Local Connection: HSTA Contract

By: Rick Blangiardi

After two years of acrimony and dispute, the 13,500-member Hawaii state teachers association and the state have agreed on a new $330 million contract that both sides said they can live with.

The contract calls for a restoration of a 5 percent pay cut imposed in 2009 and then 3 percent raises for the duration of the contract.

In a good move, existing teachers will have raises tied to performance evaluations, something that had been a sticking point throughout the negotiations. There's still a ways to go on implementing those evaluations as a study group has been formed between the HSTA and DOE.

Teachers are not completely pleased with the contract, saying that at an average salary of $53,120, many will still need to supplement their incomes. Others are still angry that the HSTA withdrew its complaint over the state unilaterally imposing a last, best and final offer in 2011.

But in any successful negotiation, neither side can expect to be completely satisfied. The main point is that teachers will be making more money, a new evaluation system will some day be in force and no teacher walked off the job during all this time.

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