HSTA Convention Wrap Up
Nearly 400 delegates from across the state attended the Hawaii State Teachers Association convention April 16 and 17 at the Hawaii Convention Center.
“When we work together, we are able to accomplish great things,” said Corey Rosenlee, who presided over his first convention as HSTA president. “We are educators. We are the union. We are HSTA.”
In a speech before the delegates, Rosenlee thanked “the state officers who make this union work.”
He thanked HSTA Vice President Justin Hughey for his work serving as an advocate for special education teachers. Hughey has been meeting with lawmakers and testifying at the State Legislature and the Board of Education on special education issues.
Rosenlee also lauded Secretary-Treasurer Amy Perruso for spearheading the HSTA Speakers Bureau, a group of teachers who have been reaching out to community organizations to share our union’s vision for improved public education. With funding from a $30,000 student-centered grant from the NEA, the speakers bureau published a research-based report called “Schools Our Keiki Deserve” that has been distributed to community leaders, administrators and policy makers.
Record Membership Numbers in 2015-16
Rosenlee lauded the work of the HSTA Membership Committee and that of each school’s Faculty Representative for their drive and determination in signing up HSTA members for this school year.
Says Rosenlee, “99% of teachers in the HSTA Central Chapter have chosen to become HSTA this year. And HSTA Leeward Chapter has signed up 189 new members. That is fantastic work and I thank everyone responsible for the successful membership drive.”
Wilbert Holck, HSTA’s executive director, told delegates “I want us to build the most powerful labor union in the state of Hawaii whose members want to participate” in improving the lives of teachers.
Holck said one major focus of our union is professional development.
“Teachers want to get better at what they do. Unfortunately, they are not giving the opportunities to do that,” Holck said.
That’s why HSTA offers 20 professional development courses more than 60 times a year across the state. Nearly 1,000 teachers have taken these courses since the start of the school year and they have rated their impact at 8.5 on a 10-point scale, Holck said.
Delegates took action of seven proposed bylaw amendments, 18 resolutions and 24 new business items that HSTA will work to try to implement over the next year.