Gov asks Hawaii teachers to consider mediation

HONOLULU (AP) - Board members of the union representing Hawaii's public school teachers will consider whether to take the governor up on his proposal to have a federal mediator help resolve a contract dispute.

Hawaii State Teachers Association President Wil Okabe says the board will meet Monday to decide how to proceed with Gov. Neil Abecrombie's proposal. In a letter to Okabe this week, Abercrombie proposes using a federal mediator to help achieve a collective bargaining agreement.

Teachers are currently working under a last, best and final offer after their contract expired in June last year. In May, they voted to ratify a contract that they previously rejected. But Abercrombie says it's no longer valid and needs to be updated.

The union had previously proposed binding arbitration to make a decision.

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