Well, Corzine finally reached a much-promised agreement with state employees and labor unions. The deal would caused workers to contribute 1.5 percent of their annual salary to health care, a first for the state. The Minimum retirement age also increases for new hires from 55 to 60.
But in order to get the deal done, Corzine had to agree to give employees a 13.6 percent wage increase over 4 years; 3 percent in the first two years and 3.5 percent in the last two.
This just drives me crazy, not only because it is guaranteed wage hikes even when the state is facing an enormous debt problem (how many of us "private" employees would be offered the same guaranteed increase), but because Corzine promised hard negotiations to drive down the costs of state employees passed along to the taxpayers. And on top of that, as Bob Ingle of the Asbury Park Press notes on his blog, some union leaders are already griping about having to pay 1.5 percent of their annual salary to health costs, when most private employees have to pay 7, 8, 10 percent or more.
Here's the sketch: