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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Thursday, September 6, 2001

Kamehameha teachers ratify contract

By Curtis Lum
Advertiser Staff Writer

Kamehameha Schools' faculty union has overwhelmingly ratified a three-year contract effective until June 2004.

The contract, covering the Kapalama Heights campus' 244 teachers and librarians, provides for pay increases of 5.04 percent, 6.69 percent and 4.37 percent in each year of its duration. Faculty members earn between $36,340 and $74,625, said union president Larry McElheny.

The contract was the first extended collective bargaining agreement between the 3-year-old union and the administrators of Kamehameha Schools, formerly known as Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate.

The Kamehameha Schools Faculty Association was formed March 23, 1998, in response to reprimands against members of the teachers' group Na Kumu O Kamehameha. Na Kumu members had been punished for writing letters criticizing then-Bishop Estate trustee Lokelani Lindsey.

McElheny said that during negotiations for the first contract, management fought the union activity and "made it difficult to negotiate."

But with the removal of all five trustees and a court-ordered shift to a corporate structure, negotiations improved this time around, McElheny said.

"This one was way, way better," McElheny said.

In addition to the pay increases, he said, improvements were made to the faculty's grievance procedure and retirement savings account.

Kamehameha officials could not be reached for comment.