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Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Okabe: Abercrombie Pursues 'Mainland Political Strategy' of Attacking Teachers Unions
By Selected News Articles @ 2:15 PM :: 5544 Views :: Energy, Environment

From HSTA Facebook Page: HSTA President Wil Okabe’s Back to School Message to Membership

July 20, 2012
Dear Colleagues,
Over the summer it has become clear that Governor Abercrombie has decided to pursue the Mainland political strategy of attacking teacher unions.
There is no other explanation for his behavior. First he imposed his contract on us. Then he refused mediation. That was followed by an assault on our collective bargaining rights in the Legislature.
And finally he declared our vote to ratify a new contract “invalid” even though it was negotiated with Board of Education Chairman Don Horner and Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi.
When the summer break began we were hopeful that positive signals we had received from the state along with President Obama’s positive reaction to our ratification vote would have resulted in something meaningful to report.
That is not the case.
To the contrary, the Governor has escalated his attack on education by allowing cuts to school buses that served 2,400 of our keiki.
Obviously the Governor thinks there are more important things to spend money on than schools. He couldn’t be more wrong.
I don’t think Governor Abercrombie will change. He has clearly been infected by the Mainland political strategy of attacking teacher unions. We must focus our energy and effort on preventing his anti-teacher, anti-education positions from spreading to other political leaders in Hawaii.
As we approach the 2012 elections, we are evaluating candidates by a simple measure – are they better for education than Abercrombie?
The Governor may have the luxury of calling our votes “invalid.” But other candidates want our votes and we will choose wisely.
As you return to your classrooms, I encourage you to continue to love what you do – teach children. The latest statewide test scores are a testament to your good work. Our profession is worth fighting for. Please put aside some time to join us on the frontlines of that fight.
Mahalo,
Wil Okabe
President
Read the comments: Commenters Advocating an end to HSTA involvement in Candidate endorsements get lots of 'likes' from HSTA members
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