By John Mooney (Courtesy of NJ Spotlight)
New Jersey teachers are returning to their classrooms this month with smaller pay increases than in previous years.
The state schools boards association said the average pay increase in settled contracts as of this past spring was about 2.25 percent for the 2013-14 school year. That’s down from 2.37 percent last year and half of the average pay hike of almost 4.5 percent five years ago, according to the association.
But the decline in pay increases appears to be ebbing, if not ending, with recent settlements starting to creep up a little from what were historic lows.
In the Burlington County district of Moorestown, for instance, a contract ratified Monday amounted to a 7.16 percent increase for teachers over the next three years. That averages out to about 2.4 percent a year, although the contract includes other concessions.
The school boards association, as well as the state’s dominant teachers union, said that they have seen a leveling in the pay increase decline as well, although it remains too early to tell how long the trend will last. According to the school boards association, in more than 100 of the most-recently settled contracts, the average salary increase was about 2.31 percent, a slight up-tick from the previous average.
A spokesman for the New Jersey Education Association, the teacher union for most districts in the state, cited Moorestown among a handful of districts where recent settlements have seen salary increases exceeding 2.5 percent in some years. Others included Lenape, Galloway and Berlin Township school districts.
Read more at NJSpotlight.com
NJ Spotlight is an issue-driven news website that provides critical insight to New Jersey’s communities and businesses. It is non-partisan, independent, policy-centered and community-minded.