by Andrew Walden
Did Wil Okabe and the rest of the Abercrombie lap-dogs running the HSTA accepted the State’s “last best final” offer in negotiations? Are they now engaged in face saving after the HSTA board slapped them down? That’s what Neil Abercrombie says….
CB: Gov: Union Negotiators Agreed To HSTA Contract
The Hawaii Department of Education on Friday implemented a new two-year contract with the state's 12,700 teachers — one that the teachers union says it did not approve.
But Gov. Neil Abercrombie says that Hawaii State Teachers Association negotiators in fact shook hands on the agreement. The union's board of directors later stepped in and refused to allow teachers to vote on it, he says.
"I think the HSTA negotiators were satisfied that they got the best possible deal they could," Abercrombie said at a Friday press conference, lavishing praise on HSTA President Wil Okabe and Executive Director Al Nagasako for their leadership in bargaining talks. "But when they went to the board, the board refused to pass it on to the teachers to allow them to vote."
Okabe responded that the governor "may not have been fully informed."
"We took the state's last, best and final offer to our Board of Directors," Okabe wrote in an email to Civil Beat. "It was unanimously rejected as unworthy of a vote of our teachers."
SA: Teachers union vows to sue
Gov. Neil Abercrombie also noted Friday that the state's last contract offer was taken by union negotiators to the HSTA's board, which unanimously rejected it.
"But I assumed that the board was informed all along and that when it was taken back to them, that the HSTA negotiators had every expectation that it would be satisfactory," he said, repeating his call for the union to put the contract before the rank and file for a vote.
Is Okabe trying to save face? Or is Abercrombie just trying to undermine Okabe?
This is what happens when the union’s political interests conflict with its members’ best interests.