In 21 contracts settled since April 1, teachers will get average salary increases of 2.1 percent in the coming school year, down from 2.66 percent for contracts settled since January 2010 and 3.19 percent for all contracts. These raises come as teachers are chipping in more for pensions and health benefits due to a state law passed in June aimed at reining in public spending and shoring up an underfunded pension system.
The school boards association attributed the decline in teachers’ raises to pressure from the new 2 percent cap on property tax levies, reduced state aid to most districts for the past two school years and district-level concerns about taxpayers’ struggles during the recession. The trend continues the squeeze on teachers’ raises since the 2004-05 school year, when they hit 4.68 percent.
Do a simply Google search and you’ll notice that EVERY media rendition of this story makes it sound like actual salaries were cut. Don’t dust off your violins just yet. Less than 2.8% of Americans received any raise at all in 2010, Save Jerseyans. Many more people lost jobs than started earning more for the one which they currently hold. And other are taking jobs for significantly less than they ordinarily would.
And what makes teachers think they should expect an automatic bump every year just for being alive? Answer: a teachers union that STILL hasn’t accepted reality.