Benefits of Membership

HSTA membership is an investment in your career and your future. In addition to contract administration and bargaining, members enjoy personal and professional support as part of a network of passionate educators working toward positive change in Hawaii’s public school system.


Secure strong pay and working conditions

Contract negotiations

One of the greatest benefits of HSTA membership is our ability to use the collective power and voice of more than 13,500 educators to win improvements for our profession and our students. Our collective bargaining agreement (CBA), or contract, is a binding legal agreement between the Hawaii State Department of Education and all public school teachers in the state of Hawaii.

We are able to fight for and receive pay raises, ensure that teacher voice is part of every school’s decision-making process, and establish professional protections, like guaranteed preparation time and duty-free lunches. Stand with us and make your voice heard as we head back to the bargaining table to negotiate important job-related issues that impact you.

“I’ve only ever been impressed with HSTA. I feel like I couldn’t have asked for better support. I really felt involved. I felt like my voice was heard. HSTA makes me feel like I actually am helping effect change. I really am so grateful to be a part of this union and feel like I can speak up when I know there are injustices occurring at my workplace.”

Lia Cornair

Castle High English and Language Arts teacher


Support, advocacy, and communication, especially in times of crisis

COVID-19 response

As coronavirus cases began to rise, HSTA worked to ensure the safety of our educators, keiki, and communities while protecting our members’ rights and working conditions. On March 13, 2020, we sent communication to the HIDOE and all 37 public charter schools to emphasize their obligation to consult and/or bargain with us on COVID-19 response.

As the pandemic continued to grow, HSTA remained a strong, vocal advocate for the health and safety of our school communities. Actions included:

  • Signing a letter of agreement with the HIDOE to provide a framework that allowed our members to work from home,
  • Clarifying end-of-year checkout procedures so teachers could safely close the school year, and
  • Reaching, and fighting to uphold, a Memorandum of Understanding to ensure the safety of educators and students when schools reopen and guarantee teachers’ and HSTA’s involvement in policies and procedures moving forward.

Open, consistent lines of communication

HSTA remains a reliable, transparent source of information. We strive to always inform our members of major developments first, before they make public headlines. Our communication includes:

  • Direct responses to members’ questions and concerns,
  • Near daily updates to our website and social media,
  • Regular weekly updates and additional urgent notices through our Member Matters email newsletter,
  • Live briefings and news conferences streamed online to answer as many questions as possible, and
  • Resources, articles, and social media posts to support distance learning and other areas of need.

“My union is everything. I’ve always had a sense of belonging, always. I’ve always felt welcomed as a teacher. I’ve always felt supported. Now more than ever, I really appreciate everybody just being there for us and working so diligently behind the scenes. I’m super blessed to be part of this union.”

Nikki Kiliona

Waianae High academic counselor


Protection for yourself and your family

Free Educators Employment Liability insurance

Your HSTA-NEA membership includes a $1 million Educators Employment Liability (EEL) insurance policy, which provides liability and legal defense cost coverage for cases of civil proceedings brought against you in job-related matters.

Free NEA life insurance

Members receive free group term life and accidental death and dismemberment insurance. Plus, new HSTA-NEA members receive $15,000 of complimentary term life insurance for 12 months.

Short-term income protection and free long-term care through HSTA VEBA Trust

Short-term income protection is ideal for members with less than six months sick leave. Plus HSTA VEBA Trust gives you a $10/month subsidy to help pay for that coverage. Sign up within the first 60 days of membership and you are guaranteed coverage for all HSTA VEBA Trust plans without having to fill out medical forms.


Member-exclusive programs and discounts

SHiNE (Supporting Hawaii’s New Educators)

Whether you’re new to teaching or new to our state, HSTA wants to support you every step of the way. Members have access to comprehensive online tool kit with downloadable reference guides to support you through the first five days of school. Our Member Matters email newsletter provides weekly updates on events, workshops, and activities. HSTA also offers Office Hours, a series of online seminars designed to support and inform new educators on a variety of topics.

New members can create a website account, then go to to access our new member toolkit.

HSTA Welcome Home Program

HawaiiUSA Federal Credit Union presents the HSTA Welcome Home Mortgage Program to provide HSTA members stronger financial security through affordable and simple mortgage financing for their new purchase or refinance.

Discounts and savings

Take advantage of local and national discounts, including offers from Hawaiian Airlines, Marriott International, Universal Studios Hollywood, Island Insurance, Hawaiian Telcom, and Office Depot.

NEA Member Benefits program offers additional discounts, as well as free magazine subscriptions and $500 in NEA Travel dollars to use toward vacations booked through NEA Vacations.

“HSTA is so very important to me. I truly do believe in the collective voice that unions bring, especially in Hawaii, where we have such a long history of mistreatment of workers. I’m a union member because I believe in workers’ rights, and I believe in advocating for the middle class and the well-being of all of us, and I believe in liberating the voices that are sometimes not always heard, and through union work, that’s how a lot of this gets done.”

Hope McKeen

Keonepoko Elementary Hawaiian Language Resource Teacher


Student debt help and free financial education

NEA Student Debt Navigator powered by Savi

The NEA Student Debt Navigator is a free online student loan evaluation tool that helps student loan borrowers navigate the confusing landscape of loan repayment and forgiveness options available through the federal Teacher Loan Forgiveness and Public Service Loan Forgiveness programs.

Members are now eligible for free, one-year access to Savi’s premium service, which includes support from student loan experts who can answer questions and help fill out and e-file student or public service loan forgiveness applications.

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NEA Higher Education Loans

NEA Member Benefits understands that higher education is important, but paying for it can be difficult. Members can take advantage of three types of loan programs: undergraduate, parent, and graduate loans.

NEA Retirement Specialists

It’s never too early to start planning for your retirement and, more importantly, ensure you have enough money when you do retire. NEA Member Benefits vetted and approved financial advisers support all HSTA members through free, members-only financial workshops, life stage solutions programs designed to meet the investment needs of members throughout their lifetime, and free local financial planning consultations and portfolio reviews.


Professional development

Professional development courses for reclassification

Finding quality professional development can be difficult. HSTA offers courses designed to support your needs as a professional. Each course and instructor are vetted by the HSTA Instruction and Professional Development (IPD) Department to provide approved courses to support teachers reclassify for raises worth thousands of dollars. Through these courses, educators are given the skills needed for their classrooms and opportunities to network with other teachers in the state. Each course requires a deposit that is returned once the portfolio for the course has been submitted, as long as funds are available. The HSTA IPD Department also provides to members:

  • Information on free or reduced-price webinars and learning opportunities,
  • Supplemental resources to support both teachers and parents,
  • Resources to support HIDOE requirements for blended and virtual learning, and
  • Support for new educators through networking opportunities.

NEA support for National Board Certification

Do you have big dreams to help your students and school? HSTA offers Jump Start at a discounted rate to help new candidates get started. Jump Start is the first piece in a continuum of professional learning, one that ideally includes year-long candidate support. Jump Start is candidate-centered, builds a professional learning community, and focuses on the skills, knowledge, dispositions, and strategies needed to be successful in the National Board Certification process. We believe candidates are masters of their own National Board journey.

“I actually became head representative at my school and then joined a committee and going to the RAs (chapter representative assemblies) every month, all of a sudden, that’s when I felt I have a connection, I have a family. It changed my whole relationship to the world of education. It made me think differently about myself as an educator and as a member of the community.”

Erin Baldauf

Lokelani Intermediate 8th Grade Social Studies Teacher


Help steer the direction of the association

Choose who leads and represents HSTA

As an HSTA member, you have the right to vote and run in HSTA leadership elections, helping shape the direction of our Association. All active HSTA members are eligible to vote, and your ballot can help appoint the next state president, chapter president, and more. You can also step into a leadership role and serve as a school-level leader, helping your colleagues learn and assert their union rights at school.

In our union, your voice matters, and opportunities to build and develop your skills as a leader abound.