POSTED: 12:49 p.m. HST, Dec 13, 2012
LAST UPDATED: 1:22 p.m. HST, Dec 13, 2012
The state has asked the teachers union to explain why it can’t meet again for contract talks before the new year.
In a letter to Hawaii State Teachers Association President Wil Okabe, Board of Education member Jim Williams asked a series of questions, including why the union can’t sit down earlier for negotiations and why HSTA has not made an offer of its own to the state.
“In my view it is very important that all concerned have the most complete and accurate information about events taking place,” Williams wrote in the Dec. 12 letter.
The Department of Education issued a news release on the letter today.
Okabe said the state was playing games by releasing the letter.
He also said the union opted not to meet again earlier because teachers will be on winter break.
“They’re trying to again bully us into us into making a deal,” Okabe said. “I think they think this is a game.”
The letter comes four days after the union opted not to accept a settlement offer from the state that included the restoration of a 5 percent wage cut, 2 percent raises each year of the 2013-15 contract and $2,500 bonuses for new teachers who successfully complete probation.
The offer expired Monday.