Substitute teachers sue DOE for pay raise
They want the same increase their full-time colleagues received
Two substitute teachers are suing the state Department of Education for failing to raise their pay by 4 percent on Aug. 1 to match the increase given to other teachers.
David Garner of Maui and Allan Kliternick of Waialua filed the suit Friday in Circuit Court on behalf of themselves and the estimated 1,000 substitute teachers who work in Hawaii's public schools.
"For this to come again is so frustrating," said Kliternick, who was part of an earlier, successful class-action lawsuit over back pay for substitute teachers. "I guess they just don't care. Everything the DOE has done over the years has been to the detriment of substitutes."
Substitute teachers are paid different daily rates, depending on experience. Those without bachelor's degrees earn $125 for a seven-hour day; those with bachelor's degrees get $136; and those with full teacher's credentials earn $147.
State law ties the pay for substitutes to the pay for "Class II Teachers," or those with bachelor's degrees. The lawsuit contends that because those teachers received a 4 percent raise on Aug. 1, so should substitute teachers.
Department spokesman Greg Knudsen said he could not comment at this stage of the litigation.
Garner and Kliternick joined in a previous class-action lawsuit over back pay, alleging that the state had shortchanged substitute teachers millions of dollars from November 2000 to June 2005. Circuit Court Judge Karen Ahn decided in their favor in December 2005, but the state has appealed that decision.