TRENTON — In a thinly-veiled attempt to intimidate New Jersey’s largest public teachers’ union, Chris Christie clone and Republican gubernatorial candidate Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli yesterday demanded the NJEA alter their endorsement process so he could bully them.
The truth is Assemblyman Ciattarelli has no interest in presenting his plan, which has previously been described as “deeply flawed” and “utterly inappropriate,” to rank-and-file teachers because it’s nothing more than a return to skipped pension payments and disastrous Christie-era cuts that would gut teachers’ pensions, slash their health benefits, and threaten the quality of New Jersey’s No.1 ranked public schools.
Like Christie, Assemblyman Ciattarelli has consistently attacked organized labor and called for public workers to be moved from guaranteed payments to 401(k) style plans, complaining that previous reforms did not go “far enough” to reduce benefits.
In 2015, the Assemblyman told a crowd of more than 300 teachers demanding his support for a full pension payment, “Life isn’t fair. Teacher’s pensions are the can that is getting kicked down the road.”
“This is more of the same from Assemblyman Ciattarelli, who’s returning to the Christie playbook of bullying teachers and vilifying public labor unions to promote his plan to slash benefits,” said Murphy for Governor Spokesman Jerrel Harvey. “The Assemblyman wants to drag New Jersey back to a special-interest-driven agenda that prioritizes the wealthy and corporations over public workers, and voters won’t go back to those failed ways.”