HONOLULU (KHON2) — Patience is about to pay off for thousands of Hawaii teachers waiting for their pay raises. The Department of Education said teachers will start getting them in November. Their union said this is a big step in retaining and attracting Hawaii educators.

Teachers have been wondering for months when they’ll see their pay raise. The schools’ superintendent made the announcement in Thursday’s school board meeting.

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“After this board meeting, the department will begin the process to effectuate payments. It is anticipated the teachers will begin seeing the adjustments in their November 18, 2022 paycheck,” said Keith Hayashi, State Schools Superintendent.

The announcement by DOE was highly anticipated. Teachers have been waiting for the pay raises since the governor approved it in July.

“I was absolutely ecstatic and thrilled that patience and perseverance has paid off, said Ashley Olson, a teacher at Lahainaluna High School.

DOE said more than 9,000 teachers will be getting the bump in pay, which represents about 72 percent of all public school teachers.

They’ll get anywhere between $1,524 to $18,056 a year, depending on how long they’ve been with the DOE. The purpose was to keep veteran teachers in the classroom by eliminating a problem called salary compression.

“We know that many teachers were going to step away and retire after this year. There’s a nationwide shortage of teachers, and so the fact that so many of them are going to stick it out and stay a few more years really benefits our students,” said Osa Tui, Hawaii State Teachers Association president.

Teachers have complained for years that there weren’t enough pay raises for the veteran teachers. In the past it took 33 to 35 years for a teacher to reach the top of the pay scale.

“And so what we’ve done is we fixed it so that if you’re at 22 years of service and beyond you’ll be at the top of the pay scale,” said Tui.

“So this is gonna mean a pretty significant jump for me and yeah, I’m pretty excited,” said Olson.

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As to why it’s taken this long to implement the raises, the DOE said it had to work closely with HSTA, the Office of Collective Bargaining, and the Department of Budget and Finance to determine who gets how much. The raises will be retroactive from the beginning of the school year.