Chris Christie Fails Fact Check 'New York Times' examines popular governor's statements By Kevin Spak, Newser Staff Posted Mar 10, 2011 10:45 AM CST 55 comments Comments In this Feb. 16, 2011 file photo, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, R- N.J. speaks in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File) (Newser) – Chris Christie is a pretty popular guy these days, in part because he has a reputation as a straight shooter. But the New York Times took a look at some of his recent statements, and concluded that “some do not stand up to scrutiny.” For example: Christie said that unions “go around collective bargaining when they don’t get what they want … and they go to the Legislature.” But until recently, pension changes could only be made through the legislature in New Jersey, not through collective bargaining, so they had no choice. “There are dozens of states in this country that don’t have collective bargaining for public workers at all,” Christie said last week. Actually, there are only eight—mostly in the Southeast—plus a few in which only some public workers, like police and firefighters, can still bargain. Christie often says state unions got everything they wanted from predecessor Jon Corzine. Actually, the talks were contentious, sparked protests, and resulted in the workers accepting a higher retirement age, and bigger contributions towards their own pensions and health care. State worker health care benefits “up until this last spring were free, and I mean free,” Christie said last week. Actually, workers have been contributing 1.5% of their salaries toward premiums since 2007.