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Friday, January 25, 2013
State Rejects HSTA's Billion Dollar Contract Proposal, Feb 1 'Impasse' Looms
By News Release @ 8:24 PM :: 6259 Views :: Education K-12, Labor

State Continues to Seek Meaningful and Fair Agreement for Teachers and Students

HSTA proposal costs exceed $1 billion

News Release from Hawaii DoE January 25, 2013

HONOLULU - The State negotiations team recently notified the Hawaii State Teachers Association (HSTA) that it cannot responsibly accept its latest proposal, which would cost the State $1,050,445,815 over four years, mostly in additional compensation and benefit expenses.

On Dec. 5, 2012 the State offered HSTA $49.2 million in pay increases - two percent annual increases for the next two years - which was rejected by HSTA’s negotiating team. The proposed increases are on top of the restoration of the temporary five percent reductions that end on June 30, 2013, and have a budgetary impact of $178.8 million over four years.

Days later, the HSTA team declined the State’s request to meet promptly to seek an agreement. Last week, when negotiations resumed, the HSTA presented its first proposal in almost a year. The HSTA’s four-year proposal, which it made available publicly last week via social media, was much more costly than any prior HSTA proposal.

In its proposal, HSTA seeks to:

  • Increase teachers’ base pay by 48.1 percent over the next four years,
  • Delay implementation of the new Educator Effectiveness System,
  • Gain veto power over development of each step of the system.

“We appreciate HSTA’s proposal but it is fiscally unrealistic. It’s obvious there is more work to do to reach a resolution,” said Schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “Our focus remains on moving our strategic plan forward, providing the best learning environments for our teachers and students, and continuing on our path toward higher academic achievement. Recent gains are the direct result of our teachers’ dedication and commitment, and future success will require all stakeholders working together toward our common goals.”

The two sides resumed negotiations on Jan. 22, 2013 in which the State negotiating team provided a detailed response to the HSTA. The State’s negotiating team consists of representatives of the Hawaii State Board of Education, Schools Superintendent and the State Office of Collective Bargaining.

“While we were pleased that HSTA finally presented a proposal, we were surprised and disappointed by its contents,” stated Board of Education member Jim Williams. “We depend on and value our teaching professionals. The HSTA’s proposal is not financially viable or prudent. By their actions - delays providing a proposal, declining to make negotiations meetings a priority, making unrealistic financial demands and seeking to delay implementation of the new Educator Effectiveness System – HSTA leaders do not appear to be moving urgently toward reaching an agreement.”

The State and HSTA return to negotiations on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013.


  *   *   *   *   *

Statement from Wil Okabe, President of the Hawaii State Teachers Association, State Release of Negotiations to Press

News Release from HSTA January 25, 2013

“We are disheartened by the State's media comments.  Our experience has been that when the State bargains in the media, we find ourselves farther apart.  We will be at bargaining impasse beginning February 1, so we believe these negotiations will be long and difficult.  It comes down to what type of education system do we want, and are we willing to make the necessary investment?  For the sake of our students we need to be honest on what the State is committed to. 

HSTA’s negotiations team is analyzing the numbers the State has publicized to see whether their calculations are inflated or fair.  For example, the State is inappropriately including the cost to repay the 5% that teachers have sacrificed, and that is not a raise.  We also discovered that the State is including the cost of substitute teachers for certain teacher planning days, even though HSTA does not represent substitute teachers. The State will have to decide to go all in, or to scale back on our teachers and students. 

Simply put, teachers surely must be worth more than 2%.

When the state required sacrifice over the past four years, teachers gave up more than their fair share in the tune of about $180 million in pay and benefits.  Meanwhile, police, fire, nurses, UH professors and adult corrections officers had zero cuts.  This contract is about fulfilling a promise to restore pay cuts, but also valuing and investing in teachers as being essential to the future of our students.

HSTA's proposal greatly enhances the ability of the State and teachers to achieve success for our students.  Our proposal includes:

1) A teacher evaluation system can be achieved through true collaboration and partnership with teachers.

2)  DOE assurances that the required supports for teachers and students will be in place;

3)  a compensation package that competitively attracts and retains our Hawaii teachers.

What the state characterizes as "veto power,"  HSTA characterizes as partnership.  True partnership means both sides give a little, and gain together.  We only ask the same respect and cooperation that was given to the principals, who took 9 years to agree to their evaluation system.”


READ: §89-11  Resolution of disputes; impasses


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