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Monday, March 25, 2013
HSTA, DoE Announce $333M Tentative Agreement--Contract Vote April 17
By News Release @ 4:52 AM :: 5591 Views :: Education K-12, Labor

PBN: Teacher Evaluations are Fake if no Firings

PBN: …a critical opportunity will have been missed if evaluations don’t lead to the removal of some current educators….

…the price of peace is going to be $320 million over a four-year period, and a growing economy appears to be able to absorb that expense better now than at any time since the Great Recession. In addition, the HSTA apparently will have a seat at the table when teacher evaluations are drawn up, though it’s not clear what that will mean….

Even if the contract is ratified, the two sides have to work out the details about teacher evaluations, and already we know that teachers currently under contract will not face any job-security consequences if they get poor evaluations. Starting in July 2015, only teachers with at least a “satisfactory” rating would be eligible for pay increases, but their jobs would not be threatened.

True reform will take even longer if administrators and the Department of Education aren’t given the most effective tools during this process for rewarding our state’s best teachers and helping those who shouldn’t be in the classroom transition to other opportunities.

When those changes take place, we can truly start to focus on educational reforms that will help today’s students be better prepared for the jobs that tomorrow holds. If that doesn’t happen, our economy will never be able to move to the tech-oriented, entrepreneur-driven culture that will ensure a prosperous future for Hawaii.

read … Fake Evaluations

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Is HSTA Contract Enough for Abercrombie to Buy Reelection?

Borreca: Abercrombie hurt his ardent labor support by imposing the management- written labor rules on the HSTA membership, which set a new precedent in state and labor relationships. If there is a strongly contested Democratic primary, labor will have a lot to think about.

Next up for negotiations is the Hawaii Government Employees Association, with more than 40,000 members.

The HGEA is not a fan of Abercrombie and is likely to wait for U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa to decide if she will run for governor before picking a campaign to support. The blue-collar United Public Workers union usually backs the Democrat in the race, but if there are two, it might be a tough choice.

Much of Abercrombie's union support depends on two things: the results of the ongoing negotiations with the other public unions, especially the HGEA, and the perception of Abercrombie as either a labor friend or foe.

If the other unions are able to get more from the state, and the HSTA contract is seen as the floor and not the ceiling for public workers, then the teachers will feel burned. If Abercrombie holds firm to the HSTA parameters, then the HGEA will have to either go to binding arbitration or figure out ways to improve the deal with side issues.

In 2011, Abercrombie surprised everyone by giving HGEA a "most favored nation clause" that guaranteed that if other unions got a better deal, HGEA would also get the better deal.

So far Abercrombie's luck has held with strong revenue projections, meaning he is likely to have a lot of state money to toss to the unions.

Then if the unions have a choice, if Hanabusa enters the race, Abercrombie's decades of union loyalty come into question after his bruising two-year battle with the teachers.

Style points will count and a new contract may not be enough to deliver the union.

read … Teacher goodwill over pact may not win governor votes

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How the state will pay for the teachers’ contract

HNN: The price tag is $333 million. To help pay for it the state will tap into money from revenue proposals and expenditure reductions before the legislature, like removing the sunset on the hotel room tax to make the current rate permanent.

"The difference of two percent in the TAT equals to about $100 million a year to the state," Young said.

He said $20 million a year could come from moderating the state's tax credit on photovoltaic systems, and the Council on Revenues increase in its recent forecast should make more money available.

"That translated to about $79 million in more anticipated revenue in this year, followed by about $115 million in more revenue for the next fiscal year, then $150 million dollars in the third year," he said.

read … How to Pay $333M

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From HSTA Facebook Page March 25, 2013

Thank you, teachers, for the robust and productive online discussion about the Tentative Agreement.

Informational sessions are being scheduled at multiple sites prior to the April 17 Ratification Vote. Specific times and locations will be provided as they are confirmed.

Please help spread the word to colleagues that the TA and related documents are available at

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News Release March 24, 2013

Gov. Neil Abercrombie, Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi, and Board of Education (BOE) Chairman Don Horner announced Sunday that a tentative agreement has been reached between the State of Hawaii and the Hawaii State Teachers Association (HSTA).

The four-year tentative agreement that the HSTA will now take to its members for ratification, includes annual pay increases and performance evaluations for teachers.

“This is a major breakthrough for our teachers, our students, and the future of our state. I believe this contract is fair and provides opportunities for pay increases, which are long overdue after years of sacrifice from teachers and other public employees,” Abercrombie said. “With the state now being administered in a fiscally sound manner and improving economic estimates by the Council of Revenues, we were able to offer a comprehensive and favorable contract.”

“Public school teachers and their union representatives are critical partners in transforming education for our students and our state,” Matayoshi said. “We’ve worked very hard to get to this point, and we remain committed to providing teachers with necessary resources and support to achieve our strategic goals.”

“The Board is appreciative of the dedication, sacrifices, and achievements of our teachers,” Horner said. “This agreement will allow us, together, to better support our teachers in reaching the objectives of our educational strategic plan.”

This tentative agreement comes after a week of mediation between the two parties. The HSTA membership will now review the agreement and vote on it.

  *   *   *   *   *

Letter from HSTA President Wil Okabe:

Aloha Colleagues,

I am pleased that after more than two years of negotiating with the Employer, sometimes in contentious times, that the Employer and HSTA have come together on a contract that will serve Hawaii’s teachers and their students.

The teachers on your Negotiations Team, Negotiations Committee, and Board feel that this tentative agreement is the beginning of providing professional salaries that will attract and retain the best and-the-brightest into Hawaii’s classrooms.

A copy of the tentative agreement is available on your Web site. In addition, there will be meetings and opportunities for all teachers to get more information and to ask questions about the tentative agreement. These details will be posted on your Web site.

Here are some basic highlights of the tentative agreement:

* Teachers in Hawaii’s public schools will see the equivalent of a 3 percent pay increase over and above the restored 5 percent cut this July.

* In subsequent years teachers will see increases of 3 percent and 3.2 percent. This will do a lot to stabilize the teaching force, which we know will improve teaching and learning conditions.

* Teachers will be represented at the table where decisions about the future of the educator evaluation system will be made. We want caring, committed, and knowledgeable teachers in every classroom and an evaluation system that improves the practice of teaching that leads to improved student learning and produces real results.

* Under the last, best and final offer presented to Hawaii’s teachers nearly two years ago, teachers had an increase in their health insurance premiums. Under this agreement, we are pleased that the Employer has made a major step towards restoring the previous insurance premium percentages.

Thank you for standing up for public education. I believe that the reason we have a tentative agreement in large part is because of the ongoing pressure teachers put on the Employer to settle the contract in the best interests of teachers and students.

Your Board and I am hopeful that HSTA members will vote to support the agreement so we can move on to the business of working collaboratively with all the stakeholders to transform public education in Hawaii that improves student learning and produces real results.

Wil Okabe
HSTA President


PDF 106 pgs: Hawaii Teachers Union Tentative Contract Agreement

HNN Video: HSTA reaches tentative agreement with state over contract dispute


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