Friday, January 26, 2001
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Posted on: Friday, January 26, 2001

Cayetano proposes larger raises for some teachers than others

By Lynda Arakawa
and Kevin Dayton
Advertiser Capitol Bureau

Previous stories:
Teachers, state pledge further contract effort
Teachers reject panel's pay recommendation
Teacher contract negotiations 'cool off'
Cayetano rejects teacher pay finding
19% raise suggested for Isle teachers
Mediation fails to end dispute on teachers' pay
Cayetano refuses to blink on teachers' pay raise
Teachers reject pay offer, call impasse
Gov. Ben Cayetano yesterday said he is willing to give generous raises to starting teachers and to teachers with expertise that are in short supply, but he won’t agree to give the same raises to all teachers.

He said the state’s informal proposal would raise the starting salaries of teachers from $29,000 to about $36,000. He also said the proposal would give more pay to teachers in "shortage areas" such as math, science and special education.

"We can’t afford to give everybody the same across the board in the teaching profession," he said. "The HSTA has taken the position that everyone should be treated the same way across the board, and you know, that’s really outmoded thinking, and we’re not going to reach a settlement as long as that’s the way they feel."

The Hawaii State Teachers Association is seeking a 22 percent pay increase over four years, and the state has offered a raise that averages 9 percent over four years. Teachers’ salaries range from $29,000 to $58,000. The two sides are in a 60-day cooling off period that ends March 17.

HSTA executive director Joan Husted said the union has not received any proposal from the state - formally or informally - that offers certain teachers more pay. She said the union generally opposes the idea.

"We have, as a general rule, opposed paying differential to certain groups of people because there is a shortage’ area," Husted said. "As we see it right now, everything is a shortage area, it’s not just math and science. In Niu Valley Elementary, we have, I believe, a social studies teacher teaching art. There are shortages right across the board. Just picking people out doesn’t solve the broader problem."

"This bargaining is about getting everyone’s pay up, not just certain groups," she said.

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