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Wednesday, March 17, 2021
HGEA Tells Schatz, Saiki: Unlike Teachers, 'We Never Quit'
By News Release @ 8:41 PM :: 2594 Views :: Education K-12, Labor

HGEA presses for fair health & safety guidelines for 4th quarter return

From HGEA, March 14, 2021

In meetings led by U.S. Senator Brian Schatz and Hawaii House Speaker Rep. Scott Saiki, HGEA has been working with a group of school stakeholders including the unions, the Department of Education (DOE), the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and who all agree on the importance of bringing more students back to in-person learning in the 4th quarter of this school year.

(Who is missing from those meetings?  CLUE: 'Ige') 

HGEA stood up at these meetings to make sure that our members are not blindsided or shortchanged by teacher demands and issues that the DOE may agree to. HGEA pressed the DOE to make sure ALL school employees are treated equally in any agreement the DOE may reach with the teachers and when implementing the updated CDC and DOH guidelines. We expect the DOE leadership to follow through with its assurances.

In these meetings, Senator Schatz, Speaker Saiki, the unions and the DOE diligently pushed the DOH for clarity in their guidelines to help principals and school leaders devise their plans. DOE Superintendent Christina Kishimoto said from feedback she received from principals, schools will implement rolling strategies in the 4th quarter for increasing on-campus student capacity according to their schools' specific needs and situations.

We've told this group that our members have been the employees on campus throughout this pandemic. We know how hard you've been working and adapting to all of the changes and that HGEA members NEVER QUIT! Thank you for all that you do and for being HGEA Strong!

  *   *   *   *   *

DOE responds to HGEA’s demands for fairness as schools prepare for more in-person learning in the 4th quarter

From HGEA, March 15, 2021

As schools bring back more students to campus in the 4th quarter of this school year and beyond, HGEA pressed the Hawaii Department of Education (DOE) to treat all of its employees fairly and equally on health and safety matters.

The following is a list of HGEA’s demands to the DOE:

Consistent messaging to all school employees.

  • Advance Notice: The Superintendent will confirm that all school employees receive the same advance notice from the principal before an increase to in-person schooling.
  • Remote work during quarantine: The Superintendent will confirm that in cases where a classroom, workspace and/or building is closed due to COVID-19 and students are sent home and/or directed to quarantine, all employees who are capable of working remotely will continue to do so. 

Health and safety protocols shall be implemented equally for all school employees.

  • Core essential and mitigation strategies: The Superintendent will make clear that health and safety protocols, including mitigation strategies and expectations, apply equally to HGEA members and all school employees, not just teachers.

This morning, Superintendent Christina Kishimoto responded to HGEA with assurances that health and safety protocols including mitigation strategies and expectations apply equally to HGEA members.

PDF: READ: Superintendent Kishimoto’s letter to HGEA

  *   *   *   *   *

Feb 15, 2021: Grievance: HGEA Supervises 'Learning Hubs' While HSTA Hides in Empty Classrooms

March 15, 2021: DOE, HSTA reach agreement to increase 4th quarter in-person learning

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