I have made no secret over the years of my love and respect for teachers. My sisters are teachers, and I see what kind of work and devotion they put into their jobs and the lives of their students.

That is why it’s so upsetting to me to see how underpaid New Jersey teachers are and especially when you consider how overpaid some of the big shots in their union are.

The fact that some of the most honorable citizens of New Jersey are held hostage by the most powerful special interest group in New Jersey is very sad to me but that’s nothing new.

But when I read the column in today’s Star-Ledger about exactly how much money the NJEA president Ed Richardson is making in salary and benefits, it really made me sick. And I’m guessing that $1.2 million is just the tip of the iceberg when you tally up what all the other union heads are raking in.

It’s one thing for me as an average citizen to understand that this guy and his cronies are The people who decide the future of New Jersey because of their ability to move the legislature around like pawns in a chess game.

But then when I think about hard-working teachers who are in most cases worth double or even triple their average salary of $70,000 a year, it makes me sad. And on top of that, these teachers are forced to cough up almost $1000 in union dues for Richardson and his buddies at the top to play around with.

Only in a state like New Jersey can an organization like this continue to exist without ever having to answer to anyone about its unfettered power and intimidation. Even the mob gets questioned every once in awhile!

More from New Jersey 101.5:

Dennis & Judi are on the air weekdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tweet them @DennisandJudi or @NJ1015.