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Sunday, November 11, 2012
HSTA Launches 'Work to Rule' Protest
By Selected News Articles @ 5:21 PM :: 8518 Views :: Maui County, Education K-12, Energy, Environment

HSTA members at Campbell HS are planning a ‘Work to Rule’ protest on Thursday November 15. They will sign wave and enter the school exactly at 8am and then leave exactly at 3pm and sign wave again. Comments on the HSTA Facebook page indicate teachers at other locations may join the protest and other protests may be scheduled.

From Hawaii Teachers Work to the Rules

Sign waving locations on Thursday, November 15, 2012.

In the morning, between 7:00 am and 7:45 am: Fort Weaver AND North Road.

In the afternoon, between 3:00 pm and 4:00 pm (ending time subject to change--maybe longer): Fort Weaver location ONLY.

What is work to the rule?

Contractually teachers are only required to work from 8am-3:00pm. Most teachers work well beyond those hours including tutoring, advising, coaching, attending meetings, leading clubs, proms, graduations, IEPs, lesson planning, grading and the list goes on. In a work to the rule, all these activities would stop at 3:00pm. Teachers would only work the required hours and no more. Only in education are you expected to work extra hours with no compensation.

Wouldn't the education of our students suffer?

By our very nature teachers are kind and generous people; that is why we became teachers. The Governor is using our generosity against us by basically saying the state does not need to bargain with teachers for fair pay since teachers will not strike. The Governor insists that the state cannot afford to pay teachers fairly, yet HPD and HFD have taken no pay cuts, and UHPA is actually getting a pay raise. The governor has implemented two contracts against our union's wishes and if things don't change he will implement a third. In the long run this work to the rule protest is better for our schools and our students; good teachers are leaving and the morale of teachers is being depleted due to the lack of respect and the lack of fair compensation.

Why do we need a work to the rule protest?

In the Governor's latest proposal, he proposed to restore teachers' pay to the 2007 level. But this does not account for the increased share in health care cost from a 60/40 to 50/50 split. This means teachers will see a 2-3% decrease in pay, even though state revenues have increased. Lastly new hires will have eight days less of medical leave, which particularly impacts teachers who need family leave.

If we have a work to the rule protest do we still get paid?

Yes. As teachers we are still coming to school, but only from 8:00-3:00. We are still doing our professional duty.

Will we get into trouble for doing this? Will the administration punish teachers involved?

We are not breaking any rules; we will follow the contract to the letter. In the 2001 strike, principals were very supportive by giving out food and water to the teachers. As former teachers themselves, they too want to see teachers respected and paid fairly.

Is this just the first step of a strike? I can't afford to go on strike.

No. In many ways a work to the rule protest is better than a strike. A strike is the last card and once we go on strike the Governor gets to decide whether or not to negotiate. With a work to the rule protest, we decide. And since a work to rule protest doesn't affect our pay, all teachers can afford to participate. A greater participation shows a greater unity of our union. Lastly, in a work to the rule protest, since schools are still open, parents and students will have to come face to face with their teachers on protest every day. This will raise public awareness and put pressure on the Governor to give teachers a fair contract.

What will we have to do?

First, teachers will be asked to stop all before and after school activities; we walk in at 7:45 and we walk out at 3 (This needs to depend on your own bell schedule). Second, teachers will also be asked to protest in front of the school before and after school. Lastly, teachers should encourage parents, students and community to support teachers in getting a fair contract.

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