Christie to Teacher: You Can Quit

By Andy Barr
|  Thursday, May 27, 2010  |  Updated 7:02 AM EDT
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Christie to Teacher: If You Don't Like Pay, Quit

AP

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New Jersey GOP Gov. Chris Christie told a disgruntled teacher that if she doesn’t like the pay, she doesn’t “have to do it.”

Christie was speaking to a small crowd in a church gymnasium in Rutherford on Tuesday when the Bergen County Record caught the exchange between Kearny teacher Rita Wilson and the governor.

Wilson claimed that if she were getting paid only three dollars an hour for the 30 students she teaches, her salary would be $83,000 a year, a much higher sum than her current take.

“You’re getting more than that if you include the cost of your benefits,” Christie pointed out.

The teacher responded by saying that she has a master’s degree and that her current salary isn’t compensating her for the value of her higher education as well as her experience.

To that, the governor responded: “Well, you know then that you don’t have to do it.”

Christie recently finished a round of negotiations with the teachers unions in which he got them to agree to a salary freeze and 1.5 percent increase in employee benefits in order to avoid budget cuts to the education system.

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