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HSTA reaches deal with state on raises, bonuses

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The Hawaii State Teachers Association, which represents 13,500 public school teachers, announced late Wednesday night that it had reached an agreement with the state for increased salary and benefits for the remaining two years of teachers’ current contract.

Under the deal, which needs to be funded by the Legislature, teachers will receive lump-sum bonuses, a base salary increase and additional professional development hours.

>> All active, full-time licensed teachers who have completed probation or were hired before July 1, 2013, will receive a one-time $2,000 lump sum payment. Half-time teachers will get a $1,000 payment.

>> Effective on the last day of the contract, June 30, 2017, the teacher salary schedule will be amended to reflect an across-the-board increase of 1.8 percent.

>> The current 21 hours of job-embedded professional development  will be renewed and modified for the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 school years.  

The additional compensation and benefits will be in addition to the benefits already in the HSTA’s 2013-17 contract, which had an initial $330 million price tag.

The existing contract restored a 5 percent pay cut made in 2009, and included annual salary boosts of at least 3 percent through a combination of across-the-board increases and pay grade step-ups in alternating years.

The union had secured a so-called "reopener clause" allowing it to seek additional compensation, including higher pay and benefits, for teachers after completing a salary study to help inform discussions.

“Teachers are pillars in the community who help to shape and enhance society through their commitment to our students,” HSTA President Wil Okabe said in a statement. “In order to pursue excellence in Hawaii’s schools, we must continue to work towards the level of compensation and support necessary to attract and retain teaching professionals who are committed to student learning in Hawaii’s public and public charter schools.”

 

Under the existing contract, a qualified, licensed teacher with a bachelor’s degree earns a starting salary of $44,538 this school year, while the highest salary is capped at $81,703.

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