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Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Okabe Apologizes after Teachers Reject Contract by 2-1 Margin
By News Release @ 2:40 PM :: 4946 Views :: Energy, Environment

This means that Race to the Top—and the hope for any type of education reform coming through the DoE--is finished in Hawaii.

Okabe Apologizes to Teachers

Aloha Colleague, January 23, 2012

Last week, you rejected the contract I recommended.

In hindsight I can see that I was too anxious to finalize what I thought was a good settlement. I didn’t give you the time to offer your ideas and ask your questions.

I am humbled.

This wasn’t the teachers’ fault. It was mine.

The governor has asked us to send him a new proposal. That’s a change on his part. But I need your help to develop that proposal. I hope you will take a few minutes to respond to our feedback form and return it to your Faculty Representative by Feb. 1, 2012. For your convenience, you may also share your thoughts online via SurveyMonkey.

In addition to the feedback form, in the next two weeks there will be complex meetings held to allow further opportunities for you to share your thoughts on the recent ratification vote. Please watch for information from your faculty representatives and chapter leaders on the dates and times of these meetings.


Wil Okabe
HSTA President,

SA: HSTA head takes blame for pact fiasco: Okabe says he did not give teachers time to consider the contract proposal

* * * * *

Message from HSTA President

January 19, 2012

Dear Colleagues,

Mahalo to each of you who came out to vote on the proposed new contract. I talked to hundreds of you this week personally and at some of the polling locations. I could tell from the questions many teachers had that the vote would be against ratification.

Only 33 % of you voted yes, while 67% voted no.

When an organization like ours makes decisions by allowing everyone's voice to be heard, it is always a victory for a union democracy.

While I recommended the proposal to you, my real job is to carry out the decisions you make.

So beginning tomorrow, I will initiate a union-wide conversation about our options going forward, listen to your suggestions, roll up my sleeves, and get back to work.

Many of you have suggested that we return to the negotiating table. Others of you believe a strike vote should be our next step. And still others have suggested that we continue with our legal challenges. Each of these points of view should be considered and discussed.

We will do so, together.

Tonight I will rest easy knowing that as long as we stay together, we will achieve what is best.

For now, I ask that each of you - no matter how you voted - stay focused. We cannot grow tired or weary because our cause is just.

So after you get a chance to sleep on tonight's results, please join me in a constructive dialogue about what we should do next. It is our duty to one another and my pledge to you.


Wil Okabe,


* * * * *

Okabe Outlines Teachers’ Options if Contract is Rejected

Aloha Colleague, January 18, 2012

Tomorrow’s vote will chart our course for the next several years. The HSTA Board believes that the contract before you is far better than what any other public sector union has achieved. While the contract delays our raises until next year, it does mean raises every year for the following four years.

That doesn’t mean that you have to ratify the contract. If a majority of our teachers vote “No”, we believe our options are the following: 1) Live with the last, best and final contract until it expires in 2013; 2) Strike to force the state to make us a better offer this year; 3) Continue with our legal strategy for as long as it takes.

As your president, I am prepared to lead you.


Wil Okabe

* * * * *

RELATED: Full Text: HSTA Synopsis of Contract



Superintendent's Message regarding HSTA ratification vote from Hawaii DOE - Video Technology on Vimeo.



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