Hawaii teachers will vote next week on pay raise agreement with state

Hawaii teachers will receive 3.4% annual pay raises over the next four years under a tentative agreement reached with the teachers union and the state.

The Hawaii State Teachers Association had asked for more, but changes were made after the Council on Revenues reduced its forecast.

"While the state had been predicting a budget surplus, the Council on Revenues' revised forecast slashed projections by $328 million, affecting key funding decisions. Also, a number of key education-related initiatives, including universal pre-K, developing teacher workforce housing, and state teacher tax credits will take considerable resources to fund," said Osa Tui Jr., HSTA president. "We had asked for significantly larger raises, but understand that the state has less money to pay for numerous key priorities in addition to addressing teacher compensation, such as creating affordable housing, bringing down the state's high cost of living and preserving our natural resources."

The agreement also increased the state's contribution to teachers' health insurance premiums. And teachers overseeing extra-curricular activities will receive a larger stipend. The contract runs from July 1 through June 2027.

"This is the strongest contract we have achieved since 2013," Tui said. "This round of bargaining was the most collaborative I've experienced in my decade of negotiations with the employer. We're also extremely grateful to Gov. Josh Green, who joined us on the last day of bargaining and actively helped to clear some of the logjams that remained."

Green personally negotiated with the union.

"This is another great step forward in raising pay and improving the quality of life for our teachers, who we value tremendously," Green said. "I was honored to engage directly in the negotiations, to help move the needle forward toward this crucial collective bargaining agreement for our teachers and our kids."

The HSTA will hold a public vote on the contract on April 26.

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