Maui teachers around the island will be sign-waving near their schools today between 3 and 4 p.m. in a message to the governor about their contract, or lack of one.
Karolyn Mossman, a teacher at Kalama Intermediate, said the sign-waving is about letting Gov. Neil Abercrombie know that he needs to honor the agreement that teachers ratified in May. She said Hawaii public school teachers have been working without a contract for about a year and a half.
It's a matter of "respecting us a little more," she said.
Another teacher, who wished to remain anonymous, said the teachers union, the Hawaii State Teachers Association, wants to tell politicians to negotiate and cooperate.
"Do not mandate nor give ultimatums to the people working daily with and for Hawaii's keiki," the teacher said in an email. "Hawaii needs to keep (retain) the best teachers they can, as long as they can, in the classroom and attract new, high-quality, well-qualified teachers into the profession for the good of individuals and the community. Continuing to cut salaries is bad."
In July 2011, the governor and school officials imposed its last, best and final offer on teachers, which included pay reductions and increased contributions to health care premiums.
HSTA and the state came to a tentative agreement in January on a six-year contract. However, the teachers voted down the proposal.
A revote was held in May, and the tentative agreement was ratified, but the governor said at the time that the agreement was no longer valid.