Jan. 7—The Hawaii State Teachers Association confirmed that Green told the union he intends to propose the tax credit to the state Legislature, which opens Jan. 18.
After denying Hawaii's public school teachers the two extra paid workdays off that he offered to salaried state employees for the holidays, Gov. Josh Green now says he will propose a $500 annual tax credit in their place.
The Hawaii State Teachers Association confirmed that Green told the union he intends to propose the tax credit to the state Legislature, which opens Jan. 18.
A post on the HSTA website on Friday said Green told the union, "I appreciate everything our teachers do for our keiki and realize that the current federal $300 teacher tax deduction doesn't nearly cover what our teachers spend out of their own pockets for their classes. In my upcoming legislative package, I will propose creating a non-refundable state tax credit for teachers worth $500 to account for a portion of those out-of-pocket expenses."
The HSTA said on its website that its president, Osa Tui Jr., recently reached out to Green, who apologized for the confusion over the leave offer.
The union, which represents Hawaii's 12, 600 public school teachers, declined a Honolulu Star-Advertiser request for comment.
Green announced Dec. 9 that all full-time salaried state employees would be given 16 hours of administrative leave for Dec. 23 and 30 "in recognition of the loyal and faithful service of our public employees and in keeping with the holiday season." State schools Superintendent Keith Hayashi soon afterward sent similar information in a memo to DOE deputy superintendents, assistant superintendents, complex-area superintendents and principals.
But those days fell during the schools' winter break, and HSTA Bargaining Unit 05 classroom teachers and other school employees who were already scheduled to be on vacation learned Dec. 23 that they would be ineligible for the special administrative leave.
It was not immediately clear whether some school employees represented by the Hawaii Government Employees Association who also were found ineligible for the holiday leave will be offered anything in trade by Green.
Meanwhile, thousands of other state workers took four-day weekends surrounding Christmas and New Year's Day. Those who were eligible but couldn't be spared from work that day, or who already had paid time off, are permitted to take two alternate days off up to Feb. 28.