Office of the Governor – News Release – Tentative Agreement Reached on Salary Adjustments for Public School Educational Assistants and Vice Principals

Posted on Aug 31, 2023 in Latest Department News, Newsroom, Office of the Governor Press Releases

HONOLULU — Governor Josh Green, M.D., today announced a tentative agreement with the Hawai‘i State Department of Education (HIDOE) and Hawai‘i Government Employees Association (HGEA), to strengthen recruitment and retention efforts for critical positions supporting student achievement.

The proposal, which still needs to be ratified to take effect, would increase pay for educational assistants and vice principals in Hawai‘i public schools.

“These salary adjustments recognize the increasing and evolving responsibilities of these roles and align with the Board of Education’s strategic plan priority around ensuring all of our public schools have a high-quality workforce to improve student success,” said Governor Green.

The Department of Education (HIDOE) employs 2,550 educational assistants (EAs) statewide who play a vital role in classrooms, providing academic and behavioral support for vulnerable learners and assisting teachers with managing their classrooms. There are currently 600 educational assistant vacancies. The proposed salary adjustments would increase the annual salary for educational assistants by an average 8% over two years by moving EAs to a higher salary range each year for the next two years. The average base salary will increase from $35,425 to $40,611.

HIDOE vice principals, meanwhile, would be converted from their current 10-month status (aligned to the academic school year) to year-round employees in line with principals and Act 51 that was passed in 2004. Vice principals support school principals with daily operations, provide instructional leadership and student support, and engage with families, community members and business partners to advance priorities for student learning.

The HIDOE employs 379 vice principals statewide. The agreement would increase the annual salary for vice principals by 20% — from an average of $96,912 to $116,292 in fiscal year 2024.

“We greatly appreciate Governor Green and his administration for taking the time to understand our recruitment and retention challenges and for investing in our educators and educational leaders. This move will help our schools attract and retain experienced professionals who are essential to advancing public education in Hawai‘i,” Superintendent Keith Hayashi said. “We also acknowledge the partnership with HGEA to make this happen along with the support of our legislators and Board of Education.”

“Following our urgent calls on the state to resolve pay equity for school employees, HGEA is pleased that Gov. Green and Superintendent Hayashi were willing to work with us to address pay parity for these dedicated public servants who are critical to the education and care of Hawaii’s students,” HGEA Executive Director Randy Perreira said. “We look forward to continued collaboration with them to address wage and recruitment issues for other DOE employees to ensure high-quality services for our students.”

The tentative agreement will need to be ratified by affected members of HGEA’s unit 3 and unit 6, representing educational assistants and vice principals, respectively.

The total estimated cost to increase compensation for educational assistants and convert vice principals to 12-month employees is $13 million in fiscal 2024 and $20.5 million the following fiscal year. The figures cover salary and fringe for nearly 3,000 existing HIDOE employees and charter school employees.

Media Contacts:

Erika Engle 

Press Secretary 

Office of the Governor, State of Hawai‘i 

Office: (808) 586-0121

Email: [email protected]


Makana McClellan   

Director of Communications   

Office of the Governor, State of Hawaiʻi  

Cell: (808) 265-0083

Email: [email protected]