Hawaii Teachers Reject Contract, Weigh Options
By Wendy Osher
Public school teachers in Hawaii voted against a proposed six year contract during a ratification vote yesterday.
The proposal called for a move towards a performance-based compensation system and also included the resumption of a 5% pay reduction into 2013.
In a statement on the HSTA website, President Wil Okabe said it was apparent from speaking with teachers at polling places this week that the vote would be against ratification.
He said the vote included 33% yes votes, and 67% no votes.
Teachers cast votes at three different locations on Maui yesterday including Kalama Intermediate School, Lahainaluna High School, and Maui High School. Lanai and Molokai residents cast votes at High School campuses on their respective islands.
Beginning today, Okabe said, he will initiate a union-wide conversation about options going forward, and listen to suggestions.
A variety of options are available including the possibility of returning to the negotiating tale, taking a strike vote, or continuing with legal challenges.