Sweetwater Union High School District teachers and officials on Friday celebrated a tentative contract agreement that will avoid a potential strike.

Sweetwater Union High School District

Superintendent Ed Brand, school board President Jim Cartmill and Roberto Rodriguez, head of the Sweetwater Education Association, said the deal was reached Thursday night. The settlement followed about a year of often- contentious negotiations.

The three scheduled a news conference for late this morning to discuss terms of the three-year contract.

The SEA said teachers will receive a 2 percent raise this year, retroactive to Jan. 1, and a 3 percent raise beginning July 1. The district also agreed to phase in smaller class sizes.     The teachers in the district, which includes middle and high schools Chula Vista, Imperial Beach, National City and southern San Diego, authorized a strike last month.

The agreement needs to be ratified by both the teachers’ rank-and-file and the school board.

— City News Service

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.