It’s budget development time. In many ways, much of the budget is outside the board’s control: Ratables, state aid, special education expenses. A big chunk, however, is tied up in the teachers’ collective negotiations agreement, where boards can have some impact.

The parties’ agreement on the settlement rate, and how much money the district will spend on salaries, is just the first part of the negotiations process. The second, and just as critical, is determining how that money will be distributed to members of the bargaining unit. In other words the salary guide also has to be negotiated by the parties.

Analyzing and Constructing Salary Guides, to be held Saturday, March 12, will assist participants in salary guide negotiations. The salary guide is critically important, as it is your compensation program for your most important human resource. Moreover, it’s the lion’s share of the operating budget. The National Center for Education Statistics indicates that in New Jersey, salaries account for 75 percent of current operating expenditures for school districts.

The training is geared to the entire bargaining team, including labor attorneys and the business administrator. This hands-on training will help participants understand how a well-constructed salary guide is critical to help school boards operate efficiently within current financial constraints.

Participants will engage in a step-by-step analysis of salary guide construction. Attendees will understand how to recognize and address salary guide aberrations, and learn strategies to effectively negotiate changes in guides. The program runs from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., with registration and a continental breakfast starting at 8:30 a.m.

Negotiating teams that participated in past NJSBA salary guide training have reported achieving dramatic improvements to their guides. For instance, one district eliminated numerous balloon steps from its guide, the largest of which represented a 15 percent raise. Other districts have reported an increased length of the guide, which correlated to a reduction in the cost of increment moving forward.

“Analyzing and Constructing Salary Guides” offers four NJSBA Board Member Academy credits. Application for eight Continuing Legal Education Credits for New Jersey lawyers is pending. Application is also pending for QPA credits for Business Administrators.

The member rate for the program is $299 and the non-member rate is $598. The registration fee includes a continental breakfast, lunch dinner, and program materials.

Registration Analyzing and Constructing Salary Guides will be held at the Robert Wood Johnson Hamilton Center for Health & Wellness3100 Quakerbridge Road Mercerville, NJ, 08619. Registration for Analyzing and Constructing Salary Guides may be done online, but only by the school business administrator. Business administrators who want to register officials from their districts should have a scanned purchase order ready to attach to the registration. For questions regarding registration, email the NJSBA Member Services Unit.