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Teachers union files complaint over forced contract

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 7:07 p.m. HST, Jul 8, 2011

The Hawaii State Teachers Association filed today a “prohibited practice” complaint against the state over its decision to unilaterally implement a contract with wage reductions.

The legal challenge to the Hawaii Labor Relations Board was filed this afternoon, a week after the state unilaterally implemented its “last, best and final” contract offer.

HSTA President Wil Okabe said today the state’s move violated members’ rights.

“We’ve been bargaining for over 40 years … and to walk away from the negotiation table 10 days before the expiration day (of a contract)? Unprecedented,” Okabe said.

The state’s “last, best and final” offer implemented July 1 includes a 1.5 percent pay cut and 7.5 furlough days for teachers on a 10-month school calendar or nine furlough days for 12-month teachers. Teachers now also have to pay 50 percent of their health insurance premiums, up from 40 percent.

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