In my previous post I called out NJEA President Wendell Steinhauer for siding with Gov. Christie and Senate President Steve Sweeney in their takeover of Atlantic City. If Sweeney's bill (which Christie has said is the only bill he will sign) is passed, it will give the state sweeping powers over the city, including the right to suspend the collective bargaining agreements of the city's unions—except NJEA. However, recognizing and respecting the importance of labor's right to bargain for wages, benefits and working conditions, Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto has proposed legislation that would establish benchmarks that must be met over a 2-year period before CBAs could be touched. NJEA is exempt from this bill, too.
At a time when republican governors across this country are doing everything in their power to bust unions and deflate the middle class, and given Gov. Christie's long and very public history of malice toward and hatred of NJEA, the last thing Wendell Steinhauer should be doing is saying anything that remotely paints us as supporting him.
Here's a side-by-side comparison of the two bills courtesy of the NJ Professional Firefighters Association:
Why hasn't NJEA released something like this?
Instead, Steinhauer released this statement (in red) that appears to try to walk back his previous comments, but it still feels hollow: