HSTA did not invent Teacher Institute Day. The Hawaii State Legislature created it in the 1960s to provide time for teachers to meet together and work on school related topics.
In 1972, HSTA included Teacher Institute Day into the collective bargaining agreement to protect it should the Legislature decide to take the day away. During bargaining, the Employer wanted teachers to sign it and the sign in sheets turned into each principal. If a teacher did not attend, the Employer would dock the teacher pay. The Association maintained that teachers were not babies and were professional enough to go to the Institute without threats.
To ensure that all islands had an equal opportunity to hear from the keynote speakers, the institutes were spread out during Institute Week with guest speakers and HSTA staff riding the circuit. NEA presidents or other NEA dignitaries were major draws affording Hawaii’s teachers an unique opportunity to hear important speakers on issues affecting their careers: an opportunity not shared by many Mainland teachers.
In a landmark case, a teacher was injured when her car was rear ended by another automobile and won a workers’ compensation case when the court ruled that Teacher Institute was a work day and not a personal day.
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