Commentary – Hawaii State Teachers Association Files Formal Grievance Against Pahoa High School Principal

The Hawaii State Teachers Association (HSTA) has filed a formal grievance against our principal. The grievance meeting will be held TOMORROW at KKP Conference Room, February 12, 2016 at 3:30 pm. We are focused on working towards a safe campus and better school climate.

Pahoa High and Intermediate

Supporters (other union members, other unions, parents, community etc) of the grievance are welcome. We are asking for written testimony or face to face presence. If you want you can submit testimony “anonymously” directly to the union:

A lot of the teachers have complaints, but they are thinking it’s not worth it, she will retaliate etc. So this is dividing the teachers already. We could use your point of view from a parent. We would also like to hear from parents who have pulled their students from this school.

Please pass the word on. And if you can please submit testimony about your own experience with her.

“Concerned Pahoa Resident”

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).


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.”


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:

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


Hawai’i Supreme Court Today Rejects HSTA’s Contention that Hawai’i Labor Relations Board (HLRB) is Not Appropriately Handling the Case

The Hawai’i Supreme Court today rejected the Hawaii State Teachers Association’s contention that the Hawai’i Labor Relations Board (HLRB) is not appropriately handling the case. The Supreme Court noted that the relief requested by HSTA, a petition for a writ of mandamus, is not appropriate in these circumstances.

Last week, the Hawai’i State Ethics Commission dismissed the HSTA’s complaint claiming that the State had improperly communicated with the HLRB.

Earlier this month, the HLRB also dismissed one of HSTA’s motions. In its ruling, the HLRB noted that the actions of HSTA amounted to “an egregious and reckless disregard for the truth” and “appear intended to mislead the board.”

Governor Neil Abercrombie today released the following statement:

“We respect and support teachers and their contributions. The tactics of the Hawai’i State Teachers Association and its attorneys are being rejected across the board by the legal system in every venue. These theatrics serve no public purpose and they undermine the fact that our students are in schools learning and our teachers are in classrooms teaching. We never received any proposed alternatives from HSTA after its board refused to submit our tentative agreement to the membership. It is time to move on.”

President of HSTAR-R – Calling for Demonstration Against Upcoming Governor Abercrombie Visit

Looks like Governor Abercrombies upcoming August 2nd visit to the Big Island has upset the Hawaii State Teachers Association – Retired group here on the Big Island according to it’s president Wayne Joseph.

I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore, became the rallying cry of pensioners attending a meeting at the ILWU Hall in Hilo today, July 25, 2011.

Representatives from various retirement unions came together to hear a variety of complaints against Governor Neil Abercrombie.

ILWU president supports protest of Abercrombie

Abercrombie has gone on record as saying that he will renew his call for a pension tax and ending Medicare Plan B reimbursements in 2012…

I gave a speech reminding all that on August 1, 1938 some 200 brave workers picketed the docks in Hilo and was disbursed by 70 police officers in an anti union atmosphere.

That day is known as the Hilo Massacre.  Although no one died there were 50 injuries to those brave union representatives.

Today we face the same turmoil from our current Governor who has given every indication that he too is anti union by going after retirement benefits and in his failure to negotiate a contract with the teachers.

The Governor will be on the Big Island on Tuesday, August 2, giving speeches at three Hilo venues and we plan a protest at all three areas…

Full article here: Support Grows to Demonstrate Against Abercrombie Visit

In a posting yesterday, Wayne Joseph writes:

"We supported you when you needed us"

Retirees we need you help on August 1 and 2nd for the following events:

August 1st  8 am sign making at the Hilo ILWU hall.    We will be making picket signs to be used during our informational pickets on August 2nd.

 August 2, 2011 Scheduled events – Governor will appear at:

8 am Keaukaha Elem 
9 am Hilo Medical Center 
10 am UHH Science and Tech Building 
11:30 Chamber Luncheon @ Imiloa 

2 pm Hilo State Building Office Opening/Boards and Commissions   

4 options – 8am, 9am, 10am and 2pm please advise which event you will be available to attend.

Hoping to get around 100 members and friends to attend. Please advise , Hope you can attend all events to send a clear message.   Please wear your Logo shirts to show our union support.

Please email me at and let me know which events you can attend.