Average teacher raises trending downward

Negotiated teacher raises have been trending downward over the past 18 months and have averaged just over 2 percent since the beginning of the year, according to the New Jersey School Boards Association.

A total of 208 districts have yet to reach an agreement on a contract for the coming school year.

“Reasons for the decline in settlement rates, or average raises, include the 2% tax levy cap, reduced state aid in 2010-2011, and school board concerns about the impact of property taxes and the poor economy on their constituents,” said Marie S. Bilik, NJSBA executive director.

Overall, teachers will average a 3.19 percent increase for the coming year, down from 3.47 percent last year.  But for contracts negotiated since January 2010, that number drops to 2.66 percent.  Since April, negotiated raises have averaged 2.1 percent.

The 208 districts that remain unsettled this year represents a larger number than in the past.  According to the association, the larger number is the result of an increase in one-year contracts last year due to uncertainties in school funding, which sent more districts to the bargaining table this year.

Average teacher raises trending downward