Members of the Bexley Education Association (BEA) and the Bexley City School District Board of Education have agreed on a new contract for the district's teachers.

Members of the Bexley Education Association (BEA) and the Bexley City School District Board of Education have agreed on a new contract for the district's teachers.

BEA members voted to ratify the contract prior to leaving for spring break on March 18. School board members voted unanimously to approve the agreement during a brief special meeting March 28.

The new contract runs through July 2015. Under the terms of the new contract, teachers agreed to forego wage increases until 2013.

The current base salary for a Bexley teacher is $35,180. On July 1, 2013, a base raise of 1.5-percent takes effect, with another 1.0-percent raise on July 1, 2014.

Bexley City School District Public Information Officer Amy Thompson said teachers will still receive scheduled step increases under the new contract.

Supplemental contracts and pay for items such as summer school teaching and workshops will increase at the same rate as the base pay: 0-percent, 0-percent, 1.5-percent and 1-percent respectively over the four-year period.

Starting this July, the contract increases the number of workdays to 186 instead of the current 185-day term. The extra day will be used for professional development. The extra day in effect increases Bexley's base salary to $36,025 through July 1, 2013 at which point it increases to $36,565. On July 1, 2014, the base salary will be $36,931.

The new contract also allows the school district to enter into agreements with other boards of education; educational institutes for joint, cooperative, dual credit; or other instructional programs in order to offer programming beyond the current curriculum. Staff meeting time will increase to an annual amount of 30 hours instead of the three hours per month for nine months in the old contract.

"It was the most positive experience I've had in negotiations," BEA president Mindy Hall said. "There was a lot of good discussion about where we want to go as a district in terms of our professional development and participating in professional learning communities."

Superintendent Mike Johnson said he also was pleased with the agreement, given Ohio's current economic climate.

"This contract gives the school district a lot of stability," Johnson said. "It is going to be difficult to predict all the intended and unintended consequences of various proposed pieces of legislation. We all agreed that Bexley would be most prudent to monitor the progress of pending legislation and select the outcomes that are most beneficial to our district."