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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, April 4, 2001

Q&A: Strike basics

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 •  Special: The Teacher Contract Crisis
 •  Share your ideas and resources on child care during a strike

The following information was compiled by the Department of Education:

Q. If a school is fully or partially open, are students required to attend?

A. Once a student's classes reopen, the parents may decide whether or not to send their child to school during the strike. No absences will be counted against the student during a strike. However, any student who misses more than 20 days of instruction because of the strike may be subject to make-up work through such measures as an extended school year, structured independent study, e-school courses, or programmed learning. Specific requirements will be determined by the Board of Education in conjunction with applicable collective bargaining considerations.

Q. If a strike occurs, which Department of Education employees are required to report to work?

A. All salaried school-level employees who are not in the Hawai'i State Teachers Association bargaining unit are required to report to work. This includes principals, vice principals, school administrative services assistants, clerical employees, educational assistants, library assistants, cafeteria workers, school custodians, school security attendants, professional special services employees (speech pathologists, psychological examiners, social workers), athletic directors, teachers on 49 percent contracts, Junior ROTC instructors, and special education teachers who were hired by DOE contractors. At the state and district level, all employees must report to work.

Teachers at New Century Public Charter Schools — who are hired by their local boards of education — must report to work, except for student services coordinators.

School health aides, as well as licensed practical nurses who are assigned to certain schools, are Department of Health employees and must report to work as usual.

HSTA members who are eligible to strike include all classroom teachers, counselors, school librarians, registrars and student services coordinators.

Q. Will regular substitute teachers be hired to conduct classes during a strike?

A. Generally, no. Prior assignments for substitutes that occur during the strike period will be canceled. If a school is open to students and a nonstriking teacher requires a substitute, the principals or school administrative services assistants may arrange for one. The T-SEAS computerized system will be closed for the duration of the strike. Whenever used, substitute teachers will serve only as temporary manpower and not as permanent replacements for legally striking workers.

Q. Will adult volunteers conduct classes?

A. In general, only teachers and other qualified DOE employees will be used as classroom instructors. Principals may decide to use volunteers who are already known to the school to supplement and assist in the classrooms.

Q. Which DOE employees should not report to work during a strike?

A. School-level employees paid hourly wages should not report to work unless called in as needed by the school principals. This includes part-time temporary teachers, After-School Plus workers, emergency hires, substitutes, adult supervisors, classroom cleaners, and paraprofessional tutors.