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Abercrombie: HSTA breaks off talks with federal mediator

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 08:59 p.m. HST, Oct 04, 2012

The Hawaii State Teachers Association has ended mediation talks with the state, Gov. Neil Abercrombie announced tonight.

"The federal mediator has informed us that HSTA is ending their participation in mediation," Abercrombie said.

"I am very disappointed that HSTA once again is not willing to engage in discussions that could resolve outstanding issues."

Union president Wil Okabe said the teachers entered into federal mediation with genuine sincerity and with an awareness that the teachers' contact will have an impact on the future of public education in Hawaii.

"In the coming weeks, HSTA will provide our teachers and the public a more detailed accounting of what led up the the breakdown in bargaining with this governor," Okabe said.

He said Abercrombie violated ground rules of mediation by issuing a statement to the news media by himself and not jointly with the union.

The teacher's union agreed with the state on Aug. 20 to engage the help of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.

Abercrombie said his administration remains willing to engage in mediation.

"It is impossible to negotiate with people who refuse to talk," Abercrombie said.

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Wazdat wrote:
on October 4,2012 | 07:11PM
soundofreason wrote:
""It is impossible to negotiate with people who refuse to talk," Abercrombie said.">>> Oh, they'll talk. Just as long as you agree with everything they say. Everything.
on October 4,2012 | 07:27PM
soundofreason wrote:
"The teacher's union agreed with the state on Aug. 20 to engage the help of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service." >> Only when they thought it would work FOR them. Whining Wil ain't having a good day....year.....term.
on October 4,2012 | 07:29PM
st1d wrote:
hsta membership must be so proud of him. under his leadership the teachers have won new respect from the public and students. they have won just about everything but a new contract. okabe is slowly morphing into an obake.
on October 4,2012 | 07:30PM
Papakolea wrote:
The thing that HSTA doesn't seem to understand is that the favored nation clause with HGEA prevents the governor from giving them anything. Once he gives the teachers something, he'll have to give it to the members of the much larger HGEA and the state just doesn't have the money for that. You have to give Perreira credit. He ensured that his members will get the first fruits. That is one smart bugga.
on October 4,2012 | 07:38PM
frontman wrote:
Good, now fire all of them that want to strike and hire good teachers that want more than just a paycheck and unreasonable bennifits.
on October 4,2012 | 07:41PM
soundofreason wrote:
But but but then they'd have to forfeit their annual two months off of vacation/sick/holiday time so overtime could be paid to their peers. Oh noooooooooooooooo!!!
on October 4,2012 | 07:47PM
braddah wrote:
you should change your name to anotherlameposter too!
on October 4,2012 | 08:03PM
dontbelieveinmyths wrote:
Soundofreason and frontman, you crack me up. Who are you going to hire? The worth of a worker (no matter what job) is based on the available supply of those workers. If the worker is hard to replace, then they should be worth more. I'll use a truck driver as an example. There are a lot of drivers out there, so you can be easily replaced. Therefore the employer has more leverage. If you are a brain surgeon, you are hard to replace, therefore the employee has more leverage. Where do teachers stand? I don't know. But from what I read, there is a shortage and not many are knocking down the teacher employment doors.
on October 4,2012 | 08:54PM
waianae94 wrote:
Fire all the teachers and hire people that can spell "benefits."
on October 4,2012 | 08:00PM
braddah wrote:
Yeah yeah you're such a genius teach for a whole school year...I'm sure you won't make it. Lame comment!
on October 4,2012 | 08:03PM
Nesmith wrote:
Poor teachers, they need better representation. 3 years of losing money due to furloughs and they will never regain their original salaries and the union not seeming to represent them.
on October 4,2012 | 07:48PM
bobbob wrote:
they get exactly what they deserve with the poor vote turnout and half of those giving support to okabe. make bed. sleep in it.
on October 4,2012 | 07:54PM
CriticalReader wrote:
Bet the Governor is really, REALLY scared now,
on October 4,2012 | 07:54PM
dontbelieveinmyths wrote:
The gov is a bully. He always makes announcements first so he can slant the story. He was willing to give the teachers a contract earlier and when the teachers asked for that same contract, he refused. Whether you like the union or not, it is in the state constitution that they, the teachers can unionize and thus have certain negotiating rights. The gov chose to ignore that and just imposed a contract on them. Play by the rules. If you don't like the rules, then change it. But do it the legal way.
on October 4,2012 | 08:46PM
false wrote:
if they had the funds for it, they'd go out on strike. But they're pretty much busted from paying a year or two of attorneys fees. The lawyers are the only ones who benefit from this mess, certainly not the teachers.
on October 4,2012 | 08:49PM
ThinkOutLoud wrote:
Give local teachers more money! They deserve it. Stop hiring mainland teachers (with bonuses) who stay long enough to be vested in the retirement system and move back "home" the first chance they get. Some mainland teacher get hired and use up their sick leave and then quit, it is the best "paid vacation" they can get in paradise. Lots of local talent are still unemployed.
on October 4,2012 | 09:12PM
ThinkOutLoud wrote:
If I were a teacher, I would strike in January 2013. Hahahaha!
on October 4,2012 | 09:15PM
oneindisarray wrote:
I don't care anymore, I hope we strike. I'm so disgusted by the hate towards Unions and teachers nowadays. Fine, I'm just a glorified babysitter. I hope we strike until you pay us like one. What's the typical babysitter rate? Ten dollars an hour? Tell ya what, we'll cut it down to Five just to make a deal since this is Federally subsidized through your taxes... oh yeah, and mine since teachers pay their own salaries. Okay, now, I have an average of 25 students PER class, but we'll cut that down to twenty for the same reasons as above. I see 4 separate classes a day. That's eighty students... and I'm being generous. Four hundred dollars a day times one eighty, That's a 72 K salary per year... cash or check?
on October 4,2012 | 09:15PM
waianae94 wrote:
Nah, think of it this way: $600/month per child (The low end babysitter rate) X 130 students=$78,000 per month. That's just for babysitting. Having them learn is extra. We, as teachers, have to deal with irate parents, vacant students, druggies, substandard facilities, etc. The public only sees us as an expense. All the people who say that we should be fired should get their wish. They think that hungry, highly qualified teachers are waiting around the bend. Wake up, people. Why do you think that teachers flee to private schools for less pay whenever they get the chance? Students are more motivated there, they have the right support from parents and admin., they have SUPPLIES, etc.
on October 5,2012 | 12:03AM
ejkorvette wrote:
Ooh, sounds like this issue is getting Heated and Personal. Let's keep our heads and hearts Open with Flexibility and focus on the Ultimate Objective: Education of the Youth of Hawaii. The teacher's need to be recognized and the Youth absolutely need to be properly Educated. All the parties involved, leave your Egos at home!!! Resolve this Issue NOW!!
on October 4,2012 | 09:49PM
pookiki wrote:
HSTA members need to wake up and smell the coffee. Member of the public who don't hold unions in high regard isn't the issue here and public opinion will not resolve the dispute. Hawaii still has one of the highest levels of union workers in the US. HSTA finds itself in the dilemma it is in because it has surrendered its faith in the decision making process of the rank and file to forces outside the union. It is a recipe for disaster.
on October 4,2012 | 10:48PM
jtamura69 wrote:
Too bad more people don't support the teachers. Their hate for the union has clouded their judgement.
on October 4,2012 | 11:02PM
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