By Lynda Arakawa
and Kevin Dayton
Advertiser Capitol Bureau
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 wont agree to give the same raises to all teachers.
He said the states 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 cant 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, thats really outmoded thinking, and were not going to reach a settlement as long as thats 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, its 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 doesnt solve the broader problem."
"This bargaining is about getting everyones pay up, not just certain groups," she said.
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