‘Work to the Rules’ protest at nearly 50 schools
Superintendent highlights progress
"We understand the frustration," said State School Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi.
At least 47 schools participated in Thursday’s event, dozens more than the first protest two weeks ago.
"How far do you think this is going to go?" KITV reporter Lara Yamada asked Hawaii State Teachers Association president Wil Okabe.
"I think this will go all the way until we get a contract," said Okabe.
Matayoshi said she’s focusing on the next contract and strategizing on what will calm her base.
"What this is you can sign on in one place and you can access all of those databases," she said, talking about one of a handful of pilot projects in the works right now as part of the state's Race to the Top program.
She said she’s focusing everything from simplifying how teacher’s access resources and do student evaluations, to streamlining time-consuming tasks such as field trip notifications or funding basic supplies.
"When you talk to people about what is so frustrating about their job, a lot of it is because they have all this other stuff they have to do," she said.
Matayoshi believes each one is all part of a growing tool box that teachers will appreciate, but the when asked about teacher pay, she was quick to remind us, it’s a subject off the table, with contract negotiations underway.
State and union negotiators will meet again on Dec. 5.
The HSTA reports, under the current contract, some teachers make as little as $31,044, while top pay is just over $75,000.
"Can it be better? Sure it can be better," said Matayoshi of the state’s educational system as a whole. "But, the idea is improvement. It's not this 'gotcha' thing.”
The current pay scale reflects a 5 percent pay cut from the previous 2008-2009 contract.
But the teacher’s pay scale is not so cut and dry.
There's also a dizzying number of pay scales, penalties and incentives based on education, experience, and the big debate: evaluations.
This month, HSTA is compiling data from four days of October town hall meetings.
Before the end of the year, they'll be polling teachers on how they want those evaluations to be done.
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