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Raise? Can’t even comply with basic contract verbiage for drug testing.
RANDOM drug testing, which I suppose is what you are referring to, is NOT in the HSTA-BOE contract. Principals have ALWAYS had the authority to have a teacher tested for drugs or alcohol if they suspect a teacher is under the influence.
Yes but in practice, it’s kind of difficult to do because of the level of Reasonable Suspicion and the fairly intensive documentation required. There used to be opportunities to refer employees for counseling and services and this option was used when circumstances warranted. Unfortunately, those services dried up a long time ago.
A prior contract gave the teachers 8% raise for both random and suspicion-based drug testing. The teachers took the money, then said random drug testing is unconstitutional. This is the last union you should ever trust. As a tax payer, I would be willing to pay more taxes to give every teacher at least $100,000/year — but only if the State gets rid of unionization for teachers. No point pay that kind of money for teachers who perform poorly, and who have a union that renegs on contracts.
Comply with basic contract verbiage? The problem was the “contract verbiage” did not specify the source of the money to pay for these tests. In the end, the teachers would have likely paid for their own $400 drug test. Name one other employer in the nation that makes their employees pay for the random drug test. …crickets…
No. The question was between the DOE and the State regarding the funding and not employees.
Actually, yes. The State said there was no money for the test and the DOE would have to use their existing budget to cover the tests. The DOE said the budget was already allocated and the teachers would likely have to cover the expenses themselves. The DOE publicly said this and the State continued to refuse to fund the tests.
The DOE already has enough money to give teachers pay raises, and even put air conditioning in the classrooms. But the DOE bureaucracy is too bloated and wasteful, and DOE leaders are too lazy to reorganize and re-prioritize funding within the organization. They rather ask taxpayers for more money than do their jobs. Say No!
nomu – even if the DOE wanted to give extra money to teachers with a budget surplus, it couldn’t unless it’s specified in their contract. Is the “bloat” of the DOE admin the fault of the teachers? If not, then why hold teachers salaries hostage to correct that issue. Instead, simply address the issue in the HGEA negotiations that pertain to the DOE personnel. Teaching is one of the hardest professions period. Stop making excuses about why they shouldn’t be paid a fair salary. There’s a reason why there’s a shortage even with the aggressive recruitment of mainland teachers, the job can only be done a few with a highly specialized skill set and personality. Everyone else burns out within five years.
This was back when the BOE was elected, and (like all other politicians) controlled by the unions. Remember the furloughs? Lingle cut the DOE’s budget and said the DOE could work out how it would allocate money — but IF they did furloughs, she preferred they didn’t fall on instructional days. That contract was signed by Lingle, the BOE, and the HSTA. No furloughs were in the contract. But then a separate agreed that was signed ONLY by the BOE and HSTA said there would be furloughs, but no dates were specified. Then a THIRD document, again, only between the BOE and the HSTA, listed the furloughs as following on instructional days. After public outcry, the BOE and the HSTA both tried to place the blame back on Lingle. The funding for drug testing is similar — the DOE sets its budget, and CONVENIENTLY did not allocate money for the drug testing that the teachers agreed to in exchange for an 8% raise. Shortly after all this, the public was fed up enough to make the BOE an appointed body so the BOE couldn’t simply try to shift blame to the governor’s office (since they would be appointed by the governor). Some of us actually have memories.
This was back when the BOE was elected, and (like all other politicians) controlled by the unions. Remember the furloughs? Lingle cut the DOE’s budget and said the DOE could work out how it would allocate money — but IF they did furloughs, she preferred they didn’t fall on instructional days. That contract was signed by Lingle, the BOE, and the HSTA. No furloughs were in that contract. But then a separate agreenment that was signed ONLY by the BOE and HSTA said there would be furloughs, but no dates were specified. Then a THIRD document, again, only between the BOE and the HSTA, listed the furloughs as following on instructional days. After public outcry, the BOE and the HSTA both tried to place the blame back on Lingle.
The funding for drug testing is similar — the DOE sets its budget, and CONVENIENTLY did not allocate money for the drug testing that the teachers agreed to in exchange for an 8% raise. Shortly after all this, the public was fed up enough to make the BOE an appointed body so the BOE couldn’t simply try to shift blame to the governor’s office (since they would be appointed by the governor). Some of us actually have memories.
Seriously?! WHY is this “sent for moderation”:
The funding for drug testing is similar — the DOE sets its budget, and CONVENIENTLY did not allocate money for the drug testing that the teachers agreed to in exchange for an 8% raise. Shortly after all this, the public was fed up enough to make the BOE an appointed body so the BOE couldn’t simply try to shift blame to the governor’s office (since they would be appointed by the governor).
Great, my comment is “awaiting moderation” because I said the way the DOE handled the funding for testing was one of the reasons the BOE is now an appointed body and no longer elected? THAT requires moderation? If the Star-Ad is going to edit comments for point of view, they should lose any rights or protections they may have as “journalists.” Unbelievable.
Rosenlee is wasting his time comparing Hawaii public school teacher salaries to salaries elsewhere in the country since this is a state-wide problem–and anyone can manufacture numbers. (As the saying goes, “Numbers don’t lie; liars figure.”) He should focus on the need to raise salaries to attract and retain more teachers, linking the issue to the perennial teacher shortage. How can the DOE hire and retain quality teachers when it can’t even get enough applicants to fill existing vacancies? Essentially, the DOE has no choice but to hire any warm body who applies.
And why can’t they get enough applicants? Because people can’t afford to make a living on a teachers salary. IMHO teachers are highly underpaid. They also spend countless hours off campus preparing for classes or correcting work. Teaching, like nursing, takes a special kind of person to do the job. Paying the teachers more makes a whole lot more sense than that rail thing they’re truing to build. Thank you to all you teachers.
Not to mention rail workers make way more than teachers.
And bus drivers too.
Construction/rail jobs are hazardous jobs. Don’t dream for a minute a teacher could do a construction gig and face the high injury risks.
The DOE already has enough money to give teachers pay raises, and even put air conditioning in the schools. But the DOE bureaucracy is too wasteful and their leaders are too lazy to reorganize and re-prioritize funding within the bureaucracy. They rather ask taxpayers for more money than do their jobs. Say No!
Yep, it’s pretty much common sense. The less you pay your workers, the lower the quality of candidates your get. If you want poor quality teachers, then continue to pay them meager wages. With the cost of living in Hawaii, expect more mainland headhunters and also private schools to raid the best public school teachers leaving the bottom of the barrel left. People keep grumbling about the low test scores for Hawaii’s students, yet they don’t want to do anything about it to improve the quality of the schools.
Wow! It’s so refreshing to find someone who “gets it!” I’m always afraid to read comments on topics involving teacher pay because inevitably, there will be those who say they don’t deserve it, and those who complain that poor student achievement does not warrant raises. But yes, it IS common sense! If you keep salaries low, then the so-called “best and brightest” are going to find something else to do. For those who feel teachers do not deserve a raise, that’s fine. You have a right to your opinion. But, please do not complain when student achievement goes down and unqualified people are in front of a classroom. As the old saying goes: “You get what you pay for!”
No question, but the Cities mentioned are not subject to the Jones Act which drives our cost of living–they should support candidates that have repel the Jones Act tattooed on their forehead!!! Wait until Trump finds out about the Act!!!!
But DOE, under Matayoshi had enough money to hire her special team at high-level professional pay levels when not totally qualified and now those people are into their 5th year and vested.
Shame that teachers aren’t on the high end of the DOE pay matrix.
(to be vested in the State Retirement System generally requires ten years of service.)
Cut out some of the deadwood at the top and viola there’s enough money for all teachers.
Teachers need raises? Taxpayers need cuts!
time for hawaii to become the next state to participate in the powerball lottery!
Agree, way over due. But than our leaders would miss use any free monies coming in.
Here’s and update on Hawaii’s teacher shortage.
I would be the first one to approve a 1/2% increase for education providing that the money went directly to the schools. It would be a lot better than giving 1/2% get for the senseless RAIL.
Increasing the GET
But 1/3 of the entire state budget is for the DOE. I think that is a lot.
It’s already too much!
To compare salaries alone is not an accurate assessment. Do we know what other retirement and health benefits the other cities/ States offer vs Hawaii? Also, how many days do they work? This would give the public and the Legislature a better comparison to consider.
Hawaii’s other benefits are comparable or less to other states, plus the poor salary. It’s a wonder we get as many teachers as we do. Two parent families where both are teachers cannot make it here. That is pretty sad. My child lost her teacher midway through the year for that reason. It has disrupted our whole year and the childrens’ learning. They deserve a living wage.
You could also add to the comparison list: bureaucratic red tape, diversity of immigrant families, budgetary support for infrastructure and supplies, media and public scrutiny, and pay difference with instate professions like police and firefighters.
Instead of negotiating, teachers should simply go to mandatory binding arbitration like HPD.
Here we go again, the old “how many days do they work?” argument. True, teachers “work” only 10 months out of the year. But, did you know that they only get PAID for 10 months? The reason they get checks in the summer is that payroll takes the total 10-month contract salary and divides by 12 instead of 10 (or 24 instead of 20 since teacher get paid bi-monthly). Now, if you want to get into how many hours per day well, by contract it’s 7. But realistically, I don’t know of too many teachers who come in at 8:00 sharp and leave at 3:30 sharp. And even if there are some, I don’t know of too many who can just come it at 8:00 sharp and “wing it” without prepared lessons, then correct papers for all their students during the 15 minute recess so they don’t have to take anything home. OK, they get holidays and breaks and truth be told, they need them. Want to try teaching for a year? Try it and see if you still feel the same way!
Welcome to the real world working two jobs to make ends meet.
Krook Caldwell is living proof of it too! 😉
The union wants big pay raises for the teachers cuz if he gets them a big raise, he will probably get a bigger pay raise. This is so true of most unions, the union reps are only out for themselves.
That is untrue. Anyone who is in a union knows the reps don’t make exorbitant amounts of money.
Uhh, have you seen the salaries for the union heads??? It’s incredulous.
100% spot on. Here’s the public salary info. http://www.civilbeat.org/2016/01/civil-beat-database-of-public-employee-salaries/
There isn’t enough money to pay me to be a school teacher.
Exactly. I taught at a public high school for over 10 years. What would it take for me to return? Even if they tripled the salary to equal my private industry income, I personally would not return. The job isn’t worth the stress and workload. It takes a special kind of person to teach, like my wife. You have to be an excellent communicator, have an abundance of patience, thick skin for the admin and public scrutiny and steadfast dedication to student development even if they don’t appreciate or want it. It’s no surprise that there is a shortage. No teacher that I know enters the profession for the money. But many soon find money is indeed an important consideration. The job is already incredibly difficult. To add the stress of stretching your meager salary to cover basic expenses and the job is not an option for many. If you have a family, it’s even worse because you are essentially sacrificing a good job that pays more in the private sector (which would probably benefit your kids more) for your students. If teaching was so easy with high pay and lots of vacation, why is there a shortage? Why do we need to so aggressively recruit mainland talent because no local kids want to enter the profession? We seemingly are on the precipice of a full blown crisis.
Gov., my wife shared with me the letter you recently sent state employees. You wrote that state employees are “our strongest assets.” Please don’t let those be empty words and pay teachers what they are worth before it’s too late. Guess what we do in the private sector if we can’t fill necessary positions or attract quality talent?
(There are some upsides though and those are the things that make educators stay in the job despite working conditions, compensation, and upper-stratum lack of competence. Kids in Hawaii schools are generally a joy to be around; even most of the very difficult or troubled ones. I was a high school classroom teacher and a school administrator at all levels. I really miss working with the kids and working with teachers. Some of my former students from three decades ago are still valued friends. One of the cool things about being a school administrator is the opportunity to work with kids who are having problems. These can range from home life to academics, drugs, you name it. A lot of these kids have never had an adult that they can come and just talk to. My time working with students and teachers was probably the most meaningful and rewarding part of my life. I’m glad I did it.)
A dedicated person like you who love his job and the people involved is a priceless treasure in our school systems! Thanks for your services! Always thought Hawaii got one of the best when you moved here!
Pay raises are not the problem Mr. Rosenlee….the problem why so many teachers leave the profession is the attitude, undiscipline, and lackadaisical behavior of the students in the classroom. This is the basic problem which just drains the emotional and psychological energies of the majority of the teachers in the classroom. Many of the teachers are paid good but many live beyond their means……I mean, many people would be happy with the salaries and benefits e.g. health, retirement, days off, that the teachers accumulate compared to those in the pvt. sector but to tolerate the nonsensical behavior of students and parents are the tipping point which drives teachers over the edge…..The majority of the teachers I know do not work 2 jobs but have bought homes or take many trips during the summer, winter, or spring breaks…..trust me, I am speaking from experience………..nothing more and nothing less.
so true..it’s not the pay that is driving away the teachers..it’s the students behaviors that drive them away..if you can’t afford to live here on $50,000 a year then something is wrong with your expenditures
What experience? I have been in the trenches and it is about pay. That’s why there is a shortage and people leave the profession. I know you’re lying because no one I know would agree to your nonsense.
stop this FAKE NEWS …minimal detail so we get the wrong impression …give them help in OTHER WAYS not money , it is a cliche ……help with children discipline ect.
We ALL need raises but REALITY is, we already spend more than enough of education. CUT the Fat and the 100’s of un-needed jobs and use the extra funds for the teachers !
All teachers do is complain about their money. It has gotten to expensive to survive here.
Unfortunately you are wrong. Teachers don’t only complain, they quit the profession when no one listens because their pay barely equates to a livable wage. Now we can’t find enough teachers to fill the positions.
There are no problems automation and robotics can’t solve. On-line schooling is fast becoming the norm. For the elementry school kids throw in a few kiosk style robots in the classroom at $35k a piece and just sack the useless whiners and complainers complaining that they’re not earning a living wage. Just like those Hetrz car-rental kiosks on the mainland, with a human at the other end from another country working for 1/10th the pay gleefully assisting customers and without the nonsense or future liabilities.
Almost all jobs/industries in Hawaii pay less than mainland, this is so-called price of living in paradise. HSTA union needs to use a better argument such as the high rate of vacancy requires higher/market salaries to attract qualified applicants. With this said, DOE needs to trim down its ‘fat’ at top at the administrative levels to better use its huge budget for teachers. There’s too many superintendents, deputy superintendents, area superintendents, assistant superintendents, ….
It’s gotten so S_T_U_P_I_D that there are almost more D.O.E. workers than students! LOL
Forgot to mention the article claims there are only 13,000 but Civil Beat counts 21,000 on the payroll for 2016 and many admins earning $200,000+ a year! Please cry me a river you DOE whiners! Fire them all and replace them with Kiosks and robots!
Yup online learning may just be in future
If the idea is that you get what you pay for, then are the schools currently filled with useless/poor teachers? If so, then why give existing teachers raises? Why not fire them all, get rid of the union, then let all teachers re-apply for $100,000+ salaries. That’s a win-win because we would attract the best teachers to Hawaii, and those teachers would have a reasonable chance of living in Hawaii. But as long as the union protects the existing poor teachers, why should the State give raises?
has teaching gotten better with pay though?..i don’t think so..still got those lazy teachers getting paid more than they should
We leave the most precious things we have (Our Children) with teachers for most of the day to learn and thrive! Yet we complain about paying them a livable wage, what is wrong with everyone have you lost your minds! Its our children!
Regardless whether deserving or not, in the end all public unions will be getting a raise. Don’t forget, this is Hawaii where our police chief can retire for $150,000+ a year and also (most likely) will be getting an additional settlement payout of up to $500,000. It’s only taxpayers’ money.
Most teachers work their butt off! I was a teacher and counselor for 30 years in the DOE. I wanted to work longer but I had to move to the mainland because my wife got sick from the VOG and elements. I am sure taxpayers cringe when pay raises are brought up. I was on the top of the pay scale with 95 graduate credits. So I come to Idaho and I find that my retirement is hard to live on since my wife is sick. So I go back to work and they hire me in a job sharing position. They gave me 8 years credit and I make 25K a year so it would be 50K for full time. The teachers start at 33K here. The union is not strong here. The is the right to work law so teachers don’t have to join. Instead of have $1500 for supplies, I have $50. Cost of living is obviously lower here. I don’t know a lot of other Idaho schools like Hawaii schools but the behavior of my present school is excellent to all the schools I worked at in Hawaii. All the elementary schools have excellent gym with art, PE and music teachers. The county and DOE team to build the gym. The public can reserve the gym to teams. The playground is open during the weekends. But during school hours, you can enter the school without buzzing in a secure entrance. The whole school is fenced and secure always. During the Christmas season, I was surprised how many private and non-profit agencies helped children with winter clothes, gifts etc… The Salvation army here is not like Hawaii. They have a first class facility with a gym and pool. They have concerts performances, youth programs, swimming, etc… Like a 5 star Nuuanu YMCA. The government is very thrifty and give pay increases only when they balance the budget
Good thinking to not ask for an excise tax increase to pay for teachers’ salary increases. Caldwell of course wants more money again.
The reality is that in Hawaii there is a “paradise tax”. While the cost of living here is high, the relative salaries across almost all occupations – public and private – are considerably lower than mainland cities. If you look at the cities in the HSTA’s study you’ll find that Hawaii’s teachers’ pay is much closer to their mainland counterparts than other occupations (medicine, engineering, accounting, banking, etc.). It is unrealistic to expect teachers to earn what their mainland counterparts earn, when virtually no other occupation does. So the choice is simple: stay in Paradise (and earn less) or move to the mainland. Just deal with it and stop complaining.