Polls Turn Against Public Employee UnionsBy Peter Roff | US News & World Report Thomas Jefferson Street blog | May 20, 2010
The idea that public employees have gold-plated benefits packages is, in a flagging economy, potentially toxic, prompting some public offici
als to address the issue head on.
In one prominent example, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie kicked off a firestorm of protest when he proposed that the state’s teachers begin making contributions to their pension plans. So far Christie, who is refusing to back down despite threats from teachers’ union officials, seems to be winning the argument because, with national unemployment near 10 percent and federal and state deficits at record levels, folks who are tightening their belts at home are put off by what they view as the selfishness of public employees who refuse to give even an inch.
This sentiment is not confined to New Jersey. A recent national survey by Resurgent Republic, an organization started by former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie, found that voters are increasingly concerned about the high levels of pay and benefits that federal employees enjoy, which are now on average higher than what private sector workers earn.