Lingle says HSTA cares 'more about money than children'
Gov. Linda Lingle, responding to a prohibited practice complaint filed against her yesterday by the Hawaii State Teachers Association, last night accused the HSTA of caring “more about money than educating Hawaii’s children.”
The union’s complaint with the state labor board says Lingle “willfully and unlawfully” killed a tentative agreement with the Board of Education to end furlough days for the rest of the school year.
The agreement, reached in December, would have resulted in seven furlough days being cut this year by using $36 million from the state’s so-called rainy day fund. It would have left 17 furlough days for the next school year.
Lingle rejected the plan and offered one of her own, in which $50 million in rainy-day funds would be used to cancel 24 furlough days both this year and next year.
HSTA’s complaint says Lingle does not have the authority to kill the plan and asks the labor board to force Lingle to fund the original agreement.
“Instead of accepting the generous offer of $50 million I proposed last November that will allow the immediate return of children and teachers to the classroom, the HSTA is spending their time on frivolous complaints,” Lingle said in a statement.
“It is clear that the HSTA sees their chance to squeeze more money out of taxpayers slipping away as others in the community lobby legislators for portions of the Rainy Day fund."
Lingle said the complaint “lacks substance and merit.”