Christie supports collective bargaining


Gov. Chris Christie can be a tough politician to get a handle on. He is not exactly the perfect manifestation of the popular consensus on what makes a Republican. For example, while many Republicans are throwing their support behind Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wis.) and his efforts to essentially destroy collective bargaining for public unions, Christie publicly announced his support for collective bargaining at a Hillsborough, N.J., town hall meeting. In the words of the governor himself, "Let's get rid of civil service and let everything be collectively bargained." This is one of the things that makes Christie such an admirable person — regardless of your political affiliation, you have to give him credit for standing behind his principles instead of party lines.

New Jersey residents have been pretty anxious about what will happen to public unions in this state. But now they can take solace in the fact that Christie is in full support of collective bargaining. It must be noted that some are suspicious about Christie's support for public unions and understandably so. After all, he has been locked in a long and vicious battle with the teachers union, the New Jersey Education Association. But according to Christie, his supposed assault on the teachers union "has nothing to do with breaking the union, it has to do with share sacrifice." Perhaps Christie is just blowing smoke. It is entirely possible that he has some sort of ulterior motive. But, as of now, any conspiracy theories regarding Christie's support for collective bargaining are nothing more than vague notions. Christie has not done anything in the past to suggest that he hides his motivations or changes his opinions to mollify the public.

One of the most common attacks launched against public unions is that they have benefits that the private sector does not have, and therefore, they should be dismantled. There is a selfish "if I'm going down, I'll take everyone else with me" mentality behind this attack, as it suggests that no one should be allowed to have things that others do not have. Thankfully, Christie is going about this the right way — rather than seeking to destroy public unions, he is merely asking them to share the sacrifices that the private sector has had to make. His decision to do so through the avenue of collective bargaining shows that Christie understands that vicious attacks on public unions are not the answer. Instead, there must be a negotiation process — it is only fair for all parties involved.


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