After lengthy talks, teachers secure pay hikes as part of 4-year deal

After lengthy negotiations, teachers get pay hikes under deal

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Teachers would get a 13.6 percent pay hike over the next four years under a tentative deal reached Saturday that still must be ratified.

The raises alternate between pay grade step increases and across-the-board 3.5 percent increases.

Teachers are set to vote on the contract agreement Thursday, and the teachers union is recommending that its members approve the deal.

"We think this is a really good contract for teachers and students in Hawaii. Not only does it significantly increase wages, it creates an evaluation system that's supportive, and we even created a committee to work with our students with English language learner difficulties," said Corey Rosenlee, president of the Hawaii State Teachers Association.

The union said that under the deal, the state will also increase its share of health insurance premiums. The agreement allows the HSTA to re-negotiate health plan contributions and professional development in years three and four of the contract.

Hawaii has a teacher shortage crisis, but what the governor did through this current budget, even with its fiscal constraints, was he made an effort to try to find the money to try to recruit and retain as many teachers as we can in Hawaii," said Rosenlee.

The HSTA said most tenured teachers would have streamlined evaluations during the next two years while the union and the state Department of Education work on improving the evaluation process.

The tentative deal comes after nine months of negotiations. On Thursday, a measure that would have sought tax increases for education funding failed at the state Legislature.

To ratify the deal, teachers must approve it with a simple majority.

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