About 200 Leeward Oahu educators conducted socially distanced information picketing Tuesday afternoon to raise concerns about a lack of consistent safety protocols and an agreement which would enforce safe practices to keep students, school staff and the community safer during the pandemic. Public school teachers across the state will hold similar informational pickets in the coming days and weeks.
The Hawaii State Teachers Association is working hard to ensure that our members' health and safety remain a priority, our contract and employment rights are preserved, and information is being communicated in an accurate and timely manner.
The Hawaii State Teachers Association has compiled a list of frequently asked questions about the governor’s emergency proclamation that requires state and county employees to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or submit regular test results.
The Hawaii State Department of Education’s plans for free COVID-19 testing at public schools statewide are eagerly awaited by students, staff, and parents, but at a legislative hearing this week, school officials did not answer key questions about when the program will be available at all schools.
“When will the DOE sign an MOU (memorandum of understanding) with HSTA regarding safety protocols to ensure that there is accountability for violations that occur on school campuses?" a state lawmaker asked top state education officials Wednesday.
HSTA has filed two class grievances over unsafe working conditions during the pandemic and the state’s directive that unvaccinated education employees must be tested for COVID-19 weekly. Class grievances represent all teachers who have been wronged by action or inaction on the part of the employer.
Several state senators Friday raised issues and concerns to Hawaii Department of Health Director Dr. Libby Char over what more the state can do to support schools as COVID-19 cases remain at all-time highs and school clusters have been acknowledged for the first time this school year.
Despite HSTA expressing serious concerns about inconsistent protocols and reports from members of transmission of COVID-19 on school campuses, interim Superintendent Keith Hayashi continued to assert that health safety guidelines are being followed and that there had been no evidence of transmission or clusters of COVID-19 at schools.
The Hawaii Board of Education last week asked the Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) whether there were ways to allow new teachers from the continental United States to reside there and be able to teach remotely. However, Hawaii law prohibits this type of employment by state or county government workers.