HSTA President: "This wasn't the teachers' fault. It was mine"

Wil Okabe
Wil Okabe

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Days after public school teachers voted overwhelmingly against a six-year contract, HSTA President Wil Okabe is taking some of the blame.

In a letter to HSTA members Okabe said, "Last week, you rejected the contract I recommended. In hindsight, I can see that I was too anxious to finalize what I thought was a good settlement.  I didn't give you the time to offer your ideas and ask your questions. I am humbled. This wasn't the teachers' fault. It was mine."

Okabe told members that he needs feedback so he can develop a new proposal.

"The Governor has asked us to send him a new proposal.  That's a change on his part. But, I need your help to develop that proposal," said Okabe.

HSTA will distribute a "feedback form" to schools and also established an online survey.

"In addition to the feedback form, complex meetings will be held to allow further opportunities for you to share your thoughts on the recent ratification vote," said Okabe.

Last Thursday about 9,000 of the 12,500 teachers, counselors, and others voted on whether or not to accept the proposed contract.  Only 33% voted in favor of the deal while 67% voted against it.

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