to-america NO ONE WANTS TO TAKE A PAY CUT OR SHARE IN COSTS BUT SOME ONE NEEDS TO MAKE THE SACRIFICE.BECAUSE IT'S ONLY A MATTER OF TIME BEFORE THIS MOUNTAIN OF DEBT COMES TUMBLING DOWN. http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/48-percent-of-americans-believe-another-great-depression-is-likely-in-the-next-12-months-19-reasons-why-they-are-not-completely-crazy YOU KNOW 48% OF AMERICANS BELIEVE ANOTHER GREAT DEPRESSION WILL HAPPEN IN THE NEXT 12 MONTHS. THOSE WHO GET LAID OFF WILL HAVE WISHED THEY HELPED DEFRY SOME OF THE COSTS OF THEIR HEALTH BENEFITS, PENSIONS COSTS AND EVEN TAKEN A PAY CUT. DON'T BELIEVE ME....TAKE A LOOK AT #7 ON ABOVE LINK. "In other areas, teachers and police officers are being fired in massive numbers. U.S. will combine to slash a whopping 450,000 jobs by the end of next year".
Roll Back Our Tax June 26, 2011 at 12:37 PM
I thought I'd share this with you so the next time a public employee (especially some one in education) tells me how hard they work, tell them how hard I work to support their living. The average teacher salary in Hopatcong is $73,044. The average administrative salary is $122,261. That doesn't include the health benefits, pension, etc. It used to be you took a public job for security. Got lower pay than in the private sector. In other words there was a trade off between risk and reward. Now you get the higher pay, great benefits and job security. Don't believe me? Go to this site and see the compensation gap by state for public vs private workers and wonder why we're being taxed to death. NJ is 3rd highest in union at $72,007 average pay about $6,681 higher that a private worker. http://www.burtonsbriefs.com/2011/03/compensation-gap-by-state-for-public.html Federal government it gets even worse. The average pay there is $81,258 http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/income/2010-08-10-1Afedpay10_ST_N.htm
Lurky Loo June 26, 2011 at 01:34 PM
But it's all for the children!
Roll Back Our Tax June 26, 2011 at 01:59 PM
Oh yea..."we're OBLIGATED". What we'll do as taxpayers is bankrupt the state of NJ and send it into receivorship. We'll make sure the federal government picks up the tab and has to pay these "OBLIGATIONS". When it can't hopefully, by that time Christe will be in the office of the Presidency and he'll start it all over again with what he's doing in NJ. Then the whole world will be in financial ruin with all the debt we've piled up and we'll bankrupt the whole USA! Only then can we get down to reality so we can start over. FYI..it's happening in Greece, Italy, Spain, Ireland and Portugal. Next it will hit other larger financially stable Europen countries like Germany that backed them. Then the old USA that backed Germany and other financially well off European countries will collapse. It can and will happen. Goldman Sachs is betting on it and buying credit derrivative swaps like there's no tomorrow. http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article18015.html We can't be bailing out everyone that threatens a strike to shut down public services, insolvency to a strategic business identity or threat to our national security. Our politicians we elected need to get a handle on this and quit letting the public unions and others I MAY ADD (like Henry Paulsen did when he was Secretary Treasurer under Bush) dictate to the tax paying public how this state or nation is going to spend our money. We need accountability and transparency. Otherwise there's going to be another Civil War!
Roll Back Our Tax June 26, 2011 at 02:20 PM
Here's black and white so everyone can understand what could happen as it did happen to one MAJOR county with 2 MILLION people on Long Island that had NO money and had NO other choice but to cut... http://www.hempstead-dems.com/Clippings/2011-03-19/2011-03-17-Newsday.htm $50.5 MILLION in eliminated county funded positions $15 MILLION in county contracts $15 MILLION in Police Department restructures $20 MILLION lower tax refund liability than projected by NIFA $10 MILLION requested NIFA freeze of union wages. $9.5 MILLION other measures. Total cuts OVER $120 MILLION!!!!!! NO tax money means less salaries, benefits and penions. If you're in public service and have a job be thankful and swallow the pain pill with the rest of us!
Roll Back Our Tax June 28, 2011 at 11:59 AM
$5,497,361,002 given to NJ from Obama from the National Recovery Act fund. Where did the $ go?


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