The latest teacher contract was a good start. Time to start thinking about the next one.
A few hours after voting commenced last week, a verdict had been reached. Teachers overwhelmingly supported the new contract that, among other things, will increase starting salaries for new teachers and guarantee pay increases for all teachers every year for the next four years, no strings attached. It will take effect starting July 1.
Although there was some pushback against the contract for not going far enough, the broad sentiment from the time it was announced was one of excitement.
It’s easy to understand why. Who would turn down a 14.5% raise over four years, especially when the last contract’s biggest accomplishment was avoiding pay cuts.
This was a much-needed win for teachers, but also for the Hawaii State Teachers Association and its president Osa Tui Jr., who took over in 2021 a month after the previous contract was ratified. This was the first major hurdle under his tenure, and he cleared it with relative ease.
But it’s important to maintain perspective. The new contract is a step in the right direction, but it’s also just that — a step…