Caps and Games

NJ Spotlight reports on a fast timeline for new caps on superintendent salaries, as Ed Commissioner Schundler told “top county executives” (Executive County Superintendents maybe?) to “impose new limits immediately.”
Some discretion would be provided for those new contracts already in the pipeline, said spokesman Alan Guenther, but the aim is to prevent any superintendents from trying to extend existing deals or negotiate new ones before the new limits are formally put in place.
Sounds a lot like the State is trying to prevent a redo of this past Spring when some local NJEA bargaining units rushed to nail down contracts to evade the new 1.5% of base pay contribution to health benefits. This new contribution only applies to new contracts, so employees with pre-negotiated deals evade the deduction until after the current contract expires.

The rush to evade the new contribution may also attribute to a fact reported in the Westfield Patch yesterday that since January teacher contracts have settled at an average salary increase of 2.2%, down from last year’s average of 4.4%. In fact, that 2.2% settlement average of recent contracts is actually 3.7% in real numbers. The health care contribution is only applicable to brand new contract; pre-existing contracts are immune until they expire. So employees laboring under rules of pre-existing contracts get to keep the 1.5% that other employees hand back.

Anyway, it sounds like the State expects a sudden rush in superintendent/school board contracts that may not adhere to the caps. No fools they.