Former HSTA Director: Furloughs Should Have Been on Paid Holidays Rather Than Fridays

Joan Husted

She's been retired two and a half years, but she has the answer to just about every question related to Hawaii schools.

Joan Husted started out as a teacher in the late '60s and in 1971 became one of the founders of the Hawaii's State Teachers Association union. For the next 36 years, she was the union's chief negotiator. Her negotiation for a 17 percent teacher salary increase in 1997 made her a legend. Before retiring, she served seven years as HSTA's executive director.

Even though she's no longer involved with the union, few people are more abreast of education issues in Hawaii than Husted. So I sat down with her recently to talk story. The scene: Zippy's dining room on Vineyard Street. Over coffee and apple pie, Husted shared some historical perspective on collective bargaining issues, and shared with me her shockingly simple yet practical solution that could have prevented Furlough Fridays: Furlough teachers on paid holidays instead of school days.

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