Categorized | Education

Governor, BOE, DOE, HSTA sign 4-year teacher contract


Gov. Neil Abercrombie, Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi, Hawaii State Teachers Association (HSTA) President Wil Okabe, and other members of the state and HSTA negotiating teams have signed a four-year agreement for a new teachers contract.

The execution of the contract followed last night’s ratification of the contract by HSTA’s membership of the state’s public school teachers.

“This is a milestone for education in Hawaii – for our teachers, our students and their families,” Abercrombie said. “This contract provides opportunities for annual pay increases that are long overdue after years of sacrifice from teachers and other public employees. These shared sacrifices allowed us to administer the state in a fiscally sound manner and avoid layoffs to balance the budget. With the improving economic projections by the Council of Revenue, we were able to offer a comprehensive and favorable contract.”

“The new contract supports teachers in a way that allows a collective focus in our efforts towards supporting student achievement and meeting our strategic goals to transform public education in Hawaii,” Matayoshi said. “Teachers are critically important because they are the frontline to our students. The contract provides for professional development to support teachers’ work and opportunities to recognize excellence and teachers’ contribution towards student growth.”

“We are appreciative and proud of the cooperation and commitment of our teachers,” said Don Horner, chair of the Hawaii Board of Education. “Our job now is to honor that commitment by ensuring that the evaluation process is fair and leads to professional development and student achievement. Teachers and the HSTA are key partners in the important endeavor for our children and our state.”

The four-year contract provides for:

* Annual pay increases for teachers rated as effective

* New performance evaluation that considers both teachers’ professional practice and teachers’ contribution to student learning and growth in determining a teachers’ rating of effectiveness

* More rigorous probation for new teachers and a professional recognition when beginning teachers complete their performance-based probation

* Additional hours of training and professional support for teachers

As part of the agreement, HSTA agreed to the state’s terms for the 2011-2013 contract period and to withdraw the teachers union’s complaint at the Hawaii Labor Relations Board regarding that contract.

The next step in the process is for the state Legislature to fund the agreement as part of the state’s biennium budget. Abercrombie has transmitted a message to the Legislature requesting the contract be funded.

“On behalf of myself, Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi, and Board of Education Chairman Don Horner, we extend our sincere appreciation to Hawaii’s teachers for their dedication, sacrifices and professionalism in the classroom,” Abercrombie said. “We are also grateful to the negotiating teams and to Carol Catanzariti of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services, who mediated the negotiations to reach the March 25 agreement.”

2013 Teacher Contract Highlights

On April 17, 2013, Hawaii’s public school teachers ratified a historic contract agreement that includes the Department of Education’s new Educator Effectiveness System (EES).

This system supports a comprehensive approach to professional growth from probation to support for improvement to pay increases for those teachers rates as effective or better.

At the core of the EES is a comprehensive teacher evaluation component that provides teachers with targeted feedback and an annual performance rating based 50% on teacher practice and 50% on student growth measures, as required by State Board of Education policy.

In following best practice, the new teacher evaluation model incorporates multiple measures of performance for teachers.

The contract provides for several key safeguards, including the full participation of the Hawaii State Teachers Association (HSTA) in monitoring the development and implementation of the evaluation system. The four-year contract provides for yearly salary increases, connecting teacher pay to annual performance evaluations and teacher professional development. Below are a few facts about implications for teachers.

Q: How is “effective performance” determined?

Each year, teachers receive one of four performance ratings (Highly Effective, Effective, Marginal or Unsatisfactory) based on a new performance evaluation that draws upon multiple measures and is equally weighted between measures of teacher practice and student learning and growth.

Q: How is the evaluation fair and transparent?

No negative personnel action will occur as a result of the evaluation rating for the first year of initial statewide implementation (2013-14).

Key safeguards are in place. All teachers will receive an orientation on the new performance evaluation prior to the start of school and the Department will certify all classroom observers.

Beginning Spring 2015, teachers rated as Marginal may file an expedited appeal for review of their evaluation evidence, and teachers rated as unsatisfactory may continue to use the grievance process.

HSTA and the Department agree to form a Joint Committee to review the performance evaluation and recommend any necessary adjustments to the Board of Education and State Superintendent.

Q: How are teachers compensated?

Effective July 1, 2013, prior 5% labor savings will be restored restored, while teachers alternate between annual step movements on the salary schedule and 3.2% across the board pay increases. Teachers at the top of the salary schedule will receive a $1,500 stipend in lieu of a step movement.

To receive any pay increases (step movement, across the board increases or reclassification) beginning with increases at the beginning of the 2015-16 school year, the teacher must be rated effective or higher during the previous school year based on the new performance evaluation.

Additional course taking that counts toward job reclassification and pay increases must be in line with the Strategic Plan’s priorities.

The State will contribute the value of 60 percent of the premium of the benchmark plan toward teachers’ health insurance.

HSTA and the State will contract a third party to conduct a benchmark study of teacher compensation to be completed in Fall 2014.

Q: How will teachers receive supports to become more effective?

All teacher work days are restored to 2009 levels.

In school year 2013-14 and 2014-15, teachers are paid for 21 additional hours of job-embedded professional development, to support of implementation of Common Core State Standards and the new performance evaluation.

Schools are encouraged to modify instructional schedules so as to increase course offerings, maximize available instructional time for students and provide job embedded professional development.

Q: What does this means for probationary teachers?

For new hires, probation is extended from two to three years. Notably, probationary teachers must be rated as Effective on the new performance evaluation for two consecutive years to receive tenure. Teachers have a maximum of five years to achieve tenure.

Teachers who achieve tenure under the new probation policy will receive a one-time bonus of $2500 in recognition of their professional status.

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