92% of Hawai‘i public school teachers vote in favor of new contract


The contract includes approximately 14.5% in pay increases over four years for more than 13,000 teachers represented by the Hawai‘i State Teachers Association.

Hawaiʻi’s public school teachers have overwhelmingly approved a new four-year contract providing pay raises of approximately 14.5%, as well as other cost and non-cost improvements.

“We have a deep appreciation for Hawaii’s teachers and and this contract was meant to demonstrate that. By raising starting salaries to $50,000, we hope more of Hawai‘i’s young men and women will aspire to become teachers,” said Gov. Green. “Higher salaries and bonuses for veteran teachers will also improve teacher retention and reduce teacher shortages. Good public education remains one of our top priorities.”

Pay bonuses in the ratified agreement will strengthen retention of experienced, top-scale teachers, while pay increases in the new contract will apply to instructors who are teachers working toward state licensure. The increase is one of the contract’s key tools for invigorating teacher recruitment.

Specialized teachers whose after-hours work to support extracurricular programs including band, chorus and drama, now will be recognized financially for their often life-changing contributions to the lives of their students.

“HSTA thanks bargaining unit members who came out today to ratify a new four-year contract which will help to recruit and retain teachers and give further stability for our keiki to have highly qualified teachers in their classrooms. Mahalo to Governor Green, Superintendent Hayashi, and the Board of Education for sitting with us at the bargaining table for the past few months to be able to bring this agreement to our members," HSTA President Osa Tui, Jr. said. "In addition to the improvements to compensation and working conditions we’ve been able to make through this new contract, we also send mahalo to our legislators, governor, and lieutenant governor as we make progress at the Legislature on important items such as teacher housing, public preschool, and teacher tax credits.”

To help offset Hawaiʻi’s cost of living, employer contributions to teachers’ health insurance premiums will also increase in the new contract.

"We're happy to see the overwhelming support from teachers for this contract that all sides worked diligently on to elevate the teaching profession in our public schools. The academic gains our schools are seeing coming out of the pandemic are a testament to the dedication of our educators who directly support our students each day. We value our teachers immensely and are hopeful that this contract will enhance our recruitment and retention efforts to strengthen our teaching workforce,” Superintendent Keith Hayashi said. "The Department appreciates the collaborative effort with HSTA and Gov. Green and his administration.”

The agreement aligns with Gov. Green’s priorities in that it will provide financial relief to valued educators, to help keep them at home in the islands.

“Raising the beginning teachers’ pay from the upper $38,000s to $50,000 – that is remarkable … we’ve never seen anything like that,” said Louise Cayetano, a Fern Elementary STEM/robotics teacher. “We want to thank the governor and everyone involved – in the Legislature, and our bargaining teams for their support.”

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