Hawaii teachers could see pay increases of 14%
Public School Teachers across Hawaii may see salary increases of about 14-percent. That's part of a new agreement reached by the Hawaii State Teachers Association and the state. The raises will be phased in over a four year period. It took nine months of negotiations to come to that agreement. The HSTA hopes high wages will help stabilize Hawaii's teaching force.
After nine months of negotiating, beginning public school teachers across Hawaii could see their salaries jump by nearly $10,000.
That's part of a new agreement reached by the Hawaii State Teachers Association and the state. Teachers would get about a 14% pay hike over the next four years.
“For the first time by the end of the contract, beginning teachers in Hawaii will be making over $50,000 a year. We’ve got to do something to make sure every single classroom right now has a teacher.” Said Corey Rosenlee, President of Hawaii State Teachers Association.
Under the deal, teachers will also pay less for health insurance. HSTA hopes high wages will help stabilize Hawaii's teaching force.
Logan Okita, has taught at Nimitz Elementary School for the past 11 years. She says the tentative agreement between the Hawaii State Teachers Association and the state is a step in the right direction.
“The pay increase looks great, the increase in employer contributions to the medical premiums is also enticing, and it’s a lot better than what they first offered. Which was just the $500 annual bonus.” Said Okita.
HSTA members are scheduled to vote to ratify the agreement on Thursday. Total compensation for the four-year contract is $100 million.
Rosenlee says the agreement would not be possible without help from Governor David Ige.
"This contract represents my commitment to excellence in our public schools and the practice of teaching. It says we trust and respect Hawaii's teachers. Together, will make Hawaii a place our children can choose to call home," said Ige.
“If it’s not ratified we go back to bargaining table, but the problem is the legislature is closing beginning of next week. So we won’t have the funding for it.” Said Rosenlee.
Rosenlee believes the members will ratify the deal. If a majority of teachers approve the agreement, the contract will begin July 1st.