Reflecting lingering bad feelings about a protracted standoff in labor negotiations, now settled, the Hawaii State Teachers Association today announced its support for state Sen. David Ige in the Democratic primary for governor.

That’s a blow to Gov. Neil Abercrombie, the incumbent seeking re-election. The governor angered the 13,500-member union by imposing cuts to salaries and health benefits after the administration could not reach agreement with the union. 

The two sides settled a contract last year that restored the cuts and increased pay.

“David Ige has led the charge to allocate funds that go directly to schools and the classroom to give students, teachers, and schools the supports and resources needed to be successful. In addition, he has introduced and helped pass legislation that provided millions of dollars in funding for school capital improvement projects, and has encouraged innovation at the school and classroom level,” said HSTA President Wil Okabe in a press release. “David Ige is the type of leader our community needs to lead our school system into the future, and HSTA is proud to recommend him for Governor.”


Photo: State Sen. David Ige. (Courtesy)

—Chad Blair