HSTA: Breakthrough in Stalled Negotiations

Katherine Poythress/Civil Beat

UPDATED 5/3/12 10:30 a.m.

Hawaii teachers will vote again on the contract settlement offer they overwhelmingly rejected in January, union leaders announced Wednesday night.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie's negotiating team returned to the bargaining table with the Hawaii State Teachers Association April 5. Less than a month later, those talks are apparently bearing fruit.

HSTA President Wil Okabe sent an email blast to members and posted a lengthy message on the union's Facebook page explaining the decision. The HSTA bargaining team and the union's board of directors unanimously decided Tuesday evening to ask the membership to reconsider the Jan. 6 tentative settlement.

Okabe also acknowledged that his team made a mistake in the way they handled the last vote, and promised not to repeat the flub.

"In order to rectify our mistake in rushing a ratification vote on January 19 — less than two weeks after the settlement was negotiated — we are initiating a full schedule of informational meetings for HSTA members," Okabe wrote in his letter to the governor announcing the board's decision.

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