Thursday, April 12, 2001, 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., HST

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Live chat with HSTA Vice President Joan Lewis

The chat session is finished.
This is an edited transcript of the entire session:

19:56:31 -- Starbulletin-com -- Hello chat visitors. We will begin promptly at 8 p.m.

20:00:42 -- Starbulletin-com -- Aloha all and thanks for coming.

20:01:04 -- Starbulletin-com -- We have online with us tonight Joan Lewis, HSTA Vice President.

20:01:18 -- Starbulletin-com -- She'll be happy to answer your questions for the next hour.

20:01:49 -- Maile-Rose -- may i ask a question?

20:01:50 -- HSTA-Joan -- Thank you Starbulletin for hosting this chat

20:01:51 -- Starbulletin-com -- Please be polite and mind your language.

20:02:08 -- Starbulletin-com -- Go ahead Maile Rose

20:02:57 -- Maile-Rose -- i would like to know the major difference between the gov and htsa

20:03:34 -- HSTA-Joan -- Hawaii's teachers are fighting to make sure that the teaching profession remains strong in Hawaii.

20:04:02 -- HSTA-Joan -- Our package has the concepts that we believe will help us do that.

20:04:52 -- HSTA-Joan -- The governor's package actually goes the other way, by making it harder to be a teacher, and making it impossible to make teaching in Hawaii a carereer.

20:05:10 -- Maile-Rose -- so does your response imply that the gov does not want to make sure that the teaching profession remains strong in Hawaii

20:05:14 -- Starbulletin-com -- /Xsocialistparent Hello, There are several messages being displayed. Yours are there.

20:05:42 -- Allan -- i'm a teacher and i support the gov

20:06:00 -- Teri -- Tonight Ben was asked why he isn't at the bargaining table more--he said that the strike isn't his. Comments, Joan?

20:06:08 -- Teri -- Tonight Ben was asked why he isn't at the bargaining table more--he said that the strike isn't his. Comments, Joan?

20:06:39 -- FEDUP -- I've always maintaned, no matter where one's money goes, you want to come away with a sense of balue. Do you believe taxpayers are getting value for the dollow?

20:06:53 -- HSTA-Joan -- Unfortunately, with comments like that, it would seem that he is not there, because he isn't ready to bargain.

20:07:28 -- HSTA-Joan -- Taxpayers have every right to expect the most for their money. With teachers, you can have that.

20:07:38 -- Teri -- I agree, Joan.

20:07:50 -- Allan -- why won't the union sit down in formal negotiations?

20:07:57 -- Jeff-Kong -- Why collective performance? Surely 10,000 teachers can't be equally competent?

20:08:04 -- FEDUP -- do you feel we're getting value for eachand every dollar in the system?

20:08:06 -- Maile-Rose -- is the major difference money?

20:08:29 -- HSTA-Joan -- Teachers created one of the most stringent licensing boards in the country. We believe that teachers in Hawaii should meet high standards

20:08:30 -- HSTA-Joan -- Teachers created one of the most stringent licensing boards in the country. We believe that teachers in Hawaii should meet high standards

20:09:39 -- Xsocialistparent -- want to read truth about what NEA and HSTA has done to this country and state?

20:09:54 -- HSTA-Joan -- Unfortunately, the money difference comes in because the governor wants to spend it on news ads and such rather than get serious about the teacher shortage and how this contract MUST address it.

20:09:59 -- Allan -- what is wrong with directing most of the money up for new teacher? won't this entice people to join the profession?

20:10:38 -- FEDUP -- Why didn't teachers prepare their students for the strike? No assignments, research, not even a reading list sent home.

20:10:51 -- Student -- i have a question...

20:11:01 -- Kaleo -- Jeff, even in private unions as Aloha Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, etc. everyone receives a raise. You don't punish the majority who are doing their job. I know HSTA is doing its best to work on weeding out the teachers who aren't up to par.

20:11:14 -- Allan -- i hear the union constantly point fingers at the govenor, what about themselves and their faults?

20:11:15 -- HSTA-Joan -- Teachers also know that NO teacher gets any raise if they have not met the administrations performance standards in the year the raise was due.

20:11:50 -- Shelly -- As a parent of 3 public school students, we've had both excellent and very poor teachers. It is abhorrent to me that the poor ones will ge tthe same raise as the excellent ones. It seems to me that this just insures mediocrity.

20:11:56 -- Xsocialistparent -- read about how 3 of 4 delegates to national democrat convention are politically correct teachers!

20:11:56 -- HSTA-Joan -- You can access for plans for working with your child.

20:12:12 -- Student -- as of right now, will the strike affect graduation?

20:12:18 -- Allan -- Why is the union fighting for such a large across the board raise?

20:13:01 -- HSTA-Joan -- Actually, the across the board raises amount to 10% spread out over 4 years.

20:13:11 -- Teri -- The truth about education in our state can be found in studying the state's history of low funding of public education, X..

20:13:26 -- Allan -- True, but that includes retro!

20:13:29 -- LEAVE -- dennis has left.

20:13:42 -- Shelly -- Joan it would help if you addressed your answers to the sender so that we can better follow the dialog.

20:13:42 -- FEDUP -- Sorry had to go for a minute. The question was, why didn't the teachers prepare their students

20:13:52 -- Allan -- The teachers don't deserve retro.

20:13:55 -- Kaleo -- Do you feel the Governor will have his anger cool off enough and get back to bargaining again? How long will he keep this up?

20:13:59 -- V-Heath -- Why isn't HSTA responding to the criticism of teachers in the press?

20:14:30 -- Student -- as of right now, will the strike delay graduation??

20:14:34 -- HSTA-Joan -- The refusal of the governor to get back to the table makes you wonder if public educators and public education are his priority.

20:14:59 -- Shelly -- Folks...Is it really the governor or is it the legislature who will certainly give every other union the same if not greater raises?

20:15:25 -- Allan -- Well if public education was OUR priority we wouldn't have walked out.

20:15:36 -- Shelly -- Joan... Are you there?

220:15:40 -- Allan -- We created the strike by walking out.


20:16:15 -- HSTA-Joan -- The governor should be stating his position at the bargaining table, not in newspaper ads.... paid for by taxpayers.

20:16:22 -- Student -- joan, as of right now, will the strike delay graduation???

20:16:27 -- Kaleo -- I agree. His punitive actions certainly won't help out students.

20:16:38 -- HSTA-Joan -- Superintendent LaMehieu has the power to make that decision.

20:17:03 -- Shelly -- I sympathize with the teachers. My wife is one too, but I don't know if I want to pay another $100 for every man woman and child for the teachers, and another $100 for the UPW, and another $100 for the HGEA...

20:17:04 -- Allan -- The govenor is not being punitive. I think the public is just using him as a scapegoat.

20:17:43 -- duane25 -- teachers dont reward bad students, why reward bad teachers in our system?

20:18:08 -- V-Heath -- Please explain how the public is using the gov. as a scape goat?

20:18:10 -- Shelly -- I agree Allan... So what should be done with the legislature? Cayetano's being used as a lightning rod because he can't be reelected.

20:18:24 -- Allan -- I like the question that was brought up earlier... why isn't HSTA addressing the criticism from it's members? Do members like me not count? Do you just take my money and give me nothing in return?

20:18:44 -- HSTA-Joan -- At some point, teachers had to make a choice to keep on bargaining (which we have tried to do for the last 2 years), take his offer (which would make the teacher shortage worse) or stand up and fight so that all children could count on having a teacher in every class.

20:18:50 -- FEDUP -- Joan:the guv represents all of us, not just the teachers. Although I maintain most public unions are merely departments of the state. But here's the thing, we want and deserve some accountability. would you agree there is way toom uch fat in the buracracy of DOE? keep adding $$ at a problem

20:19:05 -- Allan -- I don't think the gov is to blame.

20:19:19 -- Allan -- Neither are the teachers.

20:19:57 -- Allan -- Everyone keeps pointing fingers at the govenor. What about the economy and the cost of living in HAwaii.

20:20:23 -- HSTA-Joan -- Allan, the shortage is real, the legislature has set aside the money, yet the governor won't come back to the table. This is happening on his watch and he needs to take care of it

20:20:50 -- Student -- how much longer is the strike going to last??

20:20:58 -- duane25 -- i dont receive cost of living allowance in my job. its something that most people working in the private sector live with

20:21:07 -- Student -- i really want to go back to school and graduate

20:21:12 -- Allan -- If the govenor trully wanted us teachers to suffer he could cut our school budgets to pay our high raises.

20:21:45 -- Allan -- no one in Hawaii receives a COLA except for the military.

20:21:45 -- Shelly -- What does the union do to police its members? I echo the question earlier... I oppose my tax dollars going to fund both good and poor teachers equally.

20:21:48 -- HSTA-Joan -- Education has the power to improve the economy. The question is, does this state believe that every child deserves the best education and educators.

20:22:06 -- Student -- hmm.... i just thought of this

20:22:09 -- V-Heath -- The budgets are so minimal now, there is not much left to cut. Of course the gov. wants us to suffer, or we would be back in school today.

20:22:14 -- Student -- hmm.... i just thought of this

20:22:50 -- Student -- if the governor said that education is his number one priority, then y did he spend all the money on the natatorium and the ala wai golf course??

20:22:55 -- lene -- cayetano should just cough it up already,, pay raises for public school teachers are long overdue,, if I remember correctly he promise before and when he took office that education our children was on list of priorities and that was more than five years ago and counting,,as one of the shirts that I saw one of the teachers wearing "Cayetano 0 balls 2 Stirkes"

20:23:11 -- Allan -- Not only our budget, but so is everyone elses

20:23:15 -- Shelly -- C'mon Joan... How about a straight answer to the question of accountability for its members?

20:23:15 -- Starbulletin-com -- Student, Natatorium was the city, not the state.

20:23:24 -- FEDUP -- Joan:I've not heard anyone say our kids don't deserve the best. the fact is we're getting ripped off by SOH because there is no accountability.

20:23:30 -- Student -- oh sorry

20:23:59 -- HSTA-Joan -- Right now, the DOE has the power to evaluate and counsel out bad teachers. It also has the power to withold pay increases for those teachers marked as marginal. Unfortunately, because this state has not addressed the shortage, the DOE is unwilling to follow through on the power it already has. Why? Because of the shortage, they are afraid that there will be no on else.

20:24:03 -- Allan -- Our raises are long overdue cause our union did nothing for us in the last negtiations.


20:26:02 -- Shelly -- While your statement may be factually correct, in practice you know things don't work that way. Tenure protects the bad and the good. Besides, wouldn't it be preferable for the union to develop its own standards rather than whine about some outside agency imposing their standards>

20:26:42 -- Allan -- Teachers need to realize that right now the union is feeding them a lot of propaganda to keep them out there on the lines.

20:26:53 -- duane25 -- i went to school on the mainland and people think that hawaii people are much more uneducated. when can we see some improvements?

20:27:24 -- Starbulletin-com -- Joan was temporarily disconnected. She is logging back in now. Please stand by.

20:27:38 -- Xsocialistparent -- STOP DICTATING TO TAXPAYERS, NEA AND HSTA!!!

20:27:42 -- Student -- yeah, our standards are so low

20:27:53 -- Shelly -- O.K. Enough union criticizing... On the other hand, unions are only necessary in the presence of incompetent management. But then again, where does the management come from> Former teachers who were promoted theat's where...

20:27:58 -- Allan -- Well see improvements hopefully as soon as the HAP is in place.

20:28:14 -- Starbulletin-com -- Joan was temporarily disconnected. She is logging back in now. Please stand by.

20:28:19 -- Allan -- At least that's what the State hopes.

20:28:29 -- Maile-Rose -- the educational problem in Hawaii will not be solved in a chat room...

20:28:54 -- Maile-Rose -- there are problems on both sides of the issue of public education

20:29:00 -- HSTA-Joan -- Actually, one of the items on the negotiations table is a peer assistance and review program to do exactly what Shelley suggests. We just need to settle

20:29:18 -- duane25 -- why should taxpayers fund raises for pe teachers? i rather give much more to a math or science teacher and keep them from leaving the system.

20:29:22 -- Starbulletin-com -- Sorry guys for the disconnect. I was disconnected too. Just log back in. Don't forget to push the refresh button.

20:29:24 -- fedup -- Maile: too many people in this state don't speak up. Any forum to change that is good

20:29:25 -- Allan -- Why is the union so afraid to go into formal negotiations?

20:29:44 -- Student -- I WANT TO GRAD!!!

20:29:49 -- Ann -- Frankly, I find the information we have received from the union to be fragmented


20:30:10 -- Maile-Rose -- i'd like to know how genuine reform can be made

20:30:14 -- Allan -- I agree with Ann.

20:30:20 -- Lyn -- Allan, I disagree with your comment that HSTA is feeding propaganda to keep us out on the lines. I am a teacher and I support HSTA. They are doing all they can to resolve this situation. It is our belief in quality education that is keeping us out on the lines.

20:30:35 -- Shelly -- Will the peer assistance program "assist" the tenured teachers as well? and what will be the consequences of failure to improve?

20:30:46 -- HSTA-Joan -- The union stands ready to go into formal, informal, mediated, arbitrated , negotiations. Our team is waiting for the governor and his team to settle down and get to the table.

20:31:01 -- Allan -- I am a teacher and to much of what hear on the line differs from what I hear now at the capital.

20:31:23 -- meathome -- joan, i am wondering why the HSTA is not making an issue of the Columbus Group teachers and how much they are getting paid

20:31:28 -- inve -- for performance...join the real world!

20:31:28 -- duane25 -- lyn, i have had good teachers and bad teachers. the raise will benefit the bad ones and i dont think its right.

20:31:36 -- Allan -- A lot of people want to help us, but we're going to have to help out too.

20:31:49 -- Shelly -- Amen Duane....

20:31:52 -- Ann -- I am a teacher and I don't believe the union is negotiating in good faith

20:32:10 -- HSTA-Joan -- The peer assistance program will be mandatory for all teachers at the start of their career through tenure. It is also mandatory for those teachers deemed marginal by the administration. Exit from the profession is one of the possibilities.

20:32:21 -- Kim -- Alan, I agree with Lyn. The info I receive from HSTA is on the money. Do get together with your HSTA rep.

20:32:29 -- duane25 -- my friend who is a teacher is already talking about buying a new car with his raise that he will eventually get. i am sick.

20:32:34 -- fedup -- Surprise Alan!! don't go looking for answers at the capitol. Been there done that.

20:32:47 -- Allan -- I agree with Ann. Verbal offers in real negotiations don't count as counter offers.

20:32:58 -- meathome -- Joan thank you for coming and attempting this chat session

20:33:01 -- Ann -- What about SPED. Doesn't appear to be a major concern

20:33:12 -- Student -- hi

20:33:22 -- HairyGirl -- are there any new scheduled talks?

20:33:23 -- Allan -- I'm not looking for answers. I know the real answers lie in between the union and the state.

20:33:46 -- Shelly -- We've been through the "process" of lodging criticisms about severa teachers recently. And my child is a National Merit Semi-finalist. Yet the process is so cumbersome as to discourage any comments as being futile.

20:33:47 -- HSTA-Joan -- They weren't just verbal offers, but real offers that offered a real solution to offsetting the teacher shortage.

20:33:56 -- JOIN -- littlepine has joined. (

20:34:00 -- Allan -- Neither side will tell the whole truth.

20:34:16 -- duane25 -- i did well in public school because of the importance of education by my parents, not good teachers.

20:34:29 -- meathome -- out of 13,000 there are bad teachers, but a majority of the teachers in the state are hard working and conscientious (as I can tell from my experience)

20:35:21 -- duane25 -- i dont want anymore pidgin speaking teachers in school!

20:35:30 -- Shelly -- Of those here in the chat room, will we all lobby our legislators to prevent equal raises for the other public workers who, by inference, are not as important as our educators?

20:35:52 -- HSTA-Joan -- The real answer, and the ones that our teachers seek is to the question.....Does it matter that every child have a good teacher in every class, and what will it take to get that. NONE of the governor's offers will help to retain teachers. If we can't do that as well as recruit them, then all we have is a revolving door through the profession and our kids deserve better.

20:35:54 -- Allan -- I heard it said that at private schools students are taught to be good students and in public schools students have to teach themselves to be good students.

20:36:01 -- fedup -- True cost based accounting for all departments would be good. By the way Joan what about my earlier question on all the money getting eaten up before it reaches the clasroom Dio you think this is by accident?

20:36:13 -- Student -- i wanted to be a teacher but not anymore

20:36:13 -- HSTA-Joan -- If that happy face is for me, thank you!


20:36:17 -- meathome -- i do not think this is working out, it is turning out to become a gripe session, rather than an informative and productive attempt to disseminate critical information

20:36:36 -- Kim -- I agree. I have not come across incompetent teachers. I'm sure there are a few out there.

20:36:52 -- Student -- :) joan thanks for talking to us

20:37:00 -- HairyGirl -- when do you people think this strike will end?

20:37:11 -- Ann -- Joan, I am having a hard time believing that the losses my family is incurring (2 teachers) are worth the battle in the end.

20:37:15 -- duane25 -- private schools have more students that are there to learn. public schools have more students that dont care and that hurts teachers and other students.

20:37:18 -- Student -- excuse me, i'm a public school student and i am good! don't under estimate us

20:37:38 -- Maggie -- I think the state is ignoring Hawaii student needs by strategizing instead of just bargaining in good faith.

20:37:52 -- hawaiiansouljah -- Whenever BOTH sides can agree......never.

20:38:16 -- Allan -- Joan are you afraid that the longer we strike the less faith members will have in the union?

20:38:17 -- HSTA-Joan -- Money gets eaten up throughout the DOE in ways that are not cost effective. Case in point is that there is still a spend it or lose it attitude that doesn't allow for best purchases and budgeting

20:38:23 -- Student -- sorry ah, if i can't go to iolani

20:38:29 -- hono-lulu -- How does more money for existing bad teachers help improve education?

20:38:35 -- duane25 -- i went to public school and i see how disruptive students hurt the classroom. too bad there is no way to get them out.

20:38:47 -- inve -- Is it true that >6,000 tax dollars per child is spent in Hawaii?

20:38:59 -- Allan -- Joan I know of schools that do that type of thing.

20:39:03 -- fedup -- Why don't you negotiate to recoup that money?

20:39:07 -- meathome -- actually, the strike is bring the condition and state of education to the forefront of everyone's thinking, which is something that is necessary to have reform

20:39:18 -- hawaiiansouljah -- What about putting the schools into county control instead of state?

20:39:26 -- hono-lulu -- If the DOE can legally carry over millions of dollars from one year to the next, then how is that use it or lose it?

20:39:34 -- Dan -- I do not support the the strike for the following:

20:39:46 -- Maggie -- Duane, in any conversation/activity, I think there are always those who are there just to get attention. We can't let them take over and win...ever.

20:39:49 -- Shelly -- Joan, can you break out how much of the increases will go to benefits vs actual take home pay?

20:40:18 -- HSTA-Joan -- It is a critical factor in encouraging people to enter the teaching profession here. When there are a pool of qualified candidates for teaching jobs, the administration can feel confident that proper evaluation won't leave them short of staff.

20:40:27 -- Mike-T -- Joan, can you please respond to the governor's statement that the state has made three offers to HSTA and HSTA has made only one?

20:40:58 -- hono-lulu -- How is holding fast to 22% despite three increasing offers from the state bargaining in good faith?

20:40:59 -- meathome -- it seems that money is not the ONLY issue, it seems that Ben is VERY unappreciative of the teachers and counselors in the public schools

20:41:12 -- Lyn -- Joan, I agree that none of the state's offers address the issue of retaining teachers. I am a new teacher, but have already seen 3 of my fellow College of Education graduates leave to find teaching positions elsewhere.

20:41:16 -- hawaiiansouljah -- There were some really "qualified" teachers who decided to berate those who decided to cross the line at Maile.

20:41:25 -- duane25 -- why cant we offer a bigger raise to science and math teachers and give less of a raise to pe and art teachers. i can see why they are the first to go.

20:41:29 -- Allan -- Joan also can you explain why Cayetano's offer does not entice people to become teachers?

20:41:29 -- fedup -- Blah Blah Blah, it's about the money, who are you kidding

20:41:39 -- HSTA-Joan -- \Benefits have not historically been a part of a negotiated package.Items like FICA and state health fund premiums are costed outside of the salary package.

20:42:17 -- Shelly -- I've come to believe that to some extent, unions are partially responsible for an inability to recruit primarily due to their emphasis on benefits over wages -- essentially a typical protectionist strategy.

20:42:17 -- hono-lulu -- If the teachers care so much about students, then are they on strike, jeopardizing the students' education? Or is it just about money?

20:42:43 -- Allan -- Joan can you explain how the state is to come up with the money to pay for incremental raises?

20:42:52 -- Maile-Rose -- joan, is there any truth to the comment that there is one administrator in the DOE for every teacher?

20:42:53 -- fedup -- That's part of the problem Joan, majority of popoulation is living in past. always looking to governemnt to provide for them

20:42:58 -- HairyGirl -- i cant believe strike lasted this long

20:43:01 -- hono-lulu -- What promises or guarantees will the teachers make that education will improve if they are given a pay raise of 22%?

20:43:16 -- Dan -- 1. You have supported the same party for 40 years you deserve what you get. Where in the private sector can you ask for a 22% raise. Private sector employees are getting laid off and you dare to want to raise taxes. You are already getting more than what you need in taxes since so many people send their kids to private school and pay taxes to support the education system without getting any benefit. You need to have accoutability, as their are just as many bad teachers and good ones.

20:43:31 -- Shelly -- In the union's calculations of comparable salaries, were the costs of health benefits, which are really considered entitlements by the union members considered?

20:43:34 -- hono-lulu -- How much did the teachers improve education after they received their last 17% pay raise?

20:43:41 -- HSTA-Joan -- In the governor's plan, you raise the beginning teachers salaries but do very little for the rest of the teachers. As a result, with his offer, we might be able to get new people, but once they realize that their salary will go nowhere, we won't be able to keep them.

20:44:06 -- hono-lulu -- Are the HSTA union leaders also deferring their hefty paychecks during the strike?

20:44:13 -- HairyGirl -- i feel that 22% raise is too much

20:44:16 -- Maggie -- I'm tired of people throwing around the 22% figure. It's so inaccurate.

20:44:20 -- fedup -- That's baloney Joan.

20:44:26 -- hawaiiansouljah -- You're really accomplishing more by striking Joan.

20:44:29 -- Student -- what if the governor gives them a 19% raise, will the teachers accept or decline??

20:44:30 -- gary -- Why won't the HSTA take the merit raise? There good teachers and some not so good taht's why

20:44:31 -- HSTA-Joan -- What our teachers are fighting for is slightly over 5% a year for four years.

20:44:45 -- hono-lulu -- Joan, then why don't we just increase the pay for new teachers?

20:45:01 -- duane25 -- i heard that lots of public school teachers send their kids to private school. is this because they know the public school system is so bad?

20:45:06 -- Allan -- Joan, but doesn't that address the now and isn't a big teacher exodus coming up again with many teachers retiring in the next few years?

20:45:11 -- inve -- 5% too much...Queens Medical center 2%

20:45:19 -- hono-lulu -- What is the magic number for a pay raise that will guarantee Hawaii's students a good education?

20:45:26 -- hawaiiansouljah -- What the striking is doing is sending messages to potential teachers that in Hawaii, you are a teacher only in so far as your Bargaining Unit says.

20:45:28 -- Maggie -- Thank you Joan.

20:45:33 -- HairyGirl -- i have no idea what you guys are talking about

20:45:33 -- Dan -- Ken Ito is now the chair of the education committee, I was his student at Kalani High School, Electronics class and we didn't learn anything! And he's chair of the education committee?

20:45:34 -- Student -- OMG, DUANE, what is your problem?

20:45:40 -- gary -- It's not fair if you have a not to good teacher that get the same pay as a good teacher

20:45:51 -- HSTA-Joan -- All of our raises are based on an administrator's judgement that we merit it. If they deem any teacher marginal, said teacher gets no raise.

20:45:55 -- hono-lulu -- What is the magic pay raise percentage that will guarantee all Hawaii students a good education?

20:46:05 -- duane25 -- my problem is bad teachers will get raises.

20:46:05 -- fedup -- More baloney

20:46:07 -- Lml -- Joan: If I understand correctly, one of the state's main points of contention remains retroactive pay. Why doesn't the union bend on this point and negotiate a 4-year (2002-2006) contract for twenty something percent and concede the retroactive pay portion?

20:46:08 -- hawaiiansouljah -- What the striking is doing is sending a message to potential teachers that in Hawaii, you are a teacher only in so far as your Bargaining Unit says.

20:46:27 -- HSTA-Joan -- Teachers also must take courses approved by administrators for movement on the salary schedule.

20:46:38 -- hawaiiansouljah -- Dedication to students is apparently no longer an option

20:47:08 -- littlepine -- How do you distinguish good teachers from bad teachers?

20:47:11 -- hono-lulu -- What does HSTA want to cut out of other state programs to fund more pay for bad teachers?

20:47:18 -- Maggie -- You know, Hawaiian, I think sniping is unproductive.

20:47:21 -- Allan -- But isn't teachers having to take extra courses a way to keep them at the top of their game so to speak.

20:47:34 -- Dan -- Joan, Rep.Ken Ito was my teacher at Kalani High School in the 70's and he was one of the worse teachers there and he is chair of the education committee?

20:47:37 -- sir-slam -- Joan, what is the minimum that teachers will accept to settle?

20:47:44 -- Student -- joan, are counselors on strike also?

20:47:52 -- Shelly -- Of course, if the union or member doesn't like the approved courses, then a grievance is filed or discriminatory accusations fly...

20:48:15 -- sir-slam -- I ask because there seems no way the state will give HSTA 22%.

20:48:16 -- HSTA-Joan -- These teachers, close to 13,000 of them, wouldn't be doing this if we weren't dedicated to every child having the best education and educators this state can provide.

20:48:33 -- fedup -- Big deal, you want to improve yourself, why do taxpayers need to foot the bill?

20:48:35 -- gary -- Ok why not go for a merit raise tehn. That way the good teacher get there pay and the not so good teacher will try harder

20:48:35 -- meathome -- according to the news, HGEA (clerks and secretaries) 15%, UHPA (professors in short supply) 11%, HSTA (teachers in short supply) 14%, according to Econ 101, supply and demand stipulates that UHPA and HSTA should get the bigger raise since there is a demand and they are better trained

20:48:53 -- Student -- joan, what's the minimum raise that the teachers will accept to?

20:49:00 -- scooby808 -- That is a contradiction in terms.

20:49:10 -- fedup -- Keep telling yourselves that. the rest of us know the real story

20:49:21 -- HairyGirl -- The teachers deserve a raise, they take out money from their own pockets for us students

20:49:32 -- hono-lulu -- How many bad teachers have continued to receive automatic pay raises over the years? How many bad teachers have been removed from the classroom?

20:49:40 -- Student -- yup

20:49:42 -- duane25 -- theres a teacher at kaimuki that got a student pregnant while at kalani and moved to kaimuki because everyone at kalani knew about it. why didnt he get fired?

20:49:44 -- Shelly -- Once again, while we aren't questioning the vast majority of teachers' dedication, what is the union doing to weed out the "few" who denegrate the profession by their presence?

20:49:49 -- Dan -- Every election the HSTA supports the same party and every Gov. has said Education is #1. When will you learn!

20:49:51 -- HSTA-Joan -- Taxpayers don't pay a dime for teachers professional development. Teachers pay for all their courses out of their own pockets. Taxpayers pay to have a better educated professional.

20:49:59 -- scooby808 -- Striking.

20:50:09 -- inve -- hairygirl ask your parents for the money!

20:50:15 -- meathome -- how are you going to determine which teacher is doing "good" and "bad", test scores? if so, teachers in poor and distant schools will all transfer to town schools with better students

20:50:33 -- hono-lulu -- Taxpayers have also been paying for bad teachers.

20:50:33 -- Student -- inve, what is your problem?

20:50:37 -- Allan -- A lot of my students tell me "didn't I know I was going to be poor being a teacher." Is that the mentality of todays society?

20:50:42 -- gary -- who is saying how good teacher are teaching the student?

20:51:05 -- HSTA-Joan -- NO teacher that was deemed marginal by their administrator was entitled to any raise.

20:51:12 -- HairyGirl -- There are good teachers and there are bad teachers

20:51:18 -- Dan -- Same elected officials/same results year after year. In 1977 I didn

20:51:23 -- Mike-T -- Joan, why is it that the state has made three offers and the union on one?

20:51:35 -- Kim -- Luckily, the percentage of poor teachers in the public schools is low.

20:51:37 -- gary -- the teacher maybe good in taking test and all. But in teaching she or he may be bad.

20:51:37 -- Allan -- Joan do you think it is fair to have admin judge a teacher?

20:51:46 -- hono-lulu -- How many of those "marginal" teachers are there?

20:51:50 -- Student -- joan please answer my question

20:51:50 -- Shelly -- During the last strike, my mother was one of the strike captains at her high school. She didn't necessarily support the strike, but became the captain believing that she could mitigate the retaliation and ill feelings after the strike between the staff. What is the union doing to avoid such behavior? Particularly in light of the disgraceful behavior at Campbell?

20:51:57 -- HSTA-Joan -- Allan, it is partly because of that mentality that people are not choosing to be teachers.

20:52:03 -- duane25 -- if a bad teacher sucks up to an administrator the bad teacher will never be let go.

20:52:14 -- scooby808 -- Good question.

20:52:27 -- gary -- Ok adminstrator should be the one that gives raise

20:52:41 -- Allan -- I agree with you Joan and I think Cayetano is trying to address that.

20:52:42 -- ben -- when will hawaii get a real teachers' college, and not have to depend on

20:52:43 -- meathome -- tell me, how many of you know of lazy workers at your workplace? is it hard to get them fired? samething with the DOE

20:52:48 -- littlepine -- Some administrators are too lazy to document "marginal" teachers. They get tenured like the rest.

20:52:53 -- HSTA-Joan -- hono-lulu, you would have to check with the DOE. Teachers do not have access to other teachers' personnel info.

20:52:53 -- scooby808 -- What are the unions doing to curb the kind of behavior that was witnessed at Campbell and Maile Elemen, Joan?

20:52:56 -- duane25 -- i think the DOE needs to be shaped up as well.

20:53:00 -- Maggie -- Why is it that Mr. Governor feels he can win by slowing down the negotiation process?

20:53:09 -- ben -- to depend on bachelor of arts degree and sociology degree holders

20:53:10 -- Dan -- Same elected officials/Same results. In 1977 I had to share a science book. Today my friends child shares a book at Kaimuki Inter. Wow its been over 20 years, I guess education is #1.

20:53:14 -- gary -- when a teacher is in the union for 6 years ther is no way in getting her out if she is good or bad. right.

20:53:41 -- HSTA-Joan -- Administrators approve the raise on behalf of the state who pays them.

20:53:51 -- inve -- 22% for teachers...the rest for books....

20:53:51 -- ben -- who take a course of 'teacher methodologies'?

20:54:01 -- HairyGirl -- Ben Cayetano is the most hated man in the state right now

20:54:13 -- gary -- so as a teacher why try harder if she is in for good

20:54:14 -- Kim -- Mr. Governor probably thinks he can win because the many parents who have been supporting the parents will then turn on the teachers.

20:54:17 -- fedup -- Joan, before you go. I've been heavily involved in my childrens' school. I'm seriously reconsidering it based on teachers actions of late. I see the problems, but again, there's so mcu waste at the top it's sickening. Now to hear we need to throw more money in is distressing. All I want is a sense of value and that's no where to be found.

20:54:19 -- Student -- yup

20:54:21 -- Dan -- Correct, once their in, they are under civil service rules and you need to practically kill someone to be fired.

20:54:28 -- ben -- why is your union so very radical?

20:54:54 -- gary -- adminstrator. So not all teacher get the same pay going on years then.

20:54:55 -- inve -- Don't give in Ben C.....

20:54:57 -- HSTA-Joan -- All members are entitled to due process. If an administrator follows that, and does what is needed in a way that is proper and appropriate, a teacher can be terminated no matter how many years of service or tenured.

20:54:57 -- hono-lulu -- After the strike, how is the union going to work to repair teacher morale after the spiteful behavior by so-called "professional" teachers on the picket line? Or does the union only know about striking?

20:55:03 -- ben -- even though only 15% of Hawaii is unionized, why are unions always

20:55:07 -- HairyGirl -- we need to get back to school, strike is making us lazy and we are starving

20:55:14 -- Dan -- Is not that they are radical, its the mentality and the leadership that make the HSTA what they are.

20:55:24 -- meathome -- again, thank you joan for taking time to be here with us, i am dissappointed that discussion was not as fruitful as I had imagined, perhaps a "bulletin-board" format would have been better where people questions and then you can answer them. good night.

20:55:27 -- ben -- ...always crying that THEY are the 'working people'?

20:55:40 -- Maggie -- radical---wanting change---making education better. What a thought! :) Radical is a compliment right now.

20:55:49 -- Dan -- Too much power for too long. Its about time someone stands up to the unions.

20:55:53 -- Allan -- I agree HSTA leaders need to be changed.

20:55:56 -- ben -- why are over 50% of the unionized people in this country no longer --

20:55:58 -- Starbulletin-com -- Yes, meathome, next time we may do that. Blaine

20:56:02 -- scooby808 -- What did you expect meathome? People are frustrated and FED UP with this.

20:56:22 -- ben -- no longer involved in production, but are government workers?

20:56:23 -- gary -- in real life there are good teachers and bad teacher as we can see. Why doesn't the union do something about that

20:56:24 -- Allan -- Our leaders are taking us down. I don't think they tried hard enough to avoid a strike.

20:56:37 -- Shelly -- I think we should also look at where our legislators, board of Education, and union officials' children attend school... Do they really know what's going on at the public school level? Or is the urgency to make substantive changes absent because the problems aren't close enough to home? Or do they feel that they themselves are incapable of making substantive changes?

20:56:40 -- fedup -- Ben: because the majority of people here are a bunch of lambs. It

20:56:56 -- Kim -- Great job of moderating tonight Joan. I thought you answered most of the questions well.

20:57:03 -- Maile-Rose -- i want to agree about the message board format...that would be more direct in Q&A sessions.

20:57:04 -- ben -- why don't liberals control any of the three branches of the US gov't?

20:57:16 -- sir-slam -- In my view, the state will try to settle with UHPA before HSTA. If the reverse were true, and let's say HSTA gets 18%, then that raises the bar for UHPA.

20:57:17 -- gary -- there seem to be allot of people saying that there are good and bad teachers. So I think the HSTA should look at the teacher again.

20:57:23 -- hono-lulu -- I still did not receive an answer about how a 22% pay raise will result in better education, and what guarantees the teachers will give to make sure that happens. Or will they just smile and take the money and go back to the same old same old?

20:57:23 -- Dan -- Joan you can tell that we are upset. We sure are! The nerve Karen Ginoza wants to raise taxes to pay for the raises. Tell the Gov. stop over spending and the teaches will have enough money for raises.

20:57:23 -- Allan -- Joan I'm sorry if I came across really harsh, but I'd like to thank you for your time.

20:57:28 -- fedup -- Ben: because the majority of people here are a bunch of lambs. About half toe voters are union members.

20:57:32 -- HSTA-Joan -- There is a shortage of teachers that is going to get even worse within the next three years, we are fighting to keep it from hurting our kids. Does anyone have ideas other than what teachers are trying to do?

20:57:49 -- Student -- joan thanks for taking some time off to chat... i hope this gets settle soon

20:57:52 -- Maggie -- Right,'s a dilemma.

20:57:55 -- ben -- why have SAT scores declined for the last 30 years?

20:57:56 -- Shelly -- Thanks for the forum.. if only to vent... I really didn't read any thing I didn't already suspect or know.

20:58:21 -- HSTA-Joan -- Thank you Allan for your honesty.

20:58:22 -- hono-lulu -- Joan thanks for being here, but I don't think that the union wants anything more than money.

20:58:26 -- ben -- what is te relationship between socialism and the social decline of our nation? and teaching?

20:58:34 -- HSTA-Joan -- Aloha students, thanks for the smiles


20:59:03 -- Dan -- We agree Joan, but you have only yourselves to blame. The same party has been in power for over 40 years! The teachers do deserve a raise. But like I said, same elected officials/same results

20:59:04 -- Allan -- Joan see you on the line! Hope this all ends soon I'm startting run out of savings.

20:59:07 -- gary -- Yes there are good teacher I must say, but then again there are some that are not that good too. I think people think the raise goes to everybody if there good or bad. That's the problem

20:59:09 -- Starbulletin-com -- Thanks all. We're about out of time and will take the chat room off line shortly. We will post an archive of the session later this evening.

20:59:11 -- fedup -- Wish you would have answered the question

20:59:16 -- Lynn-Okamura -- Hiya Joan; it's LynnO. Heard you did a great job on the news; congratulations! Thanks for the support and inspiration you give teachers!

20:59:25 -- Starbulletin-com -- Let's let Joan have a few last words before we shut down.

20:59:27 -- Maile-Rose -- mahalo, Joan, for hanging in there...

20:59:32 -- HSTA-Joan -- hono-lulu if you can think of something else that might help us end the shortages in teaching, I am listening!

20:59:32 -- ben -- why are unions so involved in income re-distribution?

20:59:49 -- gary -- wow thanks you

20:59:57 -- ben -- why do we have so many systemic problems in Hawaii?

21:00:02 -- HSTA-Joan -- Hey Lynn. Thanks for your suppork!

21:00:07 -- Mike-T -- Joan, The shortage is nationwide, not just in Hawaii. We've had a shortage of nurses for many years and we try to solve this by recruiting them for a two to three vacation tour.

21:00:20 -- fedup -- They were taught that by TEACHERS!

21:01:08 -- HSTA-Joan -- Mike, then you know what I am talking about.

21:01:17 -- Maggie -- The time is too short to really discuss. Perhaps a longer session..

21:01:32 -- Dan -- Joan, same party in power, same results, the keep saying education is number 1

21:01:37 -- fedup -- WHAT A JOKE!

21:01:46 -- Starbulletin-com -- Up to you, Joan, if you want to stay longer.

21:02:06 -- Dan -- HSTA has only themselves to blame.

21:02:08 -- Mike-T -- Joan, Yes I do. But we can't solve it with just money. That's never the only solution.

21:02:23 -- Starbulletin-com -- OK, I think that's enough. We're closing the chat room.

21:02:31 -- HSTA-Joan -- I'm okay if you are starbulletin

21:02:46 -- Starbulletin-com -- Thank you all for coming and mahalo nui, Joan Lewis.

21:02:48 -- Mike-T -- Thank you.

21:02:53 -- HSTA-Joan -- Mike, I am open to your suggestions....

21:03:04 -- Starbulletin-com -- OK, Joan. We'll stay a few more minutes.

21:03:15 -- Dan -- Joan, do you know how many kids go to private school in Hawaii.

21:03:26 -- Maggie -- I think people are angry at any group who tries to change the status-quo...and highlight problems to be remedied.

21:03:29 -- HSTA-Joan -- Thanks again for your hosting of this chat room Starbulletin

21:03:55 -- HSTA-Joan -- Dan, I don't have those figures

21:04:08 -- Allan -- Joan one suggestion to relieve the stress of teachers would to push for more peer coaching type of things.

21:04:37 -- Allan -- How did that work in the past and would HSTA support that as a merit pay situation for mentors?

21:05:16 -- Shelly -- I think from the public's perspective, the union has allowed this issue to be inappropriately reduced to the issue of compensation. The union, in its PR efforts should also apply some emphasis to their own plans to improve the education system, and not allow it to appear that you're griping about suggestions and proposal from outside of the profession.

21:05:21 -- HSTA-Joan -- Allan, we think so too, and we have it as one of our items on the bargaining table. We are ready to implement it next school year.

21:05:28 -- Louise -- I joined late--my apologies if this has already been addressed. Why were negotiations not begun when the contract expired?

21:06:35 -- Dan -- Joan, I agree teachers need a raise and would support it, but I have not seen any improvement of the education system since I went to school. Why should we continue to poor in more money without the results. No books in the 70's, still no books in 2001!

21:06:38 -- Allan -- But what does the union version look like I have yet to see it?

21:07:08 -- HSTA-Joan -- We have been trying to negotiate this contract since 1998. Unfortunately, the state has not been ready to settle down and get this taken care of until recently.

21:07:28 -- Shelly -- Is there any collaboration between the union, the BOE, and the UH regarding the quality and relevance of the UH College of Education's graduates?

21:08:13 -- littlepine -- Many teachers take courses to improve their teaching. Would that figure in to some kind of merit system? Continuing education?

21:08:23 -- Allan -- How realistic has the unions counter offers been? I believe in start high and come don, but have we started too high? In my opinion we have.

21:08:51 -- HSTA-Joan -- Our last proposal asks for about a 5% increase each year for the 4 years of this contract. It also allows for a differential to be paid to those teachers who have a master's or P.D.

21:09:13 -- Maggie -- I have many relatively new teachers at my school and they are so wonderful. I think there is just so much to know about good teaching and much of it has to happen in the classroom,Shelly.

21:10:15 -- Allan -- But why do we keep fighting for retro. I think we should drop the retro in order to fund our steps in the future. It would be nice to get the money, but I'd need more than the retro right now!

21:10:25 -- HSTA-Joan -- Our proposal started out higher than what the fact finders report suggests. They suggest 19% or $180 million. We are trying to settle a package that does a good job of both recruiting and retaining teachers.

21:10:55 -- Dan -- Good luck in the future, I wish the best for the teachers, but you got to stop supporting the same old people. When contract time comes around, we hear the same old stuff. Nothing ever gets solved, but yet the HSTA supports the same politicians.

21:11:15 -- Allan -- Would the union settle at 14% with no retro?

21:11:22 -- littlepine -- I agree with conceding the retro, if that's going to get us back into the classroom sooner.

21:11:52 -- Shelly -- Maggie, don't get me wrong... in fact I'm really impressed by some of the younger teachers. But so many get quickly jaded by the mediocrity in indifference of the tenured ones who have seen their extrordinary efforts compensated at the same rate as thos that just show up every day.

21:12:35 -- Allan -- Yes, yes we need to leave the past in the past and work on our future raises. We can't dry up our well now before the rainy season.

21:12:43 -- HSTA-Joan -- This contract is 2 years overdue. If accept no retro. we give the state the message that it is okay to string out its employees for 2 years and then pay later.

21:13:37 -- Shelly -- Then the urgency that the union feels now should have been expressed 2 years ago shouldn't it?

21:13:38 -- Maggie -- True...even my own children won't consider teaching as a vocation.

21:13:51 -- Dan -- Allan, dry up the well. s

21:13:52 -- Maggie -- Absolutely, Joan.

21:13:56 -- Allan -- If we wanted more money then we should have taken action then, now is too late.

21:14:06 -- Shelly -- Or was the union trying to play the political game?

21:14:17 -- Maggie -- Please don't send that message.

21:14:44 -- Allan -- Yes Hawaii's economy continues to decline. Money needs to be set aside now for us teachers later.

21:15:14 -- HSTA-Joan -- Accountability is a 2 way street. If the state has to take anyone it can get to fill its teaching positions, the rest of the teachers have to carry the ball, and that is what demoralizes all teachers. Again.... this shortage has many bad side effects.

21:15:48 -- Dan -- Allan, our economy was bad for 10 years, remember in the continental US, the economy gang busters. I wonder why?

21:16:18 -- Allan -- Joan but not all the fill ins are bad ones. I've seen untrained teachers beat out many of the trained ones.

21:16:40 -- Dan -- Allan, could it be the same party, only the voters have themselve to blame for the mess we are in.

21:16:54 -- Shelly -- Effective accountability involves both carrots and sticks. Joan, you've spoken about the incentives for improvement that the union has suggested, How about your suggestions for disciplinary action?

21:17:09 -- littlepine -- If there are unqualified teachers filling positions, then school admin should work out some close supervision/support system, huh? I think school admin is a big, sometimes missing, link.

21:17:21 -- Allan -- Dan Hawaii had a lot more money until Waihee came on. Perhaps you're right and democrats need o step aside.

21:17:23 -- Dan -- Allan, so what does that tell you, should these bad trained teachers get a raise?

21:17:46 -- HSTA-Joan -- Would those teachers be willing to make the investment to get the training and become licensed teachers. If so, encourage them to do so.

21:18:11 -- Allan -- No they shouldn't and that's why I don't side with HSTA even though I am a teacher.

21:18:53 -- Allan -- Joan some of them can't unless the state creates like a RISE program for regular ed.

21:18:58 -- Shelly -- In my experience, the success of a school is directly related to the level of parental support that the school has, perhaps as measured by the participation in PTA events. Does the uion advocate and directly support any such initiatives?

21:19:39 -- Allan -- Joan the fact is Hawaii is expensive and some of these "teachers" need to work to support their families, school is not an option.

21:19:56 -- HSTA-Joan -- The state standards board requires that teachers be relicensed everfy 5 years. PAR is to be used to help struggling teachers get what they need to improve and if they don't to help them out of the profession. No BAD teacher should be a llowed to teach, let alone get a raise.

21:20:34 -- Dan -- Good luck, good night, but my last words, why keep voting the same people in when you get the same results year after year. Thats why my kids go to private school. I've been there, graduation Kalani High 1977.

21:21:09 -- Allan -- Shelly I like that point. Community involvement sets the school climate.

21:22:22 -- HSTA-Joan -- Thank you all for this lively and frank discussion, once again, thank you Starbulletin for hosting. Aloha

21:22:47 -- Starbulletin-com -- Thank you, Joan Lewis. We appreciate you taking the time this evening.

21:22:50 -- Allan -- Thank you Joan.

21:23:17 -- Shelly -- Thanks Allan, that's why despite our financial ability and my children's capability to attend and succeed in the private schools, I elected to keep them in the public school system. My frustration is based on my realy belief that the situation is not hopeless, but perhaps much more complicated that either the state or union(s) lead the public to believe.

21:23:21 -- Starbulletin-com -- The chat site will be shut down in a few minutes, and later an archive of this session will be posted.

21:23:30 -- littlepine -- Thanks, all.

21:23:47 -- HSTA-Joan -- Parting thought: What kind of education and educators are "good enough" for our kids, and what are we willing to do to make sure we get it?

21:23:49 -- Starbulletin-com -- Thanks all for stopping by. Aloha, Blaine

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