Public school teachers vote for new HSTA leadership

Published: Jun. 2, 2015 at 11:07 PM HST|Updated: Jun. 3, 2015 at 4:21 AM HST
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Public school teachers who didn't pull an absentee ballot but wanted to vote in Tuesday's re-do HSTA election cast their votes in person.

"We felt that this was maybe a better way to do it where you have 27 poll sites across the islands. And people can actually come to the poll site and vote," HSTA Executive Director Wilbert Holck said.

The first election in April was done online and with ballots that were mailed. Last month the HSTA Board rejected the results citing irregularities.

"We had teachers from all islands that were saying they did not get a ballot. And those who were supposed to get it through email never got it through email," Fern Elementary School Teacher Louise Cayetano said.

Campbell High School teacher Corey Rosenlee claimed he got the votes needed to win the race for HSTA president.  He was running against HSTA Vice President Joan Lewis. A judge denied Rosenlee's request for a TRO to stop a second election. Teachers told Hawaii News Now they felt a do-over election was necessary.

"We want to get the best people in who will make good decisions for all the teachers, for all of us," said Inga Park Okuna, a counselor at Kalihi Uka Elementary

There are 13,500 public school teachers.

"That's the tricky thing about democracy. It can get messy at times," Lewis said. "How do we make sure that everybody's got what they need? We do need to move forward. The union and the work of the union doesn't stop. So we need to move on to what comes next."

"Our schools in Hawaii are under funded. Our kids are learning in 100° classrooms. Our teachers are the worst paid in the nation," Rosenlee said. "I'll be very happy the moment when we are done with the election and we can actually start fighting for education."

The votes will be counted on Monday. Results will then go to HSTA's Board. Barring any difficulties, the outcome will be certified then announced.

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Copyright 2015 Hawaii News Now.  All rights reserved.