Kokua Line

June Watanabe

HSTA contract not yet
ready for public eyes

Question: Is the Hawaii State Teachers Association contract available on the Web? I haven't found a link to it on either the HSTA or the Department of Education Web sites. I e-mailed the department, and they have no plans on making this document available for public viewing. Is the teacher's contract confidential? If not, how would a non-HSTA member go about reading it?

Answer: The contract is a public document and should be available for the public to see.

However, it is not yet in "a finished form and probably won't be for some time," said Greg Knudsen, spokesman for the state Department of Education. "It usually takes some time after the signing to make sure it is in proper form."

When it is finalized, he said he would have a copy for members of the public to review. "Ideally," a copy would be posted on the department's Web site --, he said.

However, at this point, Knudsen said it was uncertain whether the document would be posted electronically or just available for viewing upon request.

The HSTA does have the contract posted on its Web site -- -- but it is available for review only by its members or other teachers.

HSTA had posted the contract in the past, but no longer feels it is its responsibility to do so, Knudsen said.

"The collective-bargaining agreement is a contract between the HSTA and the BOE (Board of Education)," Joan Lee Husted, executive director of the HSTA, told Kokua Line.

She said members of the public should contact the board if they want to see the contract.

Knudsen noted that the last contract, which ran from July 1, 1999, to June 30, 2003, wasn't officially signed until July 8, 2002, with less than a year of the four-year contract remaining.

For now, the new contract "is just not available" online or otherwise, Knudsen said. However, once it does become available, the public can contact his office -- 586-3230 -- to see a copy.

As to it being posted online, that's "a possibility" and "under consideration," he said.

Q: Can you please print a reminder to people who have pool pumps that the noise from the pump travels, especially over water. They should enclose the pumps and put in some insulation. I live across the water (not even straight across) from an uninsulated pump and it practically makes my house vibrate. Pumps are always installed away from the owner's house because of the noise, then the noise travels to the neighbors and the owners don't realize it.

A: Pool pumps don't necessarily have to be covered to be within the state Department of Health's noise regulations, according to an official with the Noise, Radiation and Indoor Air Quality Branch.

The department's community noise control regulations cover noise emanating from stationary equipment, such as pool pumps.

Complaints can be directed to the Noise, Radiation and Indoor Air Quality Branch at 586-4700 and the owner will be contacted.

Sometimes, it may just be a maintenance or equipment problem that is easily resolved, the official said.


See the Columnists section for some past articles.

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