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Green tells HSTA he will propose new $500 teacher tax credit
By News Release @ 7:56 PM :: 1810 Views :: Education K-12, Labor

State confirms Bargaining Unit 05 won’t receive administrative holiday leave

Green tells HSTA he will propose new $500 teacher tax credit

News Release from HSTA, January 6, 2022

Last month, just prior to winter break, Gov. Josh Green and Superintendent Keith Hayashi announced that all salaried state employees would be given 16 hours of administrative leave for Dec. 23 and Dec. 30, 2022.

The Hawaiʻi State Teachers Association immediately sought clarification from the employer since all Bargaining Unit 05 members are salaried employees. However, Dec. 23 and 30 are already designated vacation days under HSTA’s contract since they fall during winter break.

In his response to HSTA, the superintendent clarified that Bargaining Unit 05 employees were not eligible for the administrative leave offered by the governor.

Hayashi expressed the department’s appreciation for what he called “extraordinary dedication and commitment of its teachers; however, administrative leave will not be provided to members of Bargaining Unit 05 and other employees who are not required to work on those days.”

The HSTA also received similar confirmation from the state Department of Human Resources and Development and the governor’s office, which explained that the governor intended to ensure salaried employees who were scheduled to work on Dec. 23 and Dec. 30 could utilize administrative leave to take those days off.

HSTA President Osa Tui, Jr. reached out to Green, and the governor apologized for any confusion regarding his intent to ensure salaried employees had time off to spend with their loved ones during the long holiday weekends.

In addition, Green told HSTA, “I appreciate everything our teachers do for our keiki and realize that the current federal $300 teacher tax deduction doesn’t nearly cover what our teachers spend out of their own pockets for their classes. In my upcoming legislative package, I will propose creating a non-refundable state tax credit for teachers worth $500 to account for a portion of those out-of-pocket expenses.”

HSTA will continue to follow up with the Green administration regarding plans for the proposed teacher tax credit and will keep members informed so they can submit testimony in support during this coming legislative session that begins Jan. 18.

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