HSTA Board Recommends Tentative Agreement

April 23, 2017, 8:19 AM HST (Updated April 23, 2017, 8:20 AM)
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Big Island Now stock photo. May 2016.

The Hawaii State Teachers Association has reached a tentative agreement on a contract, that, according to HSTA President  Corey Rosenlee, “will benefit Hawai‘i’s teachers and their students.”

“I believe this agreement is the beginning of providing professional salaries that will attract and retain the best and the brightest into Hawaii’s classrooms,” asid Rosenlee.

Rosenleee said that under this new agreement, the state’s school teachers will see “a compounded salary increase of 13.6% over the next four years.

“This raise will help stabilize the teaching force, which we know will improve teaching and learning conditions,” said Rosenlee. “This package is the best we could do for our teachers, in spite of the state’s difficult fiscal outlook. It allows for HSTA to renegotiate health plan contributions and professional development in years three and four of the contract.”

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Rosenlee added that under this agreement, the state is increasing its share of health insurance premiums, addressing rising healthcare costs.

“Teachers will be happy that the agreement calls for streamlined evaluations for most tenured teachers during the next two years, while the HSTA and Department of Education work together on an improved evaluation process,” said Rosenlee.

“I believe that the reason we have a tentative agreement in large part is because of the ongoing pressure teachers put on the state to settle the contract in the best interests of the teachers and students,” said Rosenlee. “HSTA members are very grateful to Gov. David Ige for personally taking part in negotiations over several days to help us reach an agreement that’s fair to everyone.”

“This contract represents my commitment to excellence in our public schools and the practice of teaching. It says we trust and respect Hawai‘i’s teachers,”said Gov. David Y. Ige. “Together, will make Hawai‘i a place our children can choose to call home.

“I am hopeful that HSTA members will vote to ratify the agreement at polling sites across the state on Thursday, April 27,” said Rosenlee. “Then we can move toward transforming public education in Hawai‘i to give our keiki the schools they deserve.”

If a simple majority (50% plus one vote) of the teachers who vote Thursday ratify the agreement, the contract will begin July 1, 2017. The April 27 vote allows for the Legislature to fund the settlement by its April 28 fiscal deadline.

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