Office of the Governor – News Release – 92% of Hawai‘i public school teachers vote in favor of new contract

Posted on Apr 27, 2023 in Latest Department News, Newsroom, Office of the Governor Press Releases

HONOLULU, HI  ̶  Hawaiʻi’s public school teachers have overwhelmingly approved a new four-year contract providing pay raises of approximately 14.5%, as well as other cost and non-cost improvements.

“We have a deep appreciation for Hawaii’s teachers and this contract was meant to demonstrate that. By raising starting salaries to $50,000, we hope more of Hawaii’s young men and women will aspire to become teachers,” said Governor Green. “Higher salaries and bonuses for veteran teachers will also improve teacher retention and reduce teacher shortages. Good public education remains one of our top priorities.”

Pay bonuses in the ratified agreement will strengthen retention of experienced, top-scale teachers, while pay increases in the new contract will apply to instructors who are teachers working toward state licensure. The increase is one of the contract’s key tools for invigorating teacher recruitment.

Specialized teachers whose after-hours work to support extracurricular programs including band, chorus and drama, now will be recognized financially for their often life-changing contributions to the lives of their students.

“HSTA thanks bargaining unit members who came out today to ratify a new four-year contract, which will help to recruit and retain teachers and give further stability for our keiki to have highly qualified teachers in their classrooms, said Osa Tui, HSTA president.

To help offset Hawaiʻi’s cost of living, employer contributions to teachers’ health insurance premiums will also increase in the new contract.

“We’re happy to see the overwhelming support from teachers for this contract that all sides worked diligently on, to elevate the teaching profession in our public schools,” said Department of Education Superintendent Keith Hayashi. The Department appreciates the collaborative effort with HSTA, Governor Green, and his administration.”

The agreement aligns with Governor Green’s priorities in that it will provide financial relief to valued educators, to help keep them at home in the islands.

“Raising the beginning teachers’ pay from the upper $38,000s to $50,000 – that is remarkable…we’ve never seen anything like that,” said Louise Cayetano, a Fern Elementary STEM/robotics teacher. “We want to thank the governor and everyone involved – in the Legislature, and our bargaining teams for their support..”

Photos and video from the April 17 news conference announcing the tentative agreement are available online.

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Media Contacts:   

Erika Engle
Press Secretary
Office of the Governor, State of Hawai‘i
Cell: (808) 798-6081
Email: [email protected] 


Makana McClellan
Director of Communications
Office of the Governor, State of Hawaiʻi
Cell: (808) 265-0083
Email: [email protected]