settle contract

Details of the agreement will be
distributed to schools tomorrow

The Hawaii State Teachers Association and the state Department of Education reached a tentative agreement late Friday on a new contract for public school teachers, but details are not yet being released.

The HSTA board met yesterday to approve the settlement, said HSTA executive director Joan Husted.

She said the details will be distributed to each school tomorrow. Once teachers have had a chance to review the tentative settlement, a public announcement will be made tomorrow afternoon.

A ratification vote on the tentative contract will be held Thursday, with results expected that afternoon.

Negotiations were going on yesterday with the United Public Workers union, but Russell Pang, a spokesman for Gov. Linda Lingle, would not say if an agreement was reached.

The unions are facing a deadline this week for the Legislature to include money for any raises in its budget.

The two-year budget must be completed by Friday. The Legislature is scheduled to adjourn May 5.

Members of the conference committee on the state budget are hoping to hear negotiation outcomes before they meet tomorrow, Senate Ways and Means Committee Chairman Brian Taniguchi (D-Moiliili-Manoa) said yesterday.

On April 15, the Hawaii Government Employees Association reached an arbitrated agreement with the state for a 5 percent raise for its members for each of the next two years.

State Budget Director Georgina Kawamura said after the HGEA agreement that if the same "5 and 5" raise were given to all public employees, "the total increase in collective bargaining costs to the state would be about $222 million over the next two years."

A federal mediator had been working with the teachers union, which sought a 15 percent pay increase, and state, which offered a 1.5 percent raise.

Under the current contract, which expires June 30, teachers won raises ranging from 4 percent to 11 percent.

HSTA represents more than 13,000 educators; the UPW represents 9,000 state and county blue-collar workers; and the HGEA represents 23,000 state and county white-collar workers.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Hawaii State Teachers' Association
State Department of Education

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