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HSTA, governor to take contract dispute to federal mediator

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 1:34 a.m. HST, Aug 21, 2012

Leadership at the Hawaii State Teachers Association has agreed to an offer by Gov. Neil Abercrombie to use a federal mediator to resolve their long-standing contractual differences.

The state and HSTA issued a joint statement Monday night. The HSTA board of directors approved the plan this evening.

Said HSTA president Wil Okabe: "We would like to announce that our Negotiations Committee and the HSTA Board of Directors have agreed to the governor's recommendation to enter into federal mediation in an attempt to resolve the current contract dispute. We look forward to beginning the mediation process as soon as possible." 

Abercrombie made the offer Aug. 14. “This is a step forward, by both sides, to find a solution that will resolve our differences for the sake of our students and school teachers,” he said.

The governor said the invitation “is not about establishing who is right or who is wrong, but rather to re-engage HSTA in discussions which can lead to a resolution of the issues that separate us.”

The state’s public school teachers have been operating under a labor dispute since June 2011.

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