- Associated Press - Friday, April 28, 2017

HONOLULU (AP) - More than 25,000 Hawaii state workers will receive raises and improved medical benefits within the next two years.

The Hawaii Government Employees Association union representing the workers finalized a deal Thursday to boost the workers’ salaries 4.25 percent over the next two years, Hawaii News Now reported (https://bit.ly/2poVw8p ).

“Although it’s not as much as we wanted and believe you deserve, the award is significantly more than the employers offered before we went to arbitration,” said an internal union memo.

The workers’ pay will increase 2 percent on July one and an additional 2.25 percent pay raise next year. Employer contributions toward the workers’ medical insurance will increase 9 percent.

Despite the increases, union executive director Randy Perreira said Hawaii’s high cost of living makes it difficult for many working families to make ends meet.

“There is still work to be done to bring salaries up to a competitive level in order to recruit and retain the best possible workforce,” Perreira said.

Information meetings are being scheduled to explain the agreement to union workers.

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