The South-Western City School District Board of Education voted Monday, Nov. 18, to enter into a new three-year contract with district teachers and other staff represented by the South-Western Education Association.

The South-Western City School District Board of Education voted Monday, Nov. 18, to enter into a new three-year contract with district teachers and other staff represented by the South-Western Education Association.

According to a release from the school district, SWEA represents about 1,400 employees including teachers, guidance counselors, nurses, psychologists and tutors.

The district's previous contract with SWEA expired June 30. The board and SWEA began negotiations in the spring of 2013.

The new agreement takes effect immediately and will expire June 30, 2016. SWEA members voted last week to accept the proposal.

According to the district release, highlights of the agreement include the following:

* SWEA members will receive a cost-of-living increase of 2 percent in base salary for each of the three years of the contract.

* The agreement with SWEA outlines evaluations based on the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System (OTES) model, which includes teacher performance and student growth.

* The agreement also outlines the evaluation process for non-OTES teachers.

* The agreement delineates procedures for implementing a reduction in force (RIF) plan based on evaluation and seniority.

"The agreement was reached as a result of the continued collaborative effort between the board and SWEA," said District Treasurer Hugh Garside in the release. "The agreement allows the district to remain competitive while staying within budget."

Board member Karen Dover, who served as a member of the board's negotiating team, commented on the OTES model incorporated in the new contract. Those changes were dictated by state law.

"The changes in state law have required a substantial shift in the way the South-Western City School District does business. We appreciate the way the teachers continue to partner with us on behalf of our students and our community," she said.