Categorized | Education

HSTA president’s statement on ‘No’ vote

The following statement was issued Thursday, Jan. 19 by Hawaii State Teachers Association president Wil Okabe:

Mahalo to each of you who came out to vote on the proposed new contract. I talked to hundreds of you this week personally and at some of the polling locations. I could tell from the questions many teachers had that the vote would be against ratification.

Only 33 percent of you voted ‘yes,’ while 67 percent voted ‘no.’

When an organization like ours makes decisions by allowing everyone’s voice to be heard, it is always a victory for a union democracy.

While I recommended the proposal to you, my real job is to carry out the decisions you make.

So beginning tomorrow, I will initiate a union-wide conversation about our options going forward, listen to your suggestions, roll up my sleeves, and get back to work.

Many of you have suggested that we return to the negotiating table. Others of you believe a strike vote should be our next step. And still others have suggested that we continue with our legal challenges. Each of these points of view should be considered and discussed.

We will do so, together.

Tonight I will rest easy knowing that as long as we stay together, we will achieve what is best.

For now, I ask that each of you – no matter how you voted – stay focused. We cannot grow tired or weary because our cause is just.

So after you get a chance to sleep on tonight’s results, please join me in a constructive dialogue about what we should do next. It is our duty to one another and my pledge to you.

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