Teaching Students How to Scout Out Truthful News Sources

Steve Adubato goes on-location to the 2018 NJEA Convention to talk to Steve Beatty, Secretary-Treasurer, New Jersey Education Association, about Chapter 78, a law requiring school employees to pay a portion of health insurance premiums, the public employee pension fund and the importance of teaching kids how to identify truthful news sources.

2/2/19 #2204






"We're here with Steve Beatty, Secretary-Treasurer, NJEA. Good to see you Steve. Good see you Steve. Thanks for having me. Lots of issues that I've talked to you and your colleagues about. But one of the ones I wanted to talk to you about is this whole ending, quote, "Chapter 78". What is Chapter 78? And why should people watching, even if they're not public employees or public school educators, care about it? What is it? Long story short, in 2011, it's a law that was passed that has public employees pay a portion of their healthcare premium costs. The health and pension reform? Right. Exactly. Right. So it increased our pension payments and the part we're really more talking about is the healthcare premium sharing. Because what it does now is it has educators... public employees, but educators in our case, paying upwards of 35 percent of their premiums, which of course is a skyrocketing cost. Now we're not saying that educators shouldn't pay a fair share of their employee benefits, but what happened now you have employees paying ten, eleven, twelve thousand dollars or more a year, crippling people that are working on educator salaries. Which we all know traditionally aren't the highest. The trade-off as we got in the profession going back decades was you took a less salary because benefits were part of the package... Right. ...to make a whole in this case. But now the impact is salaries haven't got up much at all, especially with what happened in the financial world and things that impacted public education, but the huge increase in the healthcare costs has really crippled... where public educators in many cases haven't seen a raise or won't see a raise for years, if ever again. You know, the Devil's Advocate question is obvious. Sure. And you've dealt with it before. I'm going to put it on the table. If someone says, "But the pension system is going broke! We don't have the money! We've got to make these changes. And if teachers aren't going to make more, hey listen, at least we'll save the system." You say what to those folks? Well I say that I understand that the pension system is in trouble, but that's, for the larger part, not the fault of anyone. I never missed a pension payment. But the state, of course, granted themselves, I guess you want to call it, a "holiday" going back decades and decades through other administrations… "Holiday" is otherwise known as not paying? Not... that's a nice way of saying not paying. Not contributing? Not contributing. So... and I'm not blaming... you know what? It's Democrats and Republican governors all along going..."