The union representing public school principals, athletic directors and other educational officers has reached a tentative new agreement with the state that provides for raises totaling 13.53 percent over the next four years, according to the Hawaii Government Employees Association.
The agreement covers about 900 public employees in HGEA’s Unit 6, and if ratified by the membership would run from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2021, the union said.
On Thursday HGEA announced arbitration decisions that cover six other bargaining units covering about 27,500 public workers, which are binding agreements. However, the new tentative agreement involving Unit 6 is different because it is a negotiated agreement that must be ratified by the union members before it can take effect.
The union has scheduled a series of ratification meetings for the Unit 6 members today and Saturday in an effort to get the contract finalized.
Contracts for all 14 of the public worker bargaining units expire on June 30, and the unions have been pressing for settlements last week and this week to try to get the new agreements funded by state lawmakers before the 2017 session of the state Legislature adjourns for the year. Lawmakers are scheduled to end this year’s session May 4.
The tentative agreement with Unit 6 calls for across-the-board pay increases of 1.8 percent on July 1, and salary step pay increases for all members that would take effect Jan. 1, 2018. Union members who cannot receive step increases because they are already at the maximum pay levels under the salary schedule would receive 1.4 percent lump sum payments, HGEA said.
The agreement also calls for a 2.05 percent across-the-board pay increase on July 1, 2018 and another step movement for employees on Jan. 1, 2019, with another 1.4 percent lump payment for workers who are already at the top of the pay scale.
Additional 1.8 percent across-the-board pay increases would take effect July 1, 2019 and July 1, 2020, HGEA announced. On Jan. 1, 2020 and Jan. 1, 2021, the union members would receive either another salary-step increase or a 1.4 percent bonus under the tentative agreement.
Ratification meetings for union members have been scheduled today on Oahu at Kapolei Middle School Cafeteria and Mililani High School from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.; at the Windward School District Office from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.; and McKinley Community School from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
A ratification meeting is also scheduled for Saturday at the HGEA 1st Floor Conference Room from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
If the tentative agreement is ratified, the agreement will take effect. If it is not, Unit 6 will proceed to an arbitration that is already scheduled to begin June 5, the union said.