Governor, BOE sign HSTA contract; raises take effect July 1

HSTA leaders joined Gov. David Ige and Board of Education members in the governor’s office at the State Capitol June 20 to sign public school teachers’ four-year contract.

“I really am excited about signing this new contract. It really positions us very well to really focus on the most important things over the next four years, which really is about what happens in the classrooms,” Ige said. “I did want to thank HSTA for all of your work, all of those late-night conversations I think really moved us forward.”

HSTA President Corey Rosenlee thanked the governor for his personal involvement in the negotiations process, when Ige spent several late nights at bargaining sessions.

“We could not have gotten to this place where we have a contract without the time and commitment that you made,” Rosenlee said.

“There was a lot of good that came from this contract. Not just about salaries but a commitment we made to try to improve teacher evaluations to a system that’s more collaborative,” he added.

Rosenlee also said there were also areas where “we did not necessarily come to a conclusion, but we continued the conversation. Whether that’s on special education or class size.”

Rosenlee noted that the contract also called for an English Language Learner committee to help make improvements in that critical area.

Osa Tui, HSTA’s Negotiations Chair, said, “This was a very long process, things got a bit tangled at times and then we were very fortunate that the governor was able to come and untangle things for us. We were very shocked and happy that he was able to spend many nights with us, working this through, single handedly making sure that we were able to come to an agreement in time.”

“As an education governor, we give you an A and we hope to work with you in the years to come,” Tui added.

Hugh Minn, one of the two Board of Education representatives who was directly involved in negotiations, said, “We wouldn’t be here without the governor’s vision and his leadership. We worked for the common good of the students and I think it will pay off in the future.”

Besides Ige, Rosenlee, Tui and Minn, other HSTA leaders present for the signing ceremony included rest of the Negotiations Team, made up of teachers Paul Daugherty, Shannon Kaaa and Diane Mokuau. along with HSTA Chief Negotiator and Deputy Executive Director Andrea Eshelman.

The new agreement, which goes into effect July 1, gives teachers a 13.6 percent raise compounded over the next four years. The agreement also provides more money from the employer to cover rising health premiums.