Magazine article American Libraries

Strikes Shut Hawaii Schools and Colleges

Magazine article American Libraries

Strikes Shut Hawaii Schools and Colleges

Article excerpt

Separate strikes by nearly 13,000 Hawaii public-school teachers and librarians and 3,100 university faculty members closed campuses across the state April 5 in what was thought to be the nation's first-ever statewide shutdown of all levels of public education. The walkouts affected some 180,000 schoolchildren and 42,000 students at the university's 10 campuses.

Salaries were the key issue in both strikes. Hawaii has the nation's highest cost of living, and both the Hawaii State Teachers Association and the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly say inadequate pay levels have caused recruitment difficulties.

Nearly all of the 52 librarians at the University of Hawaii/Manoa, the system's flagship campus, honored the strike, said Interim University Librarian Jean Ehrhorn. She told American Libraries that the library remained open, although no reference service was available. However, Ehrhorn noted that the library depends highly on student employees for circulation and shelving work; if fewer students report for work because they're honoring picket lines or simply not coming to campus, she warned, the library may not be able to remain open. …

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