The state and the teacher's union are back at the bargaining table

By Nana Ohkawa
Published On: Jan 11 2013 09:12:00 PM HST

The state and the teacher's union were back at the bargaining table for several hours.

HONOLULU -

The state and the teacher's union were back at the bargaining table today. The two groups met for several hours on Friday.

The more than year long deadlock continues. The state and Hawaii's teacher's union still don't have a deal.

"HSTA had an opportunity to discuss issues of teachers evaluations and also about compensation in this first meeting," said Wil Okabe, president of the HSTA.

The sticking point at the meeting was the Educator Effectiveness Pilot Program. The program would push the state to meet its federal Race to the Top goals, with teacher evaluations and performance-based pay. But the program is unpopular among teacher's.

The HSTA is pushing for a longer contract and more pay.

"HSTA is proposing a four-year contract that requires a 4 percent across-the-board increase for each of the four years," said Okabe.

In the past, teacher contracts have typically been two years. The union rejected the state's last offer, which included $49 million of new compensation, including 2 percent raises in each year of the two-year contract for teachers. But HSTA said over the last four years teachers have lost more than $100 million in wages.

"The state had proposed 5 percent snap back to what the teachers had lost for the past four years and also a 2 percent across the board increase for 2 years," said Okabe.

HSTA is also asking for a 60/40 medical split. It's now 50/50.

HSTA said this is just the beginning of another round of negotiations, and there will be many more meetings to come. HSTA wants to continue discussing teacher evaluations at the next negotiations.

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