(BIVN) – The Hawaiʻi State Teachers Association on Wednesday evening announced its members have “overwhelmingly voted to ratify a new four-year contract.”
From the HSTA:
The Hawaiʻi State Teachers Association (HSTA) is pleased to announce that Bargaining Unit 05 (BU05) employees of the Hawaiʻi State Department of Education (HIDOE) and public charter schools Wednesday overwhelmingly voted to ratify a new four-year contract. HSTA is the exclusive BU05 representative.
Ninety-two percent of the nearly 7,000 valid ballots cast approved the contract that will take effect July 1, 2023, through June 30, 2027. Nearly 8% voted against the contract. For the first time since 2017, members voted in person at 31 polling sites across the state.
A final tally will be taken on May 4 to account for outstanding absentee ballots that are being mailed in, but the remaining uncounted ballots are not enough to sway the outcome of the ratification vote.
HSTA President Osa Tui, Jr. said, “HSTA thanks bargaining unit members who came out today to ratify a new four-year contract which will help to recruit and retain teachers and give further stability for our keiki to have highly qualified teachers in their classrooms.
“Mahalo to Gov. Green, Superintendent Hayashi, and the Board of Education for sitting with us at the bargaining table for the past few months to be able to bring this agreement to our members. In addition to the improvements to compensation and working conditions we’ve been able to make through this new contract, we also send mahalo to our legislators, governor, and lieutenant governor as we make progress at the Legislature on important items such as teacher housing, public preschool, and teacher tax credits,” Tui added.
Wednesday’s ratification paves the way for state lawmakers to approve the $577 million to fund the contract before the end of the legislative session.
Chris Facuri, a media production teacher at Aliamanu Middle School, has been an educator for 35 years and voted in favor of HSTA’s contract.
“This is probably one of the more substantial raises that we’ve had. And it’s good to see that, you know, we’re going in a positive direction. Especially for the senior teachers…at least you got an incentive for them to kind of keep on going and pursue their career,” Facuri said.
Kuulei Arakaki, a McKinley High special education teacher, said, “We need a contract. We need to get our raises. We work super hard…We put in like 60-70 hour weeks, and yeah, we deserve to get a little bit of a pay hike.”
“We have a deep appreciation for Hawaii’s teachers and this contract was meant to demonstrate that,” said Governor Green in a separate news release. “By raising starting salaries to $50,000, we hope more of Hawaii’s young men and women will aspire to become teachers. Higher salaries and bonuses for veteran teachers will also improve teacher retention and reduce teacher shortages. Good public education remains one of our top priorities.”
by Big Island Video News
HAWAIʻI - 92% percent of the nearly 7,000 valid ballots cast approved the contract that will take effect July 1, 2023.