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The Honolulu Advertiser

Updated at 10:53 a.m., Thursday, May 2, 2002

Pay for substitute teachers increased

By Jennifer Hiller
Advertiser Education Writer

The Department of Education will start paying substitute teachers $112.92 a day for work this school year­ a move that could cost millions in back pay.

State schools chief Pat Hamamoto has ordered the department to start processing the estimated $3 million to $5 million it owes substitutes, but the effort could take months.

The pay rate will likely come as a disappointment to substitutes. The department yesterday said it would pay all substitutes $133 a day for their work.

Now an interpretation from the Attorney General's office and the governor's chief negotiator says the pay should be $112.92. Substitute pay will not rise to $133 a day until the spring semester of 2003 under the new interpretation.

Substitutes have been earning between $97.90 and $113.20 a day based on teaching experience and education level.

DOE spokesman Greg Knudsen said the department will try to continue paying its most experienced substitutes the $133.20 rate and not give them a pay cut.

The pay rate was approved last year and was supposed to start July 1, but it was never implemented because the DOE said it did not get money to pay for the raises.

The governor's office has said that money was provided through the collective bargaining agreement, but DOE officials say they still do not know where the money will come from.

The DOE personnel office will begin contacting the more than 5,200 substitutes who work in the DOE system to check their accounting records, said spokesman Greg Knudsen.

Substitute teachers are not members of the Hawai'i State Teachers Association, but their pay traditionally has been tied to collective bargaining agreements.

The department also is still working to process bonuses for thousands of teachers who have master's degrees and professional diplomas. The differential pay was included in the contract approved a year ago.