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Sunday, September 3, 2023
Another Big Pay Hike for DoE Employees
By News Release @ 2:22 AM :: 1282 Views :: Education K-12, Labor

TENTATIVE AGREEMENT REACHED ON SALARY ADJUSTMENTS FOR PUBLIC SCHOOL EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANTS AND VICE PRINCIPALS

by Office of the Governor Press Release, Aug 31, 2023

HONOLULU — Governor Josh Green, M.D., today announced a tentative agreement with the Hawai‘i State Department of Education (HIDOE) and Hawai‘i Government Employees Association (HGEA), to strengthen recruitment and retention efforts for critical positions supporting student achievement.

The proposal, which still needs to be ratified to take effect, would increase pay for educational assistants and vice principals in Hawai‘i public schools.

“These salary adjustments recognize the increasing and evolving responsibilities of these roles and align with the Board of Education’s strategic plan priority around ensuring all of our public schools have a high-quality workforce to improve student success,” said Governor Green.

The Department of Education (HIDOE) employs 2,550 educational assistants (EAs) statewide who play a vital role in classrooms, providing academic and behavioral support for vulnerable learners and assisting teachers with managing their classrooms. There are currently 600 educational assistant vacancies. The proposed salary adjustments would increase the annual salary for educational assistants by an average 8% over two years by moving EAs to a higher salary range each year for the next two years. The average base salary will increase from $35,425 to $40,611.

HIDOE vice principals, meanwhile, would be converted from their current 10-month status (aligned to the academic school year) to year-round employees in line with principals and Act 51 that was passed in 2004. Vice principals support school principals with daily operations, provide instructional leadership and student support, and engage with families, community members and business partners to advance priorities for student learning.

The HIDOE employs 379 vice principals statewide. The agreement would increase the annual salary for vice principals by 20% — from an average of $96,912 to $116,292 in fiscal year 2024.

“We greatly appreciate Governor Green and his administration for taking the time to understand our recruitment and retention challenges and for investing in our educators and educational leaders. This move will help our schools attract and retain experienced professionals who are essential to advancing public education in Hawai‘i,” Superintendent Keith Hayashi said. “We also acknowledge the partnership with HGEA to make this happen along with the support of our legislators and Board of Education.”

“Following our urgent calls on the state to resolve pay equity for school employees, HGEA is pleased that Gov. Green and Superintendent Hayashi were willing to work with us to address pay parity for these dedicated public servants who are critical to the education and care of Hawaii’s students,” HGEA Executive Director Randy Perreira said. “We look forward to continued collaboration with them to address wage and recruitment issues for other DOE employees to ensure high-quality services for our students.”

The tentative agreement will need to be ratified by affected members of HGEA’s unit 3 and unit 6, representing educational assistants and vice principals, respectively.

The total estimated cost to increase compensation for educational assistants and convert vice principals to 12-month employees is $13 million in fiscal 2024 and $20.5 million the following fiscal year. The figures cover salary and fringe for nearly 3,000 existing HIDOE employees and charter school employees.

  *   *   *   *   *

Tentative agreement would raise pay for educational assistants, vice principals

The increases would affect 3K employees who support students, teachers

from HSTA, September 1, 2023

Salaries for nearly 3,000 educational assistants and vice principals in Hawai‘i public schools would increase under a tentative agreement announced Thursday that will help combat chronic staff shortages. The agreement, aimed at strengthening recruitment and retention of public school employees, still must be ratified by members of the Hawaiʻi Government Employees Association.

Gov. Josh Green said, “These salary adjustments recognize the increasing and evolving responsibilities of these roles and align with the Board of Education’s strategic plan priority around ensuring all of our public schools have a high-quality workforce to improve student success.”

The Hawai‘i State Department of Education (HIDOE) employs 2,550 educational assistants, known as EAs, statewide who play a vital role in classrooms, providing academic and behavioral support for vulnerable learners and assisting teachers with managing their classrooms. There are currently 600 educational assistant vacancies. The proposed salary adjustments would increase the annual salary for EAs to a higher salary range each year for the next two years. The average base salary will increase from $35,425 to $40,611.

HIDOE vice principals, meanwhile, would be converted from their current 10-month status (aligned to the academic school year) to year-round 12-month employees in line with principals and Act 51 that was passed in 2004. Vice principals support school principals with daily operations, provide instructional leadership and student support, and engage with families, community members, and business partners to advance priorities for student learning.

The HIDOE employs 379 vice principals statewide. The agreement would increase the annual salary for vice principals from an average of $96,912 to $116,292 in fiscal year 2024.

Hawai‘i State Teachers Association President Osa Tui, Jr., said “This is a positive development for our students and all educators who know first-hand how staff shortages hurt our keiki. Teachers need the support of educational assistants who are critical partners in the classroom and vice principals who help schools run in so many ways.”

Most educators represented by HSTA began receiving roughly 5% raises this school year under a four-year contract during which pay will go up by about 14.5%. Last November, 72% of the state’s public and charter school teachers began receiving significant pay increases to fix what’s called compression, or teachers’ salaries that were stuck in the middle of the pay scale for many years. The nearly 9,200 educators eligible for repricing saw their annual pay increase by an average of $6,000 last school year, according to an HSTA analysis. Teachers not eligible for those compression pay adjustments last year are about to receive one-time $3,000 bonuses in their Sept. 5 paychecks.

Educators highlight EA, VP shortages in HSTA survey

Just last week, the HSTA surveyed members about school personnel vacancies and not surprisingly, many teachers spoke about VP and EA shortages.

One educator reported it was difficult to find “qualified educational assistants,” while another said there is a “desperate shortage of special education teachers and educational assistants,” and a third teacher said, “The students are suffering.”

“The pay is too low to recruit for any of these positions,” said one teacher in the HSTA survey, while another noted their school “Can’t fill clerks, EAs, good SASAs, or custodian positions.”

One teacher told HSTA, “I am seeing administrator vacancies. This school year, we have 3 temporary TA (temporary assignment) assistant principals for this school year due to others retiring and going to a different school to become principal. All three of them are still performing their duties prior to taking the role as temporary TA assistant principal for this school year. One is still the school librarian, one is still a curriculum coordinator, and one is still a complex area behavioral paraprofessional.”

The tentative agreement will need to be ratified by affected members of HGEA’s Unit 3 and Unit 6, representing educational assistants and vice principals, respectively.

HSTA, HGEA, UPW seek to be part of conversation on Maui schools reopening

Leaders of the three Hawai‘i unions that represent employees in public schools sent a letter this week to Schools Superintendent Keith Hayashi seeking “to be part of the conversation and solution to the very difficult and limited choices facing the department” about reopening Lāhainā-area schools and relocating students and staff following wildfires last month.

The letter was signed by HSTA Executive Director Ann Mahi, HGEA Executive Director Randy Perreira and United Public Workers State Director Kalani Werner.

“It is our sincere aim to work in partnership with the DOE keeping in mind the needs of the department, the community, students and staff,” the three wrote.

“We believe our involvement in the planning of the school reopening will reduce some of the misinformation and rumor that is rapidly spreading, adding to the anxiety of an already traumatized staff. Plans must be developed and finalized where employees and the public see a tangible process outlined in writing and fully transparent. We are prepared to be a part of that effort,” the union leaders’ letter said.

The HSTA represents teachers, counselors, registrars, librarians, and others in public and charter schools. The HGEA represents school educational assistants and clerks as well as administrators such as principals. vice principals, and athletic directors. The UPW represents school custodians and cafeteria workers.

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TGI: School vice principals, educational assistants in line for pay hikes - The Garden Island

HNN: Hawaii’s educational assistants, vice principals offered raises in tentative deal

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