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School teachers overwhelmingly approve new contract

By Nanea Kalani

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 02:05 a.m. HST, Apr 18, 2013



Public school teachers voted Wednesday to approve a $330 million, four-year contract that will tie their pay raises in part to student performance. The agreement, which includes annual pay increases and reduced medical premiums for teachers, brings closure to a two-year labor dispute with the state.

Ninety-five percent of teachers voted to ratify the contract, with 70 percent of the Hawaii State Teachers Association's 13,500 members casting ballots.

"Many teachers really took it to heart, they wanted a contract, they wanted to send a very strong message to the state of Hawaii that they wanted a fair and equitable contract," HSTA President Wil Okabe said at a press conference tonight. "I believe by this vote, it clearly shows that teachers are ready to go on to the next level and (we are) headed to educational transformation as we look at trying to improve teaching and also to improve learning for our students."

Regarding the contract's price tag, Okabe said, "I do not believe for a second that the Legislature would not fund this agreement."

Gov. Neil Abercrombie said in a written statement, "The teachers' ratification of this contract is a positive milestone for public education in Hawaii. We can now move forward as partners in transforming education for the benefit of our students and the entire state."







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sumoroach wrote:
Teachers again get everything that they wish for and the Hawaii state taxpayers are getting the shaft. The teachers will find a way out of the student performances, just like they did with the drug tests. WHEN ARE THE TEACHERS HELD RESPONIBLE???????????????????????????????????????
on April 17,2013 | 09:14PM
localguy wrote:
Hey Wil, who is paying reduced medical premiums for teachers? Don't look at taxpayers to subsidize you and your fellow whiners. If students do well, teachers get a pay raise. When students fail to meet standards, teachers will see their pay cut right? What's good for the goose is good for the gander. Looks like the next news report will be when Nei teachers follow some dysfunctional mainland school districts and are caught changing student's test scores for higher results. Now we have to remove the HSTA from test design and grading as you can't have foxes guard the hen house. Looks like the Nei just took more major steps backwards. For students, for teachers. This is what HSTA and Wil do. Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
on April 17,2013 | 09:29PM
Steve96785 wrote:
While there is a provision in the final years for negative teacher evaluations to block pay raises, the method and weight of that influenced by student test performance has yet to be determined. There is no provision for any pay cuts.
on April 17,2013 | 10:21PM
localguy wrote:
Steve96785 - Exactly my point. Notice how with Nei unions it is always "Don't do as I do, do as I say" How is this contract fair when there is no penalty for failing to meet standards? Why are we coddling under performing teachers when they should be fired? Where is the accountability? Notice with Nei unions it is never about the people served or the quality of the product. It is always what is in it for me.
on April 18,2013 | 06:58AM
bumbye wrote:
Teachers can't change test answers. Students take the test on computers. Plus, changing test answers was already done over 10 years ago by the Kaaawa principal. And she was the wife of the police chief.
on April 17,2013 | 11:35PM
localguy wrote:
bumbye - And who is in the room with the students, taking the tests? Who set up the computers, who reviews the results. Ahhhh how little you know about computer systems controlled by HSTA. Just another rookie poster.
on April 18,2013 | 06:51AM
bumbye wrote:
No one reviews the results. The students get their final score as soon as they complete their test.
on April 18,2013 | 07:11AM
holumuahawaii wrote:
Excellent job, teachers! The whole state is happy to have a new contract that provides for pay for performance (merit pay) for the first time-- ever in Hawaii. Better pay for better performance is the way forward for our schools.
on April 17,2013 | 09:36PM
Steve96785 wrote:
Their is no provision for merit pay for teachers who excel in this contract. There should be, as well as a non-graduation, non-promotion policy for students who are consistently below standards, and a clause to immediately remove teachers who do not promote excellence. This contract is largely about sustaining the status quo regarding teacher evaluations. King Neil says its great, HSTA says its great, but if any significant changes come out of it. I'll eat my contract.
on April 17,2013 | 10:19PM
holumuahawaii wrote:
When it became time to vote Babe Ruth in the Baseball Hall of Fame, the sportswriters of America voted, and 95% of them cast their vote for The Babe. There were just five percent who voted no. The greatest baseball player in the history of the world was still not good enough for five percent. That's how good this contract is. Rather than complain about how the Governor and the HSTA did a poor job, how about some support for a job finally well done? Ninety five percent is not just a landslide, it represents near universal affirmation. This contract is in "best ever" territory.
on April 18,2013 | 12:59AM
false wrote:
Yes however why does 15% of your students become career criminals?
on April 18,2013 | 11:04AM
false wrote:
Please do not tell me the majority of them come from Waianae and Nanakuli, because NanakuliBoss himself is obviously from Nanakuli, and that NanakuliBoss himself is a well-known advocate of the train,and furthermore all those in favor of the drain train seem to just demonize those who are against the train, still at a strong 45%. I do want jobs for my esteemed buddies of the SEAOH and the ASCE, the Structural Engineers Association of Hawaii and the American Society of Civil Engineers, however have u seen Martin, Bravo and Chock bid for the Train. No because Gary Chock knows better.
on April 18,2013 | 11:08AM
false wrote:
Also that damn noise under the intersection of the H-1 Viaduct and Kam Hwy in Pearl City is an earsore, unless it is related to the repair of the H-1 above. I hope u guys involved with Dat Train were not looking for archaeological digs because that was a headache BEYOND BELIEF, at night pile driving into the concrete. Yes I am an Engineer, so I will not call it cement, it is CONCRETE.
on April 18,2013 | 11:11AM
false wrote:
Also that dammnnn noise under the intersection of the H-1 Viaduct and Kam Hwy in Pearl City is an earsore, unless it is related to the repair of the H-1 above. I hope u guys involved with Dat Train were not looking for archaeological digs because that was a headache BEYOND BELIEF, at night pile driving into the concrete. Yes I am an Engineer, so I will not call it cement, it is CONCRETE.
on April 18,2013 | 11:13AM
false wrote:
Still u got a point because there are those that have matriculated to Punahou, Iolani, Kamehameha, Saint Louis, and Damien, who have become awry with the law. Take the case in point with the teacher from Damien.
on April 18,2013 | 11:14AM
false wrote:
i get someplace for go, so if u no hear from me for a little while, bumbai i come back.
on April 18,2013 | 11:15AM
Steve96785 wrote:
That was 95% of the 70% who bothered to vote. That's about 67% overall, or a D. Huge majority by typical Hawaii absenteeism standards, but hardly a landswell. It is the first contract in a decade actually chosen by a majority of BU5 members. Usually HSTA considers 60% margin of the 60% who vote (36% overall) a success.
on April 18,2013 | 04:56PM
holumuahawaii wrote:
Steve96785. Fifty five per cent is a landslide vote in any election. Ninety five per cent is absolute affirmation. Your colleagues have spoken with nearly unanimous support for this contract. So how about ixnay on how bad the people are who negotiated one of the best labor contracts that Hawaii teachers have ever had? You, apparently, do not understand what "good" means.
on April 17,2013 | 11:13PM
localguy wrote:
Notice how the SA cub reporters did not press HSTA and Neil about total costs for this contract. How much more compared to the old contract. How much could this cost taxpayers in the coming years. Is the extra pay also factored in to more retirement money. How much of a money pit for taxpayers for this be. The Nei is already $21 billion short for state retirement and health cost contributions. So where is all this money coming from? Can you say another rip o ff for taxpayers? I knew you could.
on April 18,2013 | 06:55AM
localguy wrote:
Notice how the SA cub reporters did not press HSTA and Neil about total costs for this contract. How much more compared to the old contract. How much will this cost taxpayers in the coming years? Is the extra pay also factored in to more retirement money? How much of a money hole for taxpayers for this be. The Nei is already $21 billion short for state retirement and health cost contributions. So where is all this money coming from? Can you say another waste for taxpayers? I knew you could.
on April 18,2013 | 06:56AM
false wrote:
yap, because they shame.
on April 18,2013 | 08:57AM
false wrote:
Unions are the downfall of this State. What u need to do Neil is to let those teachers go on strike, and have them STARVE.
on April 18,2013 | 07:53AM
false wrote:
What about students losing their education? No problem. Just some new duties for HPD, as those who are juveniles will commit crimes and have our court system filled with cases, because of bad parenting.
on April 18,2013 | 07:55AM
false wrote:
Those who are studious will continue to be studious and those who are on the brink of dropping out will drop out. Case in point. When i was in High School, i was so shy that i did not want to mingle with other students. I even was in a class where the teacher suggested a student for me to ask to go to the Senior Prom. I was shocked by this suggestion and i froze.
on April 18,2013 | 07:57AM
false wrote:
Then there are those who have chronic 1.7 GPAs. Those are students on the verge of Meth, on the verge of a lifetime of crime. Have them go bonkers and have HPD pick them up during the STRIKE.
on April 18,2013 | 07:59AM
false wrote:
Me? I could have DEMANDED to my parents to have me sent to a private school, after a K-6 Private School education. I knew I could not even suggest it. As a result i had a 3.2 GPA in High School, and my verbal skills went down the drain because of all dat pigeeen talk.
on April 18,2013 | 08:03AM
false wrote:
Never mind though I ended up in Chi Epsilon at UHM
on April 18,2013 | 08:04AM
false wrote:
My pledge members were Cheryl Endo, Shirley Hihara, .......
on April 18,2013 | 08:55AM
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