Tuesday, April 24, 2001


Strike logo

Teachers express
joy, concern

They are anxious to reunite
with their students now that
the 19-day strike is over

OIA to meet on sport schedules

By Helen Altonn

Teachers, picketing today with "mahalo" signs, greeted the potential end of their strike with a mixture of joy and concern.

"I'm just thrilled and a little bit hesitant," said Molly Corcoran, Royal School fourth-grade teacher. "It's just unbelievable after all this time."

She said she's anxious to be back with her students but "there is so much to do, reconnecting."

When students return from a two-week Christmas break, "their eyes are glazed over" and the strike has been 19 days, she said.

She anticipates a lot of group work and cooperative learning to get the students to reconnect with each other.

The teachers showed up to picket this morning without knowing any details of the proposed contract settlement.

Bianca Reeves, special education third- and fourth-grade teacher at Royal, said she was ecstatic when she heard about it on the radio at 5:45 a.m. while going to the picket line. "I'm kind of in shock too. It just seemed like it took so long. It should have been resolved sooner."

She feels the threat of a federal judge stepping into the situation helped to move the talks toward a settlement.

Reeves has two children in the first and fourth grades in Aina Haina School.

She said she as lucky to have grandparents and a "wonderful support system" from mothers in the neighborhood who started home-schooling 10 children.

"I was fortunate but I don't know how a lot of other children spent their time," she said.

At McKinley High School, Jodi Akasaki, family and consumer science teacher, said, "If it's (the settlement) as good as they say it is, I'm glad to be back in the classroom. I miss my kids."

"We're all happy it's over. We want to be back with the kids," said Doug Kastner, who teaches 10th and 11th grade social studies at McKinley.

But instead of retroactive pay, he said the teachers should be paid for the length of the strike.

Kastner said he's paying $1,050 for three credits toward a masters degree at Chaminade University.

"It's going to take me six years to make up what I've spent the last three years. It's just that they expect you to have all this training and every penny comes out of your pocket."

>> HSTA Web site
>> UHPA Web site
>> State Web site
>> Governor's strike Web site
>> DOE Web site

OIA drafts plan
to get athletes back
in the game

By B.J. Reyes

High school athletes across the state will soon learn what will become of the sports seasons interrupted by the 20-day public school teachers strike.

Athletic directors from the Oahu Interscholastic Association plan to meet tomorrow to figure out how to adjust schedules and get the students back on the playing fields, said Dwight Toyama, executive secretary for the OIA.

However, a source with the OIA said there was a fear that the Department of Education would cancel all remaining state tournaments because of lost classroom time for student athletes as they travel to and from events.

A decision by the department was expected later today or tomorrow.

Part of the new contract deal, meanwhile, stipulates that no coaches will lose pay for any games that wind up being canceled.

"We need lots of time to really look at it, look at all different scenarios," Toyama said. "It's going to depend on sport to sport, and looking at specific dates and so forth."

Because no games or practice took place during the strike, any rescheduling also will have to account for that.

"We know we have to give the athletes some time to get back into shape," Toyama said. "You can't just put them back on the playing field. Some practice time will have to be included in the schedule."

Toyama added that it will be up to each interscholastic league to reschedule sporting events. Aside from accounting for practice time, Toyama said the athletic directors also must work around other school activities such as proms and graduations.

"There's going to be a lot of compromise and a lot of juggling to try and accommodate various schools," he said. "We want to try and do the best we can. I know we can't please everybody. That's going to be impossible at this point."

>> HSTA Web site
>> UHPA Web site
>> State Web site
>> Governor's strike Web site
>> DOE Web site

E-mail to City Desk

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]

© 2001 Honolulu Star-Bulletin