Bill offers better way to pay classroom subs
A bill before the governor links pay for stand-ins to raises of full-time educators.
Substitute teachers in Hawaii public schools would receive pay raises tied to increases that full-time teachers get if a bill state lawmakers approved earlier this year passes from the governor's office.
The measure gives the Board of Education clearer
authority in setting raises and a flexible period in which to apply them, a reasonable structure that should satisfy the teachers who are part-time, casual and intermittent employees excluded from collective bargaining.
The system is not meant to have bearing on pending lawsuits involving pay disputes between the Department of Education and substitutes and part-time teachers who have claimed they have been underpaid.
The measure is intended to affect future earnings increases and requires educational improvement for raises through course work or service credits. In addition, it specifies classifications for daily pay rates, based on a substitute's level of education and qualifications.
Substitutes, the department and the Hawaii State Teachers Association, the union for full-time educators, testified in favor of the bill. Although it requires wage adjustments "comparable" to percentages union members get, the legislation does not prescribe exact increases or raise schedules, leaving those issues to the board to carry out.
These might prove to be contentious among the estimated 4,700 substitutes - some of whom choose to work for months at a time while others fill in at intervals. However, the system will give them a venue other than the courts through which to petition.
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