Monday, April 22, 2024
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Monday, March 30, 2015
Political Fight Over Teachers' Mailboxes
By Selected News Articles @ 1:39 PM :: 6126 Views :: Education K-12, Ethics, Labor

Political Fight Over Teachers' Mailboxes

by Rein M. Terrado, Courthouse News, March 30, 2015

HONOLULU (CN) - The state teachers union sued Hawaii for banning the use of teachers' school mailboxes to distribute campaign materials for union elections.

The Hawaii State Teachers Association claims that in state court that it's been using teachers' mailboxes to circulate candidate information for more than 43 years.

The union holds elections for officers and representatives every three years. It will send out ballots for this year's election on April 13. Voting concludes April 24.

According to the March 23 complaint in First Circuit Court, the Hawaii State Ethics Commission told a candidate that putting flyers in teachers' mailboxes was "prohibited as it was a personal benefit to a candidate."

The warning came after elementary schoolteacher Justin Hughey, a candidate for HSTA vice president, tried to distribute a 1-page flyer in Maui High School on March 3.

The union claims that a School Administrative Services Assistant told Hughey that he could distribute the flyers "so long as it was done by an HSTA faculty representative."

But on March 12, Ethics Commission Executive Director Leslie Kondo issued an advisory opinion, stating, "the teacher's intended use of the school mailboxes as a means to distribute his HSTA-related campaign materials is inappropriate and would violate the State Ethics Code."

"We believe that the teacher's campaign for HSTA elected office constitutes a private business activity, and accordingly, he cannot use school resources for that purpose," Kondo wrote.

But the union claims that teachers' mailboxes are the "sole global means by which to reach the HSTA membership" in the most cost-effective manner.

The Department of Education prohibits HSTA candidates from using government e-mail services for union election-related activities.

The union asks the court to uphold the 43-year-old practice and allow the union to use teachers' mailboxes for the election in April.

The State of Hawaii, the Department of Education, Gov. David Ige, and state Superintendent of Education Kathryn Matayoshi are also defendants.

The teachers union popularized the line: "Fool us once, shame on you. Fool us twice, shame on us. This time, we're voting for David Ige," during the 2014 election.

In 2011, then-Gov. Neil Abercrombie imposed a teachers' contract with pay cuts of nearly 5 percent. The union then bombarded the state with its ads for Ige, a political newcomer. Apparently, it paid off. In 2014 Abercrombie became the first Hawaii governor to lose to a primary challenger, and only the second to lose a bid for re-election.

The union represents 13,500 teachers.


ILind: HSTA and DOE agree on TRO blocking latest ethics ruling

CB: Hawaii Monitor: Ethics Commission Ruling Draws Teachers’ Union Lawsuit

ILind: State Ethics ruling triggers two-pronged HSTA legal action

ILind: Is union candidate access to school mailboxes an “unwarranted” privilege?


TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


808 Silent Majority

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center


Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together



Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Moms for Liberty

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

July 4 in Hawaii

Kakaako Cares

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii


Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

ReRoute the Rail

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

School Choice in Hawaii

Sink the Jones Act

Statehood for Guam

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

UCC Truths

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

VAREP Honolulu

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii