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Hawaii State and HSTA Reach Tentative Agreement

Gov. Neil Abercrombie, Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi, and Board of Education (BOE) Chairman Don Horner today announced that a tentative agreement has been reached between the State of Hawaii and the Hawaii State Teachers Association (HSTA).

abercrombieheader

The four-year tentative agreement that the HSTA will now take to its members for ratification, includes annual pay increases and performance evaluations for teachers.

“This is a major breakthrough for our teachers, our students, and the future of our state. I believe this contract is fair and provides opportunities for pay increases, which are long overdue after years of sacrifice from teachers and other public employees,” said Gov. Abercrombie. “With the state now being administered in a fiscally sound manner and improving economic estimates by the Council of Revenues, we were able to offer a comprehensive and favorable contract.”

“Public school teachers and their union representatives are critical partners in transforming education for our students and our state,” stated Superintendent Matayoshi. “We’ve worked very hard to get to this point, and we remain committed to providing teachers with necessary resources and support to achieve our strategic goals.”

“The Board is appreciative of the dedication, sacrifices, and achievements of our teachers,” stated BOE Chair Horner. “This agreement will allow us, together, to better support our teachers in reaching the objectives of our educational strategic plan.”

[youtube=http://youtu.be/q6nBGLHoHIY]

This tentative agreement comes after a week of mediation between the two parties. The HSTA membership will now review the agreement and vote on it.

Click here to read the tentative agreement: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0Bz5wyVXhL3wjWDhEWDdhYXF2RGM/edit

State Continues to Seek Meaningful and Fair Agreement for Teachers and Students HSTA Proposal Costs Exceed $1 Billion

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.

DOE Release

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.

OVERVIEW: Costs of HSTA’s Latest Proposal

 

BOE Member Sends Letter to Okabe: “Why does HSTA refuse to meet until January 11, 2013?”

Former Hawaii State Teachers Association (HSTA) President Jim Williams yesterday sent a letter to current HSTA President Wil Okabe asking for clarification on Mr. Okabe’s recent public statements on negotiations.

President Wil Tanabe

President Wil Tanabe

Mr. Williams currently serves on the Hawaii State Board of Education (BOE) and is chairman of the Human Resources Committee. He is one of the two Board votes on the Employer negotiations team, and has participated in negotiations since joining the board in April 2011.

“Less than two years ago you as (HSTA) president and I as (HSTA) Executive Director worked together to put an end to the “Furlough Friday” fiasco that was the biggest issue before us as I began my service,” wrote Mr. Williams. “Now, as a voting member of the Employer negotiations team and a member of the Board of Education, I feel compelled to ask you some questions about the current negotiations between HSTA and the Employer and related to the teacher demonstrations that are being held periodically.”

On December 10, 2012, after HSTA did not accept the state’s settlement offer the State made a proposal to HSTA for increased salaries. This proposal for “Salaries (“2nd Amended Proposal ‘W”) represents the same financial package offered as part of the December 5 settlement offer. This proposal represents $49 million of new compensation from state general funds and is $11 million more than any previous offer made by the State or considered by teachers. The salary breakdown is:

  • Two percent raises for all teachers in each year of the contract: July 1, 2013 and July 1, 2014;
  • Restoration of the temporary five percent wage reduction in teacher compensation currently in place;
  • Restoration of full work year of 190 days (elimination of days of Directed Leave Without Pay), and
  • Future pay increases, starting July 1, 2015, will be subject to an evaluation rating of “effective” or “highly effective” based on evaluations beginning with the 2014-15 school year.

Since the last negotiation meeting on December 10, 2012 this offer for increased compensation has been “on the table” for review and discussion by HSTA leaders and its members.

“At the conclusion of our discussions on December 10, after HSTA stated its unwillingness to accept the Employer settlement offer, the Employer spokesperson formally handed across the table a revised salary proposal including the same 2% (both years) pay increases that were in the settlement proposal,” wrote Mr. Williams. “Did the HSTA negotiations team inform you of the amended salary proposal? If you were informed, how can you say that the Employer withdrew our proposal, when virtually everything in the settlement offer, including the salary change, remains on the bargaining table?”

The state remains committed to negotiating with HSTA as soon as possible to reach a resolution that results in a ratified contract. The state proposed to continue negotiations on December 19, 20, and 21; however, HSTA did not agree to meet until January 11, 2013.

ILWU, HSTA and UHPA endorse Gil Kahele for Hawaiʻi State Senate District One

At least Senator Kahele knew how to show some aloha attire to the world at the 2012 APEC Conference!

Senator Gil Kahele picked up the following endorsements from the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 142 (ILWU), the Hawaii State Teachers Association (HSTA) and the University of Hawaii Professionals Assembly (UHPA) and sent out this letter this morning to his constituents:

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Yesterday was the last day for candidates to file in this yearʻs upcoming election. As we wait to get the official list of candidates from the Office Of Elections, we are proud to announce that Senator Gil Kahele has received three important endorsements from the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 142, the Hawaiʻi State Teachers Association and the University Of Hawaiʻi Professional Assembly. These three endorsements bring momentum into our campaign and show a broad cross-section of support for Senator Gil Kahele and his candidacy for State Senate District One.

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 142 (ILWU) represents 22,000 workers who are employed in every major industry including: longshore, tourism, agriculture, and general trades industries. (Agriculture includes the sugar, pineapple, macadamia nut, and coffee industries, as well as diversified agriculture)

The Hawaiʻi State Teachers Association (HSTA) represents 13,600 public school teachers throughout the State of Hawaiʻi. Formed in January of 1971, the association that represents teachers in classrooms across our state remains committed to making school a better place for teachers and students alike.

The University of Hawaiʻi Professional Assembly (UHPA) represents nearly 4,000 faculty members at 10 campuses in the University of Hawaiʻi system statewide. Their members consist of instructors, professors, librarians, specialists, extension agents and researchers. Formed in November of 1974 the UHPA encompasses seven Community Colleges, UH-Hilo, UH-Manoa and UH-West Oahu.

“I am humbled and honored to accept the endorsement of the ILWU, HSTA and the UHPA. These endorsements reflect my top campaign issues: jobs and education. The future of our state rests on the shoulders of the working class people of Hawaiʻi and the education of the future generation of Hawaiʻi, our children. The legislature and our state government play a vital role in the success of these individuals and their families and I am proud to represent them in the Hawaiʻi State Senate. If elected, I will continue the mission I started less than two years ago when I took office which remains the cornerstone of my campaign, making government work for the people”

Hauʻoli Ka Manaʻo,
“Happy Thoughts”

Senator Gil Kahele