New Hawaii Teacher Contract Nowhere in Sight

Civil Beat composite

Hawaii State Teachers Association President Wil Okabe has accused Gov. Neil Abercrombie of being "infected by the Mainland political strategy of attacking teacher unions" and having better things to spend money on than schools.

The heated rhetoric had come more from the governor earlier this year, but now it's union leaders who are lobbing the most lurid insults.

Okabe sent the fiery letter to teachers last week as they prepared to start a second year working under a contract Abercrombie imposed last July, which included pay cuts and increases in health care costs. The threatening language likely won't expedite an accord on a new collective bargaining agreement.

The state and union haven't managed to set a time this summer to sit down and negotiate a contract, let alone agree to its terms. There's even disagreement and confusion over what proposals are on the table.

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