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Maui teachers wave signs for contract

December 6, 2012
The Maui Weekly

The Maui News - Maui teachers around the island waved signs near their schools on Tuesday, Nov. 27, in a message to Gov. Neil Abercrombie about their ongoing lack of a contract.

Karolyn Mossman, a teacher at Kalama Intermediate, said the sign-waving is about letting the governor know that he needs to honor the agreement that teachers ratified in May. She said Hawai'i public school teachers have been working without a contract for about a year-and-a-half.

It's a matter of "respecting us a little more," she said.

Another teacher, who wished to remain anonymous, said the teachers union, the Hawai'i State Teachers Association, wants to tell politicians to negotiate and cooperate.

"Do not mandate nor give ultimatums to the people working daily with and for Hawai'i's keiki," the teacher said in an email. "Hawai'i needs to keep [retain] the best teachers they can, as long as they can, in the classroom and attract new, high-quality, well-qualified teachers into the profession for the good of individuals and the community. Continuing to cut salaries is bad."

In July 2011, the governor and school officials imposed its last, best and final offer on teachers, which included pay reductions and increased contributions to health care premiums.

HSTA and the state came to a tentative agreement in January on a six-year contract. However, the teachers voted down the proposal.

A revote was held in May, and the tentative agreement was ratified, but the governor said at the time that the agreement was no longer valid.



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