92% of Hawai‘i public school teachers vote in favor of new contract
The contract includes approximately 14.5% in pay increases over four years for more than 13,000 teachers represented by the Hawai‘i State Teachers Association.
News Release from Hawaii DoE, 26-Apr-2023
Hawaiʻi’s public school teachers have overwhelmingly approved a new four-year contract providing pay raises of approximately 14.5%, as well as other cost and non-cost improvements.
“We have a deep appreciation for Hawaii’s teachers and and this contract was meant to demonstrate that. By raising starting salaries to $50,000, we hope more of Hawai‘i’s young men and women will aspire to become teachers,” said Gov. Green. “Higher salaries and bonuses for veteran teachers will also improve teacher retention and reduce teacher shortages. Good public education remains one of our top priorities.”
Pay bonuses in the ratified agreement will strengthen retention of experienced, top-scale teachers, while pay increases in the new contract will apply to instructors who are teachers working toward state licensure. The increase is one of the contract’s key tools for invigorating teacher recruitment.
Specialized teachers whose after-hours work to support extracurricular programs including band, chorus and drama, now will be recognized financially for their often life-changing contributions to the lives of their students.
“HSTA thanks bargaining unit members who came out today to ratify a new four-year contract which will help to recruit and retain teachers and give further stability for our keiki to have highly qualified teachers in their classrooms. Mahalo to Governor Green, Superintendent Hayashi, and the Board of Education for sitting with us at the bargaining table for the past few months to be able to bring this agreement to our members," HSTA President Osa Tui, Jr. said. "In addition to the improvements to compensation and working conditions we’ve been able to make through this new contract, we also send mahalo to our legislators, governor, and lieutenant governor as we make progress at the Legislature on important items such as teacher housing, public preschool, and teacher tax credits.”
To help offset Hawaiʻi’s cost of living, employer contributions to teachers’ health insurance premiums will also increase in the new contract.
"We're happy to see the overwhelming support from teachers for this contract that all sides worked diligently on to elevate the teaching profession in our public schools. The academic gains our schools are seeing coming out of the pandemic are a testament to the dedication of our educators who directly support our students each day. We value our teachers immensely and are hopeful that this contract will enhance our recruitment and retention efforts to strengthen our teaching workforce,” Superintendent Keith Hayashi said. "The Department appreciates the collaborative effort with HSTA and Gov. Green and his administration.”
The agreement aligns with Gov. Green’s priorities in that it will provide financial relief to valued educators, to help keep them at home in the islands.
“Raising the beginning teachers’ pay from the upper $38,000s to $50,000 – that is remarkable … we’ve never seen anything like that,” said Louise Cayetano, a Fern Elementary STEM/robotics teacher. “We want to thank the governor and everyone involved – in the Legislature, and our bargaining teams for their support.”
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Bargaining Unit 05 members overwhelmingly ratify four-year contract
Pay raises, improved working conditions take effect July 1
News Release from HSTA, April 26, 2023
The Hawaiʻi State Teachers Association (HSTA) is pleased to announce that Bargaining Unit 05 (BU05) employees of the Hawaiʻi State Department of Education (HIDOE) and public charter schools this afternoon voted overwhelmingly to ratify a new four-year contract. HSTA is the exclusive BU05 representative.
Ninety-two percent of the nearly 7,000 valid ballots cast approved the contract that will take effect July 1, 2023, through June 30, 2027. Nearly 8% voted against the contract.
For the first time since 2017, members voted in person at 31 polling sites across the state.
A final tally will be taken on May 4 to account for outstanding absentee ballots that are being mailed in, but the remaining uncounted ballots are not enough to sway the outcome of the ratification vote.
HSTA President Osa Tui, Jr. said, “HSTA thanks bargaining unit members who came out today to ratify a new four-year contract which will help to recruit and retain teachers and give further stability for our keiki to have highly qualified teachers in their classrooms.
“Mahalo to Gov. Green, Superintendent Hayashi, and the Board of Education for sitting with us at the bargaining table for the past few months to be able to bring this agreement to our members. In addition to the improvements to compensation and working conditions we’ve been able to make through this new contract, we also send mahalo to our legislators, governor, and lieutenant governor as we make progress at the Legislature on important items such as teacher housing, public preschool, and teacher tax credits,” Tui added.
Wednesday’s ratification paves the way for state lawmakers to approve the $577 million to fund the contract before the end of the legislative session.
Teachers share their reasons for voting ‘yes’
Chris Facuri, a media production teacher at Aliamanu Middle School, has been an educator for 35 years and voted in favor of HSTA’s contract.
“This is probably one of the more substantial raises that we’ve had, and it’s good to see that we’re going in a positive direction, especially for the senior teachers,” Facuri said. “At least you got an incentive for them to kind of keep on going and pursue their career.”
Sherry Rose, an English teacher at Farrington High School, is in her 52nd year of teaching in Hawaiʻi and says the new contract will keep her in the classroom.
“Many of the things that we got were important for teachers, not only teachers now, but moving forward,” Rose said. “We never have enough qualified teachers, and part of it is we don’t pay teachers enough. We don’t give them enough support always, not only in the classroom, but all the other things that they have to do outside of the classroom, and so this contract addresses many of those kinds of things.”
Daryl Fujino, a kindergarten teacher at ʻAiea Elementary and teacher for 30 years, voted yes on Wednesday’s contract.
“I’m looking at the pay increase, which is going to be helpful,” Fujino said. “The Negotiations Team did a great job of getting whatever we could get from the state. And I know a lot of people aren’t happy about everything, but you can’t please everybody. I always appreciate what the Negotiations Team does for us, because I know they’re looking out for the best interest of all the teachers.”
HSTA shares information, resources about the contract
Once a tentative agreement was reached on April 14 and the HSTA Negotiations Committee and Board of Directors unanimously recommended ratification, the HSTA informed BU05 members of the development via web posts, Member Matters emails, and push alert notifications through HSTA’s mobile app. HSTA posted the agreement along with a comprehensive summary and rationale, frequently asked questions, and voting information. Our union also held a webinar to brief members on the tentative contract and answer questions and concerns ahead of Wednesday’s vote.
Mahalo to our HSTA Negotiations Team for their hard work to reach a settlement!
HSTA Negotiations Team
Diane Mokuau, Committee Chair (Molokaʻi Chapter)
Jenne Olayon, Committee Vice Chair (Hilo Chapter)
David Negaard, Committee Member (Maui Chapter)
Kathy Shibuya, Committee Member (Kauaʻi Chapter)
Osa Tui, Jr., HSTA President
Logan Okita, HSTA Vice President
Lisa Morrison, HSTA Secretary-Treasurer
Ann Mahi, HSTA Executive Director
Andrea Eshelman, HSTA Chief Negotiator and Deputy Executive Director
Colleen Bird, HSTA Negotiations and Research Specialist
KITV: Hawaii teacher union members vote to ratify 4-year contract agreement
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Watch: HSTA contract settlement briefing
Get your contract questions answered ahead of Wednesday’s ratification vote
from HSTA, April 24, 2023
On Monday, Hawaiʻi State Teacher Association President Osa Tui, Jr. and HSTA Deputy Director and Chief Negotiator Andrea Eshelman hosted a member webinar to discuss HSTA’s tentative settlement ahead of the ratification vote Wednesday after school. Tui and Eshelman reviewed the settlement agreement in detail and addressed questions members have about the settlement.
WATCH THE WEBINAR RECORDING
VIEW THE SLIDE DECK FROM THE WEBINAR
While members were invited to submit their questions about the tentative settlement ahead of Monday’s webinar, individual consultations and situations were not provided or addressed during this presentation.
For more information about the tentative contract, please refer to our following resources:
Click here for more information about Wednesday’s ratification vote, including voting procedures and polling sites. Members of Bargaining Unit 05 will vote on the proposal at 31 polling sites from 3 to 6 p.m. Wednesday. If you didn’t apply for an absentee ballot or to vote at an alternative site by Friday, you must vote in person at your assigned polling place.
If you have a specific question that was not addressed in this presentation, please submit it here.
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GOV. GREEN, DOE, HSTA ANNOUNCE TENTATIVE CONTRACT DEAL
Office of the Governor Press Release, Apr 17, 2023
HONOLULU, HI — Governor Josh Green, M.D., DOE Superintendent Keith Hayashi and Osa Tui Jr., president of the Hawai‘i State Teachers Association (HSTA), announced the successful conclusion of talks leading to a tentative, four-year contract settlement for 13,500 teachers represented by the union. The deal proposes approximately 14.5% pay increases over the four-year contract.
“This is another great step forward in raising pay and improving the quality of life for our teachers, who we value tremendously,” said Gov. Green. “I was honored to engage directly in the negotiations, to help move the needle forward toward this crucial collective bargaining agreement for our teachers and our kids,” he said.
The proposed four-year contract provides average annual pay raises of 3.4% for teachers to help stabilize Hawai‘i’s public education workforce; raises pay for instructors, who are teachers working toward licensure, an increase that will also assist in teacher recruitment; and it provides bonuses for the most experienced teachers, to increase teacher retention.
“This agreement helps set a solid foundation for the next four years with predictable increases that recognize the incredible work of the educators in our schools who directly support student learning,” Superintendent Keith Hayashi said. “It also elevates the teaching profession across the pipeline – from beginning teachers to veteran teachers to non-traditional teachers – while supporting their continued professional growth. The Department appreciates the collaborative effort under Gov. Green’s leadership along with HSTA and the Board of Education to demonstrate our collective commitment to public education.”
Additionally, teachers who traditionally work after-hours to support extracurricular programs such as band, drama and chorus, will receive raises to acknowledge their significant contributions to student enrichment.
Other cost-items include increases in employer contributions to teachers’ health insurance premiums.
“Ultimately, the salary improvements we’ve secured and the many other improvements to contract language will benefit the public school students of Hawaiʻi who should see improved recruitment and retention of highly qualified educators to our classrooms,” said HSTA President Osa Tui, Jr.
“This is the strongest contract we have achieved since 2013,” Tui said. “This round of bargaining was the most collaborative I’ve experienced in my decade of negotiations with the employer. We’re also extremely grateful to Gov. Josh Green, who joined us on the last day of bargaining and actively helped to clear some of the logjams that remained,” he added.
The agreement establishes a program to minimize learning-loss during emergency school closures, by allowing schools to continue delivering instruction. The agreement assures improvements in health and safety in the work environment, and provides for creation of work groups to address student needs including Hawaiian Education; Career and Technical Education; movement toward a restorative student discipline model and for English Language Learners (formerly English as a Second Language).
Full details of the pending contract settlement can be found on the HSTA website.
The HSTA will stage statewide, in-person contract ratification voting at various locations on April 26.
Photos and video from today’s news conference are available online.
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Tentative settlement reached! 14.5% raise over 4 years, Class VIII among key changes
In-person ratification vote scheduled for April 26
News Release from HSTA, April 16, 2023
The Hawaiʻi State Teachers Association is pleased to announce that we reached a tentative settlement late Friday with the State of Hawaiʻi and the Board of Education for a new four-year contract from July 1, 2023, through June 30, 2027.
HSTA’s Negotiations Committee recommended the agreement to the Board of Directors, which voted to approve it during special meetings Saturday, sending it to the bargaining unit membership for ratification. The HSTA Board unanimously recommends members vote yes on approving the tentative agreement.
The agreement includes salary increases in each of the next four years as well as increases in the employer contribution to health premiums, supplementary pay, and changes in the salary structure, including the creation of a Class VIII and streamlining and expanding instructor pay on the schedule. Under the agreement, educators who did not benefit from the compression fix will receive a one-time $3,000 payment next school year. Overall, this package will increase the average teacher salary by over $10,000 without factoring in the newly-added opportunity to reclassify to Class VIII which approximately one-third of our bargaining unit has been waiting for. The parties have also agreed to permanently incorporate 21 hours of job-embedded professional development into the contract. Additional improvements in teacher working conditions, travel, assignments and transfer, due process, and teacher protections are included in the agreement. The agreement also calls for the creation or continuation of a series of workgroups to address important issues in career and technical education (CTE), Hawaiian education, transfers, leave, student discipline, and English learners.
VIEW A COMPREHENSIVE SUMMARY THAT HIGHLIGHTS KEY CHANGES (PDF)
VIEW THE FULL TENTATIVE AGREEMENT (PDF)
“We really have not had a chance to make substantive changes to contract language since 2013,” said HSTA President Osa Tui, Jr. “This round of bargaining was the most collaborative I’ve experienced in my decade of negotiations with the employer. We’re also extremely grateful to Gov. Josh Green, who joined us on the last day of bargaining and actively helped to clear some of the logjams that remained.
“This tentative agreement, coming on the heels of major wins in fixing compression, will put our members in a much better place than they were just a year ago,” Tui continued. “This includes compensation for those who did not receive compression adjustments, substantially raising the pay of emergency hires, raising supplementary pay amounts, and at long last, establishing Class VIII on the salary schedule that many thought impossible!”
“While the state had been predicting a budget surplus, the Council on Revenues’ revised forecast slashed projections by $328 million, affecting key funding decisions. Also, a number of key education-related initiatives, including universal pre-K, developing teacher workforce housing, and state teacher tax credits will take considerable resources to fund,” Tui said.
“We had asked for significantly larger raises, but understand that the state has less money to pay for numerous key priorities in addition to addressing teacher compensation, such as creating affordable housing, bringing down the state’s high cost of living and preserving our natural resources,” Tui added.
“Ultimately, the salary improvements we’ve secured and the many other improvements to contract language will benefit the public school students of Hawaiʻi who should see improved recruitment and retention of highly qualified educators to our classrooms,” said Tui.
Diane Mokuau, HSTA Negotiations Committee chair, said, “Your Negotiations Team spent many days away from their students and on weekends and holidays not only to earn hard-fought gains for this contract but also to resist a number of takebacks from the employer.”
Some of the items the employer unsuccessfully tried to get HSTA to agree to included:
- A 2-year contract with salary increases of 3% each year with no step movements, which would have caused even more salary compression.
- Thirty credits to move from Class VII to Class VIII, when all other reclassification movements are 15 credits.
- Forcing non-classroom teachers to substitute purely at the principal’s discretion.
- Having teachers administer student medications.
- Not providing sick leave up front and moving to an accrual system, and prohibiting any leave adjacent to school breaks.
- Not renewing a number of memoranda of understanding, including supplementary pay for grade level/department chairs and others, and continuing to work on issues related to the Teacher Assignment and Transfer Program.
- Allowing principals to determine the manner and time at which teachers check in to indicate presence.
- Sabbatical leave for no more than, instead of at least, 50 teachers subject to funding.
- Making permanent the contract procedures around emergency closures instead of just being a pilot project.
- Mandating that HSTA provide 90 days advance notice to release teachers for union business during work days, instead of the current five days.
While the Negotiations Team tried to secure as many items in HSTA’s initial proposals as possible, not all items survived which is the nature of bargaining. HSTA will continue to advocate for those priorities that did not make it into the tentative agreement.
What happens next: webinar April 24, ratification vote April 26
We will hold an informational webinar with HSTA President Osa Tui and Chief Negotiator Andrea Eshelman on Monday, April 24, at 4:30 p.m. This session will be recorded and posted on our website. Please stay tuned for more information on how to attend the webinar. If you have any questions in the meantime, please submit them via contact form.
An in-person ratification vote on the contract will occur for all who are covered by the Bargaining Unit 05 contract on Wednesday, April 26, from 3 to 6 p.m. at various locations across the state.
Chair Mokuau said, “I am so proud of our HSTA Negotiations Team and staff for what they were able to bring forward to our members and hope that you will all vote ‘YES’ on April 26! Please wear your new red HSTA shirt (or any red attire) to show solidarity.”
VIEW VOTING INSTRUCTIONS HERE (PDF)
VIEW RATIFICATION SITE LOCATIONS*
*Sites are still being finalized. Please check back for an updated list. This document was last updated Sunday, April 16, at 2 p.m.
You may also request to vote by absentee ballot or, as a new option, request to vote at an alternate voting site. Call HSTA at (808) 833-2711 or click the link listed under “Alternate Vote Site Request” to submit your request no later than Friday, April 21, at 5 p.m. Upon processing, you will receive an email confirmation.
Initial results will be released the evening of April 26, with absentee ballots counted and a final vote tally released on May 4.
Mahalo for standing strong and for all that you do for Hawaiʻi’s public school students. We’ll see you at your voting site on April 26!
Summary of changes
On April 14, 2023, the Hawaiʻi State Teachers Association (HSTA), State of Hawaiʻi and Board of Education reached a tentative agreement on the next HSTA contract. This section includes information on the settlement. You can download a PDF of this overview here.
MEANWHILE, OUTSIDE OF COLLECTIVE BARGAINING: