The Newark Board of Education and the Newark Teachers Union have agreed to raise the district’s new teacher starting salary to $62,000 per year. In a briefing with his staff, Superintendent León thanked district negotiators and the NTU bargaining team for this expeditious resolution that will make Newark one of the most competitive urban school systems in the Northeast.
In order to recruit new teachers and retain veteran teachers, the Newark Board of Education needed to be competitive with other school districts. Some districts’ labor agreements expired during the pandemic, so their teachers’ salaries have been raised as part of the process of reaching their next labor agreements. Other districts re-opened negotiations mid-contract during the pandemic to raise teachers’ salaries as an incentive for recruitment and retention. Because the current agreement between the Newark Board and its teachers’ union, the NTU, runs through the 2023-24 school year, immediate action was required.
“While teacher shortages across the nation have been exacerbated by the global pandemic, we in Newark are leveraging multiple strategies to attract and retain great teachers,” said Superintendent Roger León. “These new salaries will attract fresh talent and at the same time foster retention by increasing the salaries of experienced teachers.” The increase to $62,000 will attract and improve the recruitment of new teachers, especially for student teachers and college graduates looking forward to entering the teaching profession. The re-opener will also increase the salaries of all teachers who currently earn less than the new teacher salary, also to $62,000, and retention of all other teachers is addressed with increases of $1,000 over the next two years.
In addition, Newark’s new hires in critical areas (mathematics, science, special education, bilingual education, and English as a second language) are eligible for a $4,000 signing bonus, and all district employees are eligible for a $1,000 bonus for referral of a new teacher that is successfully on-boarded.
With these new salaries and bonuses, the Newark Public Schools will be competitive with every school district in the State to hire and retain the best and brightest teachers at a time when there is a tremendous shortage of teachers. “The importance of this agreement cannot be overstated. I want to thank our negotiations team and the district for demonstrating leadership and foresight,” said John Abeigon, NTU President.
Dawn Haynes, President of the Board of Education, added, “We have to continue to find creative ways to attract stellar teachers. This recent development with the reopener is just one more example of doing just that.”