July 26, 2001
Contact: Rep. Colleen Meyer
Tel.: 586-8540

GOP: Resolve Teachers' Contract Now!

House Republicans said mismanagement by both union leadership and State Administrators are stopping implementation of the teachers' contract. Failure to move quickly shows Democratic leaders are uninterested in either challenging the Governor or supporting teachers.

"The teachers are being let down by the people that negotiated this contract," said Rep. Colleen Meyer, (R-Kahaluu, Laie). "Right now they are suffering due to inept negotiators. They deserve both an apology and a quick resolution."

Republicans said everyone supported the teachers during the strike, but support has fallen off since. "We all want the teachers to do what they do best, and that is teach," said Meyer. "So we call on the Governor and union leaders to find the money needed to live up to their agreement. Where are the Democrat leaders demanding action?"

" Every teacher I know believed the contract called for a multi-year increase based on professional degrees," said Rep. Guy Ontai, (R-Mililani). "If you got the total cost wrong, that is not the fault of the teachers. You need to fix the problem by finding money, perhaps from some of the special funds our state auditor recommended repealing, to keep your end of the bargain. You can't say, 'change the agreement because we screwed up'."

Ontai added, "It's too easy for negotiators to ignore the teachers. "There is something wrong with this picture: players sit in nice air-conditioned offices while teachers living up to their end of the deal roast in classrooms," said Ontai. "The longer this drags out, the harder the slap in the face we give teachers."