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HSTA supports Ige for Governor

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 12:02 p.m. HST, Feb 16, 2014

The Hawaii State Teachers Association on Sunday endorsed state Sen. David Ige in the Democratic primary for governor over Gov. Neil Abercrombie.

The 13,500 member teachers union described Ige as a strong supporter of public education and public school teachers.

The teachers union had endorsed Abercrombie in 2010.

Abercrombie and the union clashed in 2011 when the governor imposed the state's last, best and final contract offer that included a 5 percent pay cut after negotiations with the union had broken down. The union unsuccessfully sought to overturn the governor's decision in court.

Last year, the teachers union and the state agreed on a four-year contract that includes pay raises.

The teachers union has opposed Abercrombie's call for a constitutional amendment that would allow public money to be spent on private preschool, which is part of the governor's early education initiative. The union believes that preschool should be offered at public schools.

"Our selection was made because of his record as a senator and as a representative in this state," Wil Okabe, the president of the teachers union, said of Ige at a news conference at the HSTA's Red Hill headquarters.

"I think that David Ige's record stands for itself. He has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to the professionals at the school level and the charge to allocate funds that go directly to schools and the classroom."

Ige, the chairman of the Senate Ways and Committee, said he was honored to receive the endorsement.

"As a graduate of Pearl City High School, I know firsthand that the key to improving student learning is the teacher in the classroom," he said.

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mcc wrote:
Ige has the HSTA curse. They always pick the wrong candidate and wonder why they do so bad at he bargaining table. HSTA soul get rid of it's stupid leaders.
on February 16,2014 | 10:23AM
nitpikker wrote:
true. hsta motives seem to be for teachers... not for teaching.
on February 16,2014 | 10:46AM
A_Reader wrote:
I've got kids in school....anyone associated with Wil Okabe, HSTA and his cohorts, well, I am voting the other way.
on February 16,2014 | 12:32PM
sjean wrote:
That is the function of all unions.
on February 16,2014 | 07:04PM
Bdpapa wrote:
Yes, they work for the teachers.
on February 16,2014 | 07:33PM
pcman wrote:
IRT nit on motives. Also, HSTA is clearly not for students, but only for teachers. Ige's wife is a teacher. Clearly a conflict of interest.
on February 16,2014 | 08:26PM
HawaiiCheeseBall wrote:
If your theory is true, why is Abercrombie governor fine he received their endorsement in 2010? A lot of people have said that Hirono would have beaten Lingle had she had HSTA's endorsement. I think quite the opposite, the HSTA endorsement has a lot of value in terms of boots on the ground, money and the symbolism.
on February 16,2014 | 01:44PM
droid wrote:
It is true that the HSTA endorsement will be helpful to Ige and hurtful to Abercrombie for all the reasons you stated . The key to remember here is that HSTA isn’t the only union in town, and, in fact, there are other unions — some even more powerful — than HSTA.

What about HGEA, the Teamsters, ILWU and the Hawai‘i Carpenters Union, to name a few? Will they endorse David too, or will Neil now offer them a deal they can’t refuse?

It’s much to early to say Ige’s boost is anything more than temporary optimism.
on February 16,2014 | 04:22PM
sjean wrote:
Any union that endorses Abercrombie a second time is playing the part of a fool.
on February 16,2014 | 07:05PM
wiliki wrote:
Sooner or later they choose the right candidate as they did with Abercrombie. They just don't realize how lucky they were to have him as governor during such terrible economic times. Teachers weren't laid off and they got all their money back and more on the next contract. I thank that the economy under Abercrombie would have done better with more Senate support but that's just politics.
on February 16,2014 | 03:59PM
sjean wrote:
Teachers did not get their money back. The pay raise is not retroactive. It will take teachers more than 4 years to recoup lost wages.
on February 16,2014 | 07:06PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
HSTA's endorsement is usually the kiss of death. Sayonara, David.
on February 16,2014 | 10:35AM
Bdpapa wrote:
on February 16,2014 | 10:49AM
geralddeheer wrote:
Governor Hanneman celebrated when HSTA endorsed Neil Abercrombie.last election.
on February 16,2014 | 12:38PM
kekelaward wrote:
Well, that's one against him.
on February 16,2014 | 10:37AM
egghead wrote:
...he's out....
on February 16,2014 | 10:41AM
atilter wrote:
i worked with ige in the past both in support of and against some ed bills. even without the hsta support, he as the character and leadership qualities that would easily carry over to running the entire state. above all, he as that certain quality that many lack - INTEGRITY. he's not prone to snap decision making and keeps his word. i do not always agree with the hsta's position on many things due to the level of their inability, to which they inevitably rise, but i generally agree with their given political statement in this article about his stance on education. why they do so badly at the bargaining table has nothing to do with ige's candidacy. they should follow his lead rather try to impose their agenda on him.
on February 16,2014 | 10:56AM
Rite80 wrote:
IGE supported teachers throughout his career hence their support. As governor when tough budget decisions have to be made HSTA will find his support wavering.
on February 16,2014 | 11:39AM
holumuahawaii wrote:
The union had supported Neil Abercrombie in eighteen previous elections. He Chaired the Ed Committees in the state legislature and walked the picket lines with them when it was asked. This latest thing amounts to a double cross and is caused by weak leaders not being able to explain their own actions to members--and blaming someone else for their own failings.
on February 16,2014 | 12:17PM
wiliki wrote:
And Ige is well qualified to run the govt. But I doubt that he has sufficient political acumen. His senatorial district is small compared to the whole state and he has insufficient money to run.
on February 16,2014 | 04:05PM
sukebesan wrote:
Kiss of Death from the HSTA! He should have never sought the endorsement. I will now vote for Aiona.
on February 16,2014 | 11:00AM
kiragirl wrote:
In the primary and general elections?
on February 16,2014 | 11:54AM
geralddeheer wrote:
Governor Hanneman agrees with you...except for the Aiona part.
on February 16,2014 | 12:57PM
fiveo wrote:
i prefer Ige over our current governor who is rather unpopular. Don't blame HSTA choosing to endurse Ige as it is clear that the governor is no friend of HSTA. What does surprise me is that HSTA came out and endorsed Ige. I thought perhaps that they would hedge their support by not endorsing either candidate and instead tell their membership that they would be free to for whomever. I am glad that HSTA took a firm position. Now its up to the people who vote. And because they are no so many who do not vote, ironically every vote is more important than ever. i hope everyone realizes this and does not fall for the belief that i have only one vote, so how can it make a difference.
on February 16,2014 | 11:03AM
islandsun wrote:
Anybody but Abercrombie
on February 16,2014 | 11:20AM
sukebesan wrote:
on February 16,2014 | 11:25AM
Galatians52223 wrote:
on February 16,2014 | 11:32AM
kiragirl wrote:
on February 16,2014 | 11:55AM
nippy68 wrote:
totally agree.
on February 16,2014 | 03:07PM
Bothrops wrote:
If HSTA wanted to get rid of Abercrombie, they should have endorsed him.
on February 16,2014 | 12:03PM
holumuahawaii wrote:
Did Okabe overrule the PAC Committee? Word coming out of HSTA is that they leadership is, once again, divided.
on February 16,2014 | 12:13PM
DAGR81 wrote:
This endorsement has no significance. Okabe's endorsement carries no weight.
on February 16,2014 | 12:35PM
geralddeheer wrote:
No significance? Really? Hundreds of sign holders, canvassers, phone bankers, and coffee hours. Abercrombie minions are scrambling as we 'speak' finding teachers who will appear in television commercials for the incumbent governor. The campaign has to replace the 'manpower' it has now lost. Last election, Abercrombie forces thought Okabe's endorsement carried a lot of weight. This is a major development. Like it or not, a solid majority of candidates supported by HSTA win. We have a race.
on February 16,2014 | 12:56PM
HawaiiCheeseBall wrote:
Yep, and whether the trolls on the board realize it or not practically everyone knows a teacher, has a relative who teaches and/or has a fond memory of a teacher so when the teachers endorse someone, it matters. Yes some people will say the teachers are not endorsing anyone, the union is. Get a grip people, what will follow will be advertisements from HSTA that will prominently feature teachers and the clear message will be Hawaii's teachers support Ige, and that will be the message that people will hear and that will be the message that will stick.
on February 16,2014 | 01:47PM
JimLoomis wrote:
The state was in a deep financial hole when Neil became governor and he did what he had to do to get us back in the black. He got it done and the teachers got their raise. For forty years in public office at every level, Neil has been a champion of education and of teachers. This endorsement is short-sighted, petty and shameful.
on February 16,2014 | 01:42PM
mcc wrote:
Neil borrowed money, then said we were in the positive. What about all the money that was stolen by the State from ERS??? Neil lies like most politicians.
on February 16,2014 | 02:32PM
sjean wrote:
Thanks for the good laugh.
on February 16,2014 | 07:09PM
samidunn wrote:
Wonder what he promised them and how much it will cost the taxpayers.
on February 16,2014 | 01:54PM
whs1966 wrote:
After the way HSTA supported Abercrombie for decades, he screwed them...and every other Hawaii public sector union by abrogating the right to bargain collectively. HSTA's endorsing Ige should have been expected.
on February 16,2014 | 03:08PM
hawaiiwalter wrote:
I'm a teacher and he will NEVER get my vote.
on February 16,2014 | 03:09PM
NotNasti wrote:
Abercrombie or Ige?
on February 16,2014 | 03:37PM
inverse wrote:
HSTA backed Hanneman and after Abercrombie became governor HSTA was in the doghouse. If and when Ige loses to Abercrombie HSTA led by Okabe will be in the DOUBLE doghouse with Abercrombie. Talk about losers backing losers. Unfortunately Okabe will continue to get paid with teachers' union dues after Ige loses to Abercrombie but the rank and file public school teachers will get the shortest end of the stick in all of this. HSTA will end up having ZERO influence in the coming years during Abercrombie's second term. Dont have to be a fortune teller to figure out that Ige and anti same sex/ abortion/ immunizations Aiona will never defeat Abercrombie.
on February 16,2014 | 04:41PM
8082062424 wrote:
No Big surprise he waged his finger in to many faces and steeped on to many feet. and it not only teachers no one who works in the medical field want him to be governor again It was every time they let him speak public he manage to upset some group
on February 16,2014 | 04:48PM
HD36 wrote:
We need a constitutional ammendment making public unions illegal. When the rosy economic forecast turns into a nightmare this state is going to find itself in deep red At this point it doesn't matter who they elect, Detroit like scenarios are coming.
on February 16,2014 | 06:39PM
sjean wrote:
What a sunny disposition. The only reason a middle class exists is due to unions. Private and public.
on February 16,2014 | 07:10PM
HD36 wrote:
Wrong, the middle class is shrinking because of government unions. Remember, it's the private sector which pays for the salares of the public sector. With more people jumping on to the government wagon, the people pulling it are having a harder time. Eventually, they just let go and move to a place where there's a smaller wagon to pull. Private unions can't get away with it if the employees aren't worth it. Why? Because the company will go bankrupt. ie Hostess . The public unons don't have that problem because they have the tax payer hostage. However, the end of the Fed's QE experiment is ending either through a global recession or a curency collpse. With the taxpayer base destroyed, people are going to find out fast the state is broke.
on February 16,2014 | 07:41PM
HD36 wrote:
That's why the auto workers at the VolksWagon Tennessee plant voted NO to joining the UAW Union. The company would move elsewhere so they could make a profit.
on February 16,2014 | 08:19PM
false wrote:
Voting for Ige before HSTA decided. Just not Schatz. Not Neil. HSTA doesn't tell us what to do. They make a lot of noise to validate their collecting dues.
on February 16,2014 | 09:08PM
AndrewWalden wrote:
Quid pro Quo? HSTA Endorses Ige for Governor http://www.hawaiifreepress.com/ArticlesMain/tabid/56/ID/11930/Quid-pro-Quo-HSTA-Endorses-Ige-for-Governor.aspx
on February 16,2014 | 10:07PM
Coldwater wrote:
"The teachers union has opposed Abercrombie's call for a constitutional amendment that would allow public money to be spent on private preschool, which is part of the governor's early education initiative. The union believes that preschool should be offered at public schools." I don't agree with Neal's stand on this or the unions stand that pre school should be only public. Taking Tax money just to boost union membership is not right.
on February 16,2014 | 11:05PM
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