Hawaiʻi State Teachers Association reaches tentative contract deal
The Hawaiʻi State Teachers Association has reached a tentative, four-year contract settlement for 13,500 teachers represented by the union. The deal proposes approximately 14.5% pay increases over the four-year contract.
The announcement was made by Governor Josh Green, M.D., DOE Superintendent Keith Hayashi and Osa Tui Jr., and president of the Hawai‘i State Teachers Association upon conclusion of successful talks.
“This is another great step forward in raising pay and improving the quality of life for our teachers, who we value tremendously,” said Gov. Green in a news release. “I was honored to engage directly in the negotiations, to help move the needle forward toward this crucial collective bargaining agreement for our teachers and our kids,” he said.
The proposed four-year contract provides average annual pay raises of 3.4% for teachers to help stabilize Hawai‘i’s public education workforce; raises pay for instructors, who are teachers working toward licensure, an increase that will also assist in teacher recruitment; and it provides bonuses for the most experienced teachers, to increase teacher retention.
“This agreement helps set a solid foundation for the next four years with predictable increases that recognize the incredible work of the educators in our schools who directly support student learning,” Superintendent Keith Hayashi said in the release. “It also elevates the teaching profession across the pipeline – from beginning teachers to veteran teachers to non-traditional teachers – while supporting their continued professional growth. The Department appreciates the collaborative effort under Gov. Green’s leadership along with HSTA and the Board of Education to demonstrate our collective commitment to public education.”
Additionally, teachers who traditionally work after-hours to support extracurricular programs such as band, drama and chorus, will receive raises to acknowledge their significant contributions to student enrichment.
Other cost-items include increases in employer contributions to teachers’ health insurance premiums.
“Ultimately, the salary improvements we’ve secured and the many other improvements to contract language will benefit the public school students of Hawaiʻi who should see improved recruitment and retention of highly qualified educators to our classrooms,” said HSTA President Osa Tui, Jr.
“This is the strongest contract we have achieved since 2013,” Tui said. “This round of bargaining was the most collaborative I’ve experienced in my decade of negotiations with the employer. We’re also extremely grateful to Gov. Josh Green, who joined us on the last day of bargaining and actively helped to clear some of the logjams that remained,” he added.
The agreement establishes a program to minimize learning-loss during emergency school closures, by allowing schools to continue delivering instruction. The agreement assures improvements in health and safety in the work environment, and provides for creation of work groups to address student needs including Hawaiian Education; Career and Technical Education; movement toward a restorative student discipline model and for English Language Learners (formerly English as a Second Language).
The HSTA will stage statewide, in-person contract ratification voting at various locations on April 26.