The state is paying a Honolulu lawyer $50,000 to help in its conflict with the Hawaii State Teachers Association.

The union filed a labor complaint against the state on July 8 after Gov. Neil Abercrombie, Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi and Board of Education Chairman Don Horner unilaterally imposed a new employment contract on Hawaii’s 12,500 teachers. Civil Beat reported that the dispute will likely come down to an untested law about what constitutes impasse in public labor negotiations.

And the state has tapped Robert S. Katz, an attorney in Honolulu, to represent its case, according to the Hawaii Reporter. He represented the state two years ago in a similar dispute with the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly.

Katz received a no-bid contract from the Attorney General’s office. The state didn’t have time to hold a bid competition, the state Procurement Office said, because the matter is urgent.

Read the full story at Hawaii Reporter.

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