Today New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed legislation requiring state workers to contribute more to their health and retirement benefits to help meet budget shortfalls. New Jersey has more than a half-million, mostly union employees, whose pension system is facing an estimated $110 billion budget shortfall according to Fox New York.
Angry union members have been protesting the proposed changes but one must stop to ask why? Union boss and frequent White House visitor Richard Trumka is fond of saying that the rich don’t pay their fair share in this country.
Evidently Mr. Trumka is a casualty of our education system because if he followed the news, he’d know that government workers, on average, now earn more than twice their private sector counterparts. According to mygovcost.org government workers earn $123,000 annually compared to private sector employees who average only $52,000 per year.
The USA Today breaks the data down even further differentiating between federal, state, and private sector employees. In doing so there still remains an $8,000 difference between state and private sector employees and a massive $63,000 gap between federal and private sector employees.
Therefore using Richard Trumka’s logic, since most state and many federal personnel are in unions, it is unions that are not paying their fair share. For that reason, union members should rejoice that they are sacrificing for the “greater good.” They should be embracing these austerity measures and celebrating the fact that Governor Christie and Governor Walker are leveling the playing field.
Workers of the world unite…