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DOE Announces Furlough Schedule for Teachers, Employees

December 16, 2020, 3:27 PM HST
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The Hawai‘i Department of Education (HIDOE) released its furlough schedule for employees late Tuesday night.

In a letter emailed to employees at 9:20 p.m., HIDOE announced one day in January and one day in February would be set as furlough days. The letter also details a list of potential furlough days if Gov. David Ige decides they are needed.

“If the furlough is effective for a year, this will help reduce the projected $1.4 billion budget shortfall in the state’s general fund,” the letter stated. “At the direction of Governor Ige, the Hawai‘i State Department of Education hereby notifies all employees that furlough days will begin on January 4, 2021.”

The scheduled and projected furlough dates are in the table below.

Courtesy of Hawai’i Department of Education

Gov. David Ige announced, on Dec. 9, that state employees would be furloughed up to two days each month starting January 2021.

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HIDOE’s furlough implementation plans were shared with the Hawai‘i State Board of Education, Hawai‘i Government Employees Association, Hawai‘i State Teachers Association (HSTA), and the United Public Workers, in a good faith effort to mitigate the impact on all employees. The letter indicates that HIDOE will continue to keep an open door for union input.

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“I extend my personal appreciation to each of you for caring for our haumana, colleagues, and school communities during this challenging school year,” Superintendent Christina Kishimoto stated in the letter. “Mahalo for your unparalleled commitment to our public schools.”

HSTA President Corey Rosenlee told Big Island Now on Wednesday that the union had not agreed to the furloughs and HIDOE’s unilateral implementation would violate their collective bargaining agreement.

“We are working with our attorneys and plan to take any necessary legal action to challenge them,” Ronselee said.

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This furlough plan does not apply to public charter schools and will be subject to periodic review in conjunction with any new proclamations by the governor.

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