The Wellston City Schools Board of Education voted to ratify a new contract with the Wellston Teachers Association (WTA), which will go into effect on July 1, 2017, extending through June 30, 2020.
Both sides reached the tentative agreement in just one day and it was made official by a unanimous 3-0 vote by the board during its monthly meeting on Monday evening, June 12.
The new contract calls for wage increases of 4 percent the first year and 3 percent each of the second and third years. Employees will also increase the percentage of their financial contribution for health insurance coverage. The employees' contribution will be 10 percent the first year, 11 percent the second year and 12 percent the third year.
The terms were apparently acceptable to both sides as the negotiations were completed almost as soon as they began.
"The contract negotiations with WTA were very productive," Wellston Superintendent Karen Boch said Tuesday. "We were able to complete negotiations within an evening. It was a positive experience with both sides working together."
Board members and the WTA leadership also spoke positively about the experience, including Wellston School Board Vice President Gretchen Crabtree.
"I sat in on these negotiations in the past and I think we were done with this one in record time," Crabtree said. "I think things went well on both sides. It was probably the smoothest one I've ever been involved with."
WTA President David Souders echoed those sentiments.
"I have negotiated for what seems like forever and this was the smoothest ever," he said. "I really appreciate the board for seeing our needs and both sides working together to come to an agreement.
"I've sat through negotiations in the past that lasted for weeks and hours and we couldn't get a contract and this was so much better. We sat down face-to-face, everyone had a mutual respect for each other and we were able to come up with an agreement that we feel was very fair to us. I really appreciate the board, along with Superintendent Boch and [Treasurer] Tami [Downard] for their efforts."