If you have ever been part of your board’s negotiations committee, you know how important it is to have comprehensive, reliable data when engaging in bargaining. The New Jersey School Boards Association is proud to announce its new Negotiations Data Portal. 

A service provided as part of member dues, the Negotiations Data Portal contains various resources, including a new custom report generator that can be a powerful tool for school board members and administrators. It is designed to provide comprehensive data and analytics to aid in the negotiation of contracts between school boards and teachers unions.

The Negotiations Data Portal is a centralized platform where you can find data on teacher salary guides, longevity summaries, settlement details and other resources to help you navigate negotiations. Comparative data can give negotiators a benchmark against other regions, counties and neighboring districts. The custom report generator gives members the ability to format the data the way they want to see it, with around-the-clock service. Previously, members had static reports that were updated monthly, or they had to wait for an NJSBA representative to respond to their request. With the launch of the new report generator, members now can sort and filter live data, with records updated nightly.

In addition to the settlements and salary guide data gathered by NJSBA, the portal also includes a compilation of teachers collective bargaining agreements from around the state in one convenient location. NJSBA analyzes the contract for certain data points (e.g. salary, longevity, work year, benefit waiver incentives) to provide members with valuable insights into teacher trends across the state along with the tools they need to conduct research for their negotiations.

The portal’s custom report generator allows users to create reports based on specific criteria. Users can select the desired parameters of teachers’ settlement and teachers’ salary guide data collected throughout the year for downloading into a spreadsheet and/or report. This enables school board members and administrators to focus the report parameters on specific factors when negotiating contracts, such as grade configuration and enrollment size of the district. At the negotiations table, members can use the custom report generator to analyze data on teachers’ settlement rates, board achievements obtained in negotiations (union concessions), and salary guides and longevity.

The Negotiations Data Portal and custom report generator are particularly valuable for school districts facing budget constraints. By analyzing data on teacher compensation, school districts can identify areas where they can cut costs without compromising the quality of education.

The portal can also help school districts attract and retain high-quality teachers. By analyzing data on teacher compensation across the state, school districts can identify areas in which they may need to offer higher salaries or better benefits to attract and retain top talent. This can help school districts maintain a high level of academic excellence and ensure that students receive the best possible education.

The custom report generator provides valuable information on teacher compensation trends, as well. For example, it can provide insights into how teacher salaries and board achievements (union concessions that were reported within the latest round of negotiations) vary by region and district size. 

If researchers want to learn how settlements and salary guides have changed over time, the portal also provides reports on historical teachers’ settlements and salary guides, as well as our semiannual bulletin “Trends in Teacher Contract Negotiations.” This information can aid school districts in developing more effective negotiating strategies that consider district-specific factors and emerging trends.

“I’m excited to offer this valuable tool to our members,” said Sandy Raup, business data analyst at NJSBA, who played a key role in the development of the Negotiations Data Portal. “The ability to supply new teacher settlement information as it becomes available will provide users of this system with all the data that has been reported to us without having to wait for me to send them a report or wait for monthly reports to be updated on the website. The feedback from our members so far has been fantastic.”

NJSBA’s Negotiations Data Portal, with its custom report generator, is an invaluable tool for school board members and administrators. It provides comprehensive data and analytics on teacher compensation that can help school districts negotiate contracts that are fair, cost-effective and focused on student achievement. We encourage members to sign into the portal and navigate through the available options available to them at the negotiations table.

NJSBA hosted a webinar on the topic of the Negotiations Data Portal with the new custom report generator on Feb. 1, 2023. We encourage readers to visit www.njsba.org/training/webinars to view the recording.

Michael Kvidahl is NJSBA’s marketing manager.