Back in 2009, Chris Christie slipped into the governor’s office by 80,000 votes, winning only 49 percent of the vote in a three-way race.
For the next four years, NJEA members learned that elections have consequences.
This governor has defunded our classrooms, cost thousands of us our jobs, unilaterally imposed higher pension and health care costs, and insulted and demeaned us on a regular basis.
But this time, even though he won re-election, NJEA and its members won a huge victory of their own – working tirelessly over the course of many months to help elect a pro-public education Legislature that should ensure that New Jersey will not become the next Wisconsin.
Much was at stake if the Legislature had fallen into the Christie administration’s grasp. We all saw what happened to our colleagues in Wisconsin when Gov. Scott Walker and a complicit Legislature destroyed collective bargaining, teacher salaries, and health care benefits. The same model followed in Michigan, Indiana, and North Carolina.
But not in New Jersey.
We drew a line in the sand, and while we were not able to stop the Christie express – even though a vast majority of New Jerseyans disagree with him on the issues that matter to them – we prevailed in the legislative races.
NJEA members should all be proud of the work we did, and the message we sent in this election. NJEA will stand up to this governor, his out of state billionaire backers, and anyone else who wants to make New Jersey an anti-union, anti-worker state.
And we will prevail.