Top 10 Outrageous Facts About the Hawaii State Teachers’ Association-Part of a Series

    article top

    ‘The Hawaii State Teachers’ Union (HSTA) is the only union for Hawaii’s public school teachers. This report, “10 Shocking Facts about the Hawaii State Teachers Association” is part of a series on the state public school system.’

    *10. In fiscal year 2008-09, the National Education Association (NEA) gave teacher dues to the Hawaii State Teachers’ Association (HSTA) $538,144 to defeat ballot measures or legislative initiatives. (Information courtesy of the Education Intelligence Agency). Of that, $325,000 was spent to defeat a vote for a Constitutional Convention, which could have given the electorate an opportunity to break up Hawaii’s single, statewide public education system and make other changes to the state constitution.


    *9. In fiscal year 2007, HSTA income was $909,492 over expenditures. In 2005, teachers struggled to gain less than a 3 percent raise per year, while their union leaders got raises of 15 to 20 percent and dues were hiked by a collective $600,000. Top HSTA administrators are paid approximately $160,000 per year.

    *8. HSTA bylaws now require teachers to pay “1 percent of the highest teacher annual rate of pay” in dues instead of the previous “1 percent of the average statewide salary.” This means new teachers making $36,000 per year pay the same dues as senior teachers making $78,000 per year.

    *7. Hawaii’s public schools employ 6,300 classroom teachers, but there are 13,048 HSTA members.

    *6. The purpose of the HSTA, as stated in its 2009 amended bylaws, is no longer “to represent teachers” but “to serve as a labor organization.”

    *5. The HSTA fought in 2006 to reinstate the VEBA trust fund for teachers’ medical insurance. By March 2009, the HSTA Member Benefits Corporation (MBC) filed for bankruptcy. Attorneys and CPAs then discovered that MBC activities and finances had been “grossly mismanaged,” according to a March 2, 2009 letter from the HSTA to its members. The letter reported that there were “off-balance sheet funds that resulted in MBC’s failing to report and pay taxes, resulting in a tremendous liability to the company, including unpaid taxes, extensive penalties, and interest.” The HSTA invested member dues as sole stockholder of MBC. U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Case No. 09-00450 lists $575,403.39 in personal property and $780,446.61 in liabilities. Schedule B, Item 21, Potential Claims include: HSTA MBC CEO/Pres. Raymond Sodetani