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Wednesday, April 17, 2013
HSTA Membership Ratifies Contract
By News Release @ 11:55 PM :: 4297 Views :: Education K-12, Labor

Hawaii Teachers Ratify New Four-Year Contract

News Release from HSTA April 17, 2013

Today, members of the Hawaii State Teachers Association (HSTA) voted to ratify a new four-year contract. After more than two years working without a contract, 95 % of teachers statewide voted in favor of the tentative agreement presented by the State and the HSTA on March 24th.  Seventy percent of HSTA members participated in today’s vote.

“Our goal from the start was to establish a fair and equitable contract that offers professional pay and improves working conditions to attract the best and the brightest into the classrooms in order to enhance student learning and produce real results,”said Wil Okabe, HSTA president.

Since a tentative agreement was established, the HSTA conducted an aggressive outreach campaign to educate teachers about the proposed contract, providing electronic and hard copies of the agreement via e-mail, the HSTA Web site and in schools, engaging in forums on the HSTA Facebook page, and conducting informational briefings.

The new contract will take effect July 1, 2013 in time for the next school year. Hawaii’s public school teachers will see the equivalent of a 3 percent pay increase above the restored 5 percent cut in July 2012. In subsequent years, teachers will see increases of 3 percent and 3.2 percent, and health insurance premium percentages will also be restored. These benefits will help to create better working conditions to stabilize the teacher workforce.

Under the new contract, the State plans to establish a fair and thorough evaluation system in order to improve teaching practices and enhance learning environments for our students. Teachers will be represented during the decision process to establish the educator evaluation system. The State is committed to providing the necessary support to ensure the success of the evaluation system.

“Through sign waving, e-mails, letters, and phone calls, HSTA members have shown unwavering commitment to education, putting pressure on the State to settle the contract in the best interests of the teachers and their students,” added Okabe. “”With the support of our members, the HSTA plans to move forward by collaborating with all stakeholders to transform public education in Hawaii.”

  *   *   *   *   *

Governor’s Statement Regarding Ratification of Teachers Contract Agreement

News Release from Office of the Governor April 17, 2013

HONOLULU – Gov. Neil Abercrombie responded to this evening’s announcement by the Hawaii State Teachers Association that its membership has voted to ratify the contract agreement reached between the state and teachers union on March 24.

Gov. Abercrombie stated:

“The teachers’ ratification of this contract is a positive milestone for public education in Hawaii.  We can now move forward as partners in transforming education for the benefit of our students and the entire state.

“On behalf of my administration, the Department of Education, and the Board of Education, we extend our sincere appreciation to Hawaii’s teachers for their dedication, sacrifices and professionalism in the classroom.”

# # #

Governor, Board of Education, Department of Education and Hawaii State Teachers Association Sign 4-Year Teachers Contract

News Release from Office of the Governor

HONOLULU – Today, Gov. Neil Abercrombie, Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi, Hawaii State Teachers Association (HSTA) President Wil Okabe, and other members of the state and HSTA negotiating teams signed a four-year agreement for a new teachers contract. The execution of the contract followed last night’s ratification of the contract by HSTA’s membership of the state’s public school teachers.

“This is a milestone for education in Hawaii – for our teachers, our students and their families,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “This contract provides opportunities for annual pay increases that are long overdue after years of sacrifice from teachers and other public employees. These shared sacrifices allowed us to administer the state in a fiscally sound manner and avoid layoffs to balance the budget. With the improving economic projections by the Council of Revenue, we were able to offer a comprehensive and favorable contract.”

“The new contract supports teachers in a way that allows a collective focus in our efforts towards supporting student achievement and meeting our strategic goals to transform public education in Hawaii,” Superintendent Matayoshi said. “Teachers are critically important because they are the frontline to our students. The contract provides for professional development to support teachers’ work and opportunities to recognize excellence and teachers’ contribution towards student growth.”

“We are appreciative and proud of the cooperation and commitment of our teachers,” said Don Horner, chair of the Hawaii Board of Education. “Our job now is to honor that commitment by ensuring that the evaluation process is fair and leads to professional development and student achievement. Teachers and the HSTA are key partners in the important endeavor for our children and our state.”

The four-year contract provides for:

  • annual pay increases for teachers rated as effective;
  • new performance evaluation that considers both teachers’ professional practice and teachers’ contribution to student learning and growth in determining a teachers’ rating of effectiveness;
  • more rigorous probation for new teachers and a professional recognition when beginning teachers complete their performance-based probation; and
  • additional hours of training and professional support for teachers.

As part of the agreement, HSTA agreed to the state’s terms for the 2011-2013 contract period and to withdraw the teachers union’s complaint at the Hawaii Labor Relations Board regarding that contract. More information about the contract is available on the Hawaii Department of Education website at

The next step in the process is for the state Legislature to fund the agreement as part of the state’s biennium budget. Gov. Abercrombie today transmitted a message to the Legislature requesting that the contract be funded.

“On behalf of myself, Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi, and Board of Education Chairman Don Horner, we extend our sincere appreciation to Hawaii’s teachers for their dedication, sacrifices and professionalism in the classroom,” Gov. Abercrombie said.  “We are also grateful to the negotiating teams and to Carol Catanzariti of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services, who mediated the negotiations to reach the March 25 agreement.”

  *   *   *   *   *

Hawaii Teachers Ratify Historic Agreement; Transformation of Public Education in the 50th State Takes Leap Forward

News Release from Hawaii DoE April 18, 2013

HONOLULU – Hawaii’s public school teachers last night ratified a progressive contract that ties tenure and all pay increases to annual performance evaluations and professional development. The contract provides teachers with preparation time and necessary supports to achieve success.

The four-year agreement, which takes effect July 1, reflects the priorities of both the Hawaii State Board of Education (BOE) and the Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) to improve teaching quality and raise student achievement.

“The new contract supports teachers in a way that allows a collective focus in our efforts towards supporting student achievement and meeting our strategic goals to transform public education in Hawaii,” said Schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “Teachers are critically important because they are the frontline to our students. This contract honors the professional status of our teaching force and provides educators with the time and support to effectively implement strategies to advance student and staff success.”

Highlights of the teacher contract are posted here.

"This contract is a positive milestone for public education in Hawaii," stated Gov. Neil Abercrombie. "It provides opportunities for annual pay increases which are long overdue after years of sacrifice from teachers and other public employees."

The ratified contract affirms a new performance evaluation system that incorporates multiple measures of achievement and professional practice. The Educator Effectiveness System (EES), which has been piloted over the past two school years for teachers in about a third of Hawaii public schools, is set for initial statewide implementation next school year, 2013-14. It gives equal weight to student achievement outcomes and professional practice, and includes multiple measures on student learning objectives, student growth, classroom observations and student surveys.

“We are dedicating resources to help our educators become successful,” said Deputy Schools Superintendent Ronn Nozoe. “We know that the only way we make an impact for our students is to have an effective teacher in every classroom and an effective principal in every school. This evaluation system is one component of a fully aligned state system designed to establish clear expectations, a culture of reflection focused on outcomes, and continuous improvement for students, teachers, and principals.”

The EES will work hand-in-hand with the Comprehensive Evaluation System for School Administrators (CESSA), the new principal evaluation that was implemented earlier this school year.

The EES was developed with the input and perspective of educators statewide including through the “Great Teachers Great Leaders Taskforce” (GTGL), formed in early 2012, and other stakeholder groups such as the Teacher Leader Workgroup. The GTGL task force, whose mission was to help craft the new EES in alignment with the Strategic Plan goal of staff success, included members of the business community and unions, nonprofit foundations, the Governor’s Office, and the HIDOE.

Hawaii’s DOE serves more than 183,000 students statewide, and is the only statewide public education system in the nation. Student achievement is at the core of the BOE/DOE Strategic Plan for education transformation. It increases both accountability and efficiency, and builds on key strengths and reform initiatives to ensure all students graduate ready to succeed in college or careers.



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