Pay Raises For New N.J. Teachers Contracts Are Smallest In At Least 30 Years

middle school lakewood tlsAs Gov. Chris Christie campaigned against teacher raises during his first six months in office, unions and school districts agreed to the lowest pay hikes in more than three decades, according to a survey released Thursday by the New Jersey School Boards Association. Teachers in 75 districts who settled contracts in the first half of the year will see an average raise of 2.03 percent for the 2010-11 school year, the association said. That’s the lowest pay increase in the more than 30 years the group has kept track — and doesn’t include an additional 18 districts that broke into contracts to freeze salaries.

Association spokesman Frank Belluscio said the chief factor was the $1.3 billion in state education aid cut since January, leaving many districts faced with a choice: cut pay or see colleagues fired and positions frozen.

“We united to save jobs,” said Susan Sawey, president of the Sparta Education Association, which agreed to a one-year freeze. “That was our main goal.” Read more in Star Ledger.

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