Categorized | Education, Featured

Hawaii teachers ratify four-year contract

(Photo courtesy of HSTA)

MEDIA RELEASE

Members of the Hawaii State Teachers Association (HSTA) voted Wednesday to ratify a new four-year contract.

After more than two years working without a contract, 95 percent of teachers statewide voted in favor of the tentative agreement presented by the State and the HSTA on March 24. Seventy percent of HSTA members participated in Wednesday’s vote.

“Our goal from the start was to establish a fair and equitable contract that offers professional pay and improves working conditions to attract the best and the brightest into the classrooms in order to enhance student learning and produce real results,”said Wil Okabe, HSTA president.

Since a tentative agreement was established, the HSTA conducted an aggressive outreach campaign to educate teachers about the proposed contract, providing electronic and hard copies of the agreement via e-mail, the HSTA Web site and in schools, engaging in forums on the HSTA Facebook page, and conducting informational briefings.

The new contract will take effect July 1, 2013 in time for the next school year.

Hawaii’s public school teachers will see the equivalent of a 3 percent pay increase above the restored 5 percent cut in July 2012.

In subsequent years, teachers will see increases of 3 percent and 3.2 percent, and health insurance premium percentages will also be restored. These benefits will help to create better working conditions to stabilize the teacher workforce.

Under the new contract, the state plans to establish a fair and thorough evaluation system in order to improve teaching practices and enhance learning environments for our students. Teachers will be represented during the decision process to establish the educator evaluation system.

The state is committed to providing the necessary support to ensure the success of the evaluation system.

“Through sign waving, e-mails, letters, and phone calls, HSTA members have shown unwavering commitment to education, putting pressure on the state to settle the contract in the best interests of the teachers and their students,” Okabe said. “”With the support of our members, the HSTA plans to move forward by collaborating with all stakeholders to transform public education in Hawaii.”

— Find out more:
www.hsta.org

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