Teachers vote to ratify contract with state

Published On: Apr 17 2013 07:30:00 PM HST

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HONOLULU -

Public school teachers with the Hawaii State Teachers Association voted Wednesday to ratify a tentative agreement with the state ending nearly two years of working without a contract.

Seventy percent of the 13,500 HSTA members took part in the ratification vote of the four-year contract tentative agreement reached with the state on March 24.

"Our goal from the start was to establish a fair and equitable contract that offers professional pay and improves working conditions to attract the best and the brightest into the classrooms in order to enhance student learning and produce real results," said Wil Okabe, HSTA president.

Of the teachers who voted, 95 percent voted in favor of ratifying the contract.

Under the tentative agreement, public school teachers will receive annual pay raises of about 3 percent and will have a say in statewide decisions about educator evaluation.

"Through sign waving, emails, letters and phone calls, HSTA members have shown unwavering commitment to education, putting pressure on the State to settle the contract in the best interests of the teachers and their students," added Okabe. 

The teachers' last contract expired in June 2011.

The new contract will take effect July 1, 2013 in time for the next school year.

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