Health Insurance Open Enrollment Premium Rates

 

There has been some confusion over the EUTF rates that apply to faculty members in bargaining unit 7. At the EUTF meetings, faculty members were not given the exact premium they would have to pay for health insurance plans because the state was waiting for the contract negotiations with the other public sector unions to be completed and approved by the Legislature. This is actually a substantial benefit for all faculty members needing health insurance coverage.

UHPA negotiated a “most favored nation” clause in the UHPA/BOR 2003-2009 collective bargaining agreement for faculty members in bargaining unit 7 which requires the State to pay the highest employer contribution for the EUTF benefit plans found in all the 13 bargaining unit public employee contracts. The contract with the state teachers’ union has just concluded, and that agreement may provide a higher employer contribution for those selecting Kaiser Permanente. The EUTF is still making a comparison of rates that include administrative fees to determine if the HSTA settlement would lead to lower premium contributions for faculty members selecting Kaiser coverage. UHPA has also put the State Office of Collective Bargaining on notice that UHPA expects that the best EUTF rates for health benefit plans, i.e., medical, dental, vision, would be applied. Thus far EUTF has been unable to tell faculty members what the exact rates would be because they were waiting for the HSTA contract to be ratified. If those turn out to be better rates, then they will be applied to faculty members (BU 07), regardless of the initial estimates given in the EUTF informational meetings.

As an example, it appears based on the HSTA Kaiser rates, that the Employee will be paying $410/month for full family coverage (as opposed to the EUTF quoted $443/month) or $113/monthy for single person coverage (as opposed to the EUTF quoted $136/month.)  Unlike the EUTF, the HSTA plan does not have a two-person benefit option, so that rate would remain the same $342/month. However, these are just preliminary estimates made by UHPA. The actual difference may change.

All faculty members can be assured that they will receive the highest State Employer contribution being made to any other public employee or teacher in the state based on the benefit plan they select.

April 2007 Board Notes


NEA HIGHER EDUCATION DIRECTOR’S REPORT

NEA Higher Education Director Sally Pestana expressed appreciation to those who participated in the website poll concerning IRS educator’s expense tax deductions.  She plans to convey the results of the poll to Senator Akaka this week.

 

PRESIDENT’S REPORT

  • The Memorandum of Understanding to put faculty members, who have not received their permanent residency status, on tenure track has finally been signed.  As noted last month, this will take effect in the fall. 
  • According to the 2003-2009 faculty contract, the duties of the Academic Chairs would be included in a system faculty handbook.  To date, a revised faculty handbook has not been initiated or constructed by any system administrator.  What has been received is a draft memorandum from UH Vice President for Academic Planning and Policy Linda K. Johnsrud dated March 23, 2007 to the Chancellors on a proposed revision to the current duties of Academic Chairs found in Board of Regents Policy 9-1a.(3).  Directors have been asked to review the proposal with their colleagues and bringing back their concerns to UHPA.  The document can be found at http://www.hawaii.edu/vpaa/cms/Academic_Chairs_doc_for_Chancellors2_040807.pdf
  • President Tiles attended the Board of Regents’ meeting that was held at Kapiolani Community College on April 13.  The Regents’ meeting was devoted almost exclusively to reports presented, including the UH Centennial event, international education, and the sustainable development activities.

 

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT

On April 11, Executive Director J. N. Musto and Associate Executive Director James Kardash attended a meeting with faculty senate members and Employment Training Center (ETC) faculty at Windward CC.  Director Roy Fujimoto was thanked for facilitating the meeting, which included discussion about student learning outcomes.  Another meeting with the ETC faculty is being planned tentatively for April 25.

The following day, they attended a meeting with lecturers at Leeward Community College.  Dottie Sunio, a 27-year veteran, coordinated the meeting, which centered on the issues relating to lecturers.  Drs. Kardash and Musto have also had conversations with the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) faculty members.  There have been discussions with the nurses on issues relating to new salary systems for clinical faculty.  There was also a meeting with Gary Ostrander, Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education and Interim Dean for JABSOM, and their fiscal officer as JABSOM is considering the expansion of a UH medical program.  Director Elizabeth Tam explained the current problems of insufficient numbers of professionals in the medical field and the need to integrate teaching, research, and practical medical practice into the students’ total educational experience.  She noted that many of the clinical medical faculty at JABSOM work 80 to 120 hours per week.  She credited dedicated physicians who volunteer their time at the hospitals to train students while taking a significant financial setback from their personal practices. 

Drs. Kardash and Musto also met on March 21 with division chairs, the dean of instruction, and others at UH-Hilo.  Due to their unique division and department structure, several issues were discussed and they clarified the procedures for review of contract renewals, tenure, and promotion.

Executive Director Musto reported that UHPA has received multiple requests to allow administrators to teach overload and summer session classes for compensation.  Administrators are not allowed to teach for compensation nor take other opportunities for bargaining unit work from faculty.  They may volunteer to teach courses under unique circumstances that are consistent with policies of the department.  The Executive Committee discussed this matter and believes the administration should not be permitted to teach for compensation while continuing to have administrative duties.  It was noted that 11-month faculty who want to teach overload or in summer session must take vacation or take without pay.

An important settlement has been reached in the arbitration case regarding Article IV, B. 3., which states that “Based upon the teaching demands placed upon the division or department by curriculum, the Chair, after consultation with division or department Faculty Members, will identify the total instructional workload requirements to be met for the academic year.”  The responsibility for the assignment of class schedules remains as one of the primary responsibilities of the Department Chair, and ultimately if there is a disagreement amongst the faculty in the department, the department chair must put together the class schedule.  However, the Department Chair must allow for the faculty to request certain teaching assignments, and if they cannot be accommodated, then the individual faculty members must be given an opportunity to discuss the assignment with the Department Chair before it is made, while recognizing that there are extenuating circumstances.  The assignment of courses should be equitable, and should not be made in a punitive manner.  For example, if a faculty member who has requested to teach between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. but is always assigned a 7:30 a.m. or 7:00 p.m. class by the Department Chair, without explanation, this may be considered punitive.  The issue of course selection and class scheduling time should be discussed by the department and the division, and the Department Chair is expected to carry out the policies of the department or division while meeting the course offering needs of the students.

TREASURER’S REPORT

In the absence of Treasurer Ming-BaoYue, Finance Committee Chair Joseph Chernisky reported that the annual audit for the fiscal year ending August 2006 would be mailed to Directors when they are completed. There were no extraordinary expenditures this past month. Directors discussed the anticipated revenue increases for the next two years and projected future scenarios that may or could affect the organization’s budget.  Directors passed a motion to receive the financial report for the fiscal period ending March 31, 2007 and to refer that report to the Finance Committee.

 

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Two actions were recommended by the Executive Committee and acted upon by the Board:

  • Directors unanimously passed a motion to sponsor a Silver table at the UH Alumni Distinguished Awards Dinner that is scheduled for Wednesday, May 23, at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel.  Long-time UHPA supporter and legal counselor Thomas P. Gill will be honored with the UH Founders’ Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • Directors passed a motion to provide up to $3,000 for two UHPA members, excluding members of the Board of Directors, to attend the Summer Institute for Union Women at Berkeley.  President Tiles and UH-West Oahu Director Adrienne Valdez, who coordinated last year’s event in Hawaii, will work on a separate notice that will be sent to UHPA Faculty Representatives and UHPA committee members.  For more information, please contact Director Valdez at avaldez@hawaii.edu or you may check the sponsor’s site http://laborcenter.berkeley.edu/events/siuw/index.shtml.

 

LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE

Chair Tom Jackson informed Directors that Randy Perreira of the Hawaii Government Employees Association (HGEA) and Guy Fujimura of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) are co-sponsoring a fundraiser for Senator Clayton Hee.  The request came from the Hawaii State AFL-CIO because Senator Hee was instrumental in preventing the privatization bill that allowed public services to be contracted to private companies from being reauthorized.  After some discussion, Directors passed a motion to approve a contribution in the amount of $3,750 to the Friends of Clayton Hee.

 

NOMINATIONS & ELECTIONS COMMITTEE

Chair Adrienne Valdez reported that there were several elections going on.   On May 4, the ballots for the Board of Directors’ election will be counted.  It is important as newly elected members will be invited to attend the May 12 Board meeting and the election of officers and Executive Committee at large members will be conducted.

 

FINANCE COMMITTEE

Directors were informed that the Finance Committee will be working on next year’s budget.  If committee chairs or Directors have any requests or changes that need to be considered, they were to contact Finance Committee Chair Joseph Chernisky at chernisk@hawaii.edu by April 27.

 

NEW BUSINESS

1.  Committee Appointments

Directors unanimously passed a motion to confirm the appointment of Earl Hishinuma (UH-Manoa-School of Medicine) as a member of the Collective Bargaining Committee.  His term begins immediately and will end on August 31, 2007.

2.   Support on Research Survey

Director John Wendell asked Directors to support a research survey that he and colleague, Susan Hippensteele, were conducting.  Although a motion had been made, he agreed to defer this to the May meeting as more time was needed to review the information.

 

Ride the Bus and Get a Tax Break

Effective July 1, 2007, as the result of legislative action, the University will be implementing a Pre-Tax Bus Pass option. This program is authorized under Section 132(f) of the Internal Revenue Code, known as the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century. Eligible University employees living and working on the island of O‘ahu will be given the opportunity to purchase monthly bus passes through payroll deduction, on a pre-tax basis, thereby saving on FICA, Federal and State income taxes.

The open enrollment period for the pre-tax bus pass program is from May 1, 2007 to June 15, 2007. You can find information on this program on at

http://www.hawaii.edu/ohr/buspass/buspass.htm 

May 2007 Board Notes


NEA HIGHER EDUCATION DIRECTOR’S REPORT

Directors received a written report from NEA Higher Education Director Sally Pestana, which indicated that the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) have released a joint statement on the priorities for the Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.  Those priorities are u access, affordability and diversity, v quality, accountability and student services, w academic freedom, and x teacher education (HEA Title II).  Due to the Virginia Tech tragedy, an amendment was proposed to increase federal funding to provide for mental health services for higher education students and to assist postsecondary institutions to develop emergency response plans.

The 2008 NEA Higher Ed Conference will be held in Washington, DC on March 28-30.  It will be a joint meeting with the AFT.

 

PRESIDENT’S REPORT

  • President Mary Tiles attended the Collective Bargaining Committee (CBC) meeting.  The survey results on the UHPA website were reviewed and discussed.  There has been a very high return—close to 1,000 faculty members responded to the last survey and there have been hundreds of written comments.  Another poll about faculty retention and retirement will go out in the fall.  UHPA, with the assistance of our consultant Peter Kay, is looking at methods of conducting web–based elections.  Peter Kay is evaluating software to select which would best meet the conditions of our bargaining unit membership. 

  • President Tiles reported on the Hawaii State AFL-CIO meeting that she had attended.  A presentation by the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) was made in an effort to get financial support to expand their project in Hawaii.  ACORN assists low income families to organize grassroots efforts to gain social and economic justice.  AFL-CIO representatives also approved their budget and discussed this year’s legislative scorecard.
  • UHPA received inquiries regarding the Employer’s contribution to the EUTF health premiums and the rates they would pay.  UHPA has a “favored nation” clause in the contract that guarantees that faculty members will pay the rates equal to the lowest provided to any other public sector bargaining unit.  Until all the other units have completed negotiations over new contracts, the EUTF is unable to determine the best employee rates.  The contract language for Bargaining Unit 7 indicates that the Employer’s percentage rate and monthly contribution for benefit plans and their share of family dental cost shall not be less than the highest rate, monthly contribution, or share paid for any employee-beneficiary in any other bargaining unit.  At this time HSTA had just completed its ratification process, and SHOPO had not settled its contract for the police officers.  Executive Director J. N. Musto has written to the State’s Chief Negotiator indicating that UHPA expects that Bargaining Unit 7 faculty will have a rate adjustment once all the contracts have been completed, and he requested that the open enrollment period be extended beyond May 18th so that individuals could make an informed decision over which plan to choose based on the actual contribution they would have to make to the premium.

 

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT

  • Executive Director Musto sent letters to Hawaii’s Congressional delegation requesting their assistance to stop the U.S. Department of Education from imposing new rules that would change accreditation requirements for postsecondary institutions.  Copies of that correspondence were shared with UH academic senates.  On May 9th the Hawaii Community College Senate unanimously passed a resolution that endorses the five key principles guiding accreditation that were developed by the Council of Regional Accrediting Commissions.  Since the time of the Board meeting, UHPA has received a positive letter in response from Senator Inouye indicating that he would lead in Congress in resisting the efforts of the Secretary of Education to impose standards on universities through the accreditation process. 
  • Executive Director Musto informed Directors that the Legislature had passed the bill proposed by UHPA to require the UH Board of Regents (BOR) to disclose executive/administrative salaries, and proposed salary increases, at least six days prior to formal approval by the BOR.  This would allow time for public comment and review of those salaries.  UHPA also supported the passage of the bill that would require that the Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) to divest any holdings or investiments of companies doing business in Sudan as long as the Darfur crisis continues. 
  • The bill implementing a new advisory board for the selection of new Regents was vetoed by the Governor but the Legislature then overrode the Governor’s veto.  UHPA had taken no position with respect to this legislation, which would expand the Regents’ composition from 12 to 15.  The All Campus Council of Faculty Senates is part of the new advisory board and they have selected UH-Manoa Professor and UHPA Director L. Thomas Ramsey as their representative. 
  • UHPA has received a copy of Senate Concurrent Resolution #173 that was passed by the Legislature supporting international education.  The resolution can be found on the UHPA web page under the section for the Legislature. 
  • A summary of UHPA’s business and liability insurance was presented to the Board of Directors.  Directors and officers liability coverage has been added. 
  • An update was given on the planning for the construction of connecting UHPA’s office.  Plans will be submitted to the City & County of Honolulu within the next month.  Approval of a building permit and construction will probably take a year to complete.

 

TREASURER’S REPORT 

Treasurer Ming-BaoYue informed Directors of expenditures that occurred since March.  Directors passed a motion to receive the financial report for the fiscal period ending April 30, 2007 and to refer that report to the Finance Committee.

 

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE 

President Tiles reported that the Executive Committee has authorized a bonus for UHPA Secretary Rovena Varde in appreciation for her 20 years of outstanding service. 

Directors were asked to consider the following actions: 

  • A new three-year retainer agreement for the law firm of Gill and Zukeran was received.  There was no change to the total retainer amount and the only changes were to the hourly rates.  Each partner would have a $5 per hour increase and instead of having a set rate for the associate attorneys; language was changed to reflect that it would not be higher than the specified rate, meaning it could be lower.  In the second and third years of the agreement, the hourly rates would be increased by another $5 per hour for each of those years, and if there is no renegotiation of the agreement, it would be renewed automatically for another three years with the same increases.  Directors unanimously passed a motion to approve the 2007-2010 Retainer Agreement between UHPA and Gill and Zukeran.  The new retainer begins on September 1, 2007 and extends to August 31, 2010. 
  • Bids were taken to extend the phone and data lines between the Palm and Akala buildings of the UHPA offices.  The project will activate all the phone lines, expand the Ethernet connections, change the entry door to a magnetic system, and replace the voice mail system, Directors were asked to approve the work proposed by the Executive Committee.  Directors unanimously passed a motion to authorize the Executive Director to expend up to $10,000 to extend the telephone system, upgrade the door entrance, and to upgrade the Ethernet system through Integrated ComTel, Inc
  • Executive Committee members reviewed the professional lobbying services of Radcliffe and Associates during the current legislative session and recommended that the contract, due to expire on June 30, 2007, be extended for one year.  The Executive Director had negotiated a retainer rate $2,500 per month less than the current six month contract.  Director Comcowich spoke against the motion.  Directors passed the motion to approve a retainer agreement with John Radcliffe and Associates for a calendar year beginning July 1, 2007 at the rate of $5,000 per month
  • Directors concurred with the recommendation of the Executive Committee that in order to be a viable organization UHPA needs to be involved politically.  State law has been changed and requires that contributions to political action committees are identified by individual contributors.  The Executive Committee recommended that there be an allocation of funds from statutory dues to a segregated political action fund.  Non-members, who request in writing, will continue to receive rebates based on actual expenditures of funds for political purposes.  In considering the recommendation of the of the Executive Committee the Directors were told that the proposal would not increase the total amount of dues currently being paid by individual members, which is based on one percent of the faculty member’s annual salary. 

After a lengthy discussion, Directors passed the motion that UHPA shall allocate from dues revenue to a segregated political action fund (PAC) the sum of $5.00 per bargaining unit member per month.  The PAC fund would be under the direction of the UHPA Board of Directors and its Political Action Committee.  The fund would be used for no other purpose, and Hawaii law would regulate this sole source of funding for any UHPA political action.  The fund would be used for Hawaii elections but not for federal elections.   The fund would be subject to accounting controls

meeting the requirements of the Hawaii Election Commission, and would be subject to the rebate obligations for objecting non-UHPA members.  UHPA members will be allowed to indicate that they do not want the $5.00 a month to be appropriated to the PAC fund and they would then not participate in the candidate endorsement process.  In August, bargaining unit members will be sent the procedures and information about the PAC appropriation that will take effect on September 1, 2007. 

  • Cindy Martin, the Director of Professional Development at Leeward Community College, spoke with Executive Musto and Associate Director Kardash at a special meeting for lecturers at Leeward CC.  She indicated that it would be a very positive action for UHPA to financially support lecturers who wish to attend the annual Great Teachers Seminar held on the Big Island.  For more information, go to http://www.greatteacher.hawaii.edu/.  Although Leeward CC provides lecturers with professional development grants, not all campuses are able to give lecturers support.  It is an opportunity for lecturers, and teachers and faculty from all levels, to develop their instructional skills.  Directors passed a motion to approve $4,000 for lecturers, who were active members of Bargaining Unit 7 as of Spring Semester 2007, to attend the Hawaii National Great Teachers Seminar on August 5-10, 2007.  Lecturers will be notified on the procedures for applying for grant support.

 

FINANCE COMMITTEE 

Chair Joseph Chernisky reported that Mr. Darrell Lim and his CPA associates met with the Finance Committee to review the auditor’s report that was done for the fiscal year ending August 31, 2006.  He reported that UHPA is in full compliance with all accounting standards and received a “clean” audit. 

Directors were given the projected budget for FY07-08 for their review, which would be considered for approval at the Board’s June meeting.

 

NOMINATIONS & ELECTIONS COMMITTEE 

Chair Adrienne Valdez referred Directors to the written report of the Nominations and Elections Committee.  Elected as delegates to attend the 2007 NEA Representative Assembly meeting are Jerome Comcowich (UH-Manoa), Ruth Horie (UH-Manoa), Thomas Jackson (UH-Manoa), Earl Nakahara (Honolulu CC), Sally Pestana (Kapiolani CC), Duane Stevens (UH-Manoa), Adrienne Valdez (UH-West Oahu), and Jeffrey Zuckernick (Kapiolani CC). 

Faculty Representatives elected to two-year terms beginning June 1, 2007 to May 31, 2009 are Robert Dotson (PAU 007), Gaynel Buxton (PAU 008), Emily Kukulies (PAU 009), Cory Takemoto (PAU 011), Dennis Vanairsdale (PAU 017), Edward Coll (PAU 019), Richard Randolph (PAU 020), Candace Hochstein (PAU 021), Barry Nakamura (PAU 022), Stephen Herr (PAU 024), Aaron Bush (PAU 025), Robert Hochstein (PAU 027), Vincent Linares (PAU 029), Jean Shibuya (PAU 032), Mark Panek (PAU 034), Teresa Bill (PAU 041), Theodore Gonzalves (PAU 042), Ann Auman (PAU 047), Glenn Cannon (PAU 048), Justin Ota (PAU 049), Katrina-Ann Oliveira (PAU 059), William Albritton (PAU 060), James Douglas (PAU 064), Eric Szarmes (PAU 068), Michael Weinstein (PAU 072), Nicolaos Synodinos (PAU 079), Juanita Liu (PAU 081), Valerie Shearer (PAU 083), Horst Brandes (PAU 088), Todd Reed (PAU 089), Linda Cox (PAU 092), C. N. Lee (PAU 094), John Grove (PAU 106), Marshall Smith (PAU 108), Paulette Feeney (PAU 110),  Amy Anderson  (PAU 111),  Leina’ala Seeger  (PAU 117),  Douglas Pyle  (PAU 118),

Jerome Comcowich (PAU 119), Michael Cooney (PAU 120), Stanley Orr (PAU 123), and Mari Nakamura (PAU 124). 

Elected to three-year terms on the UHPA Board of Directors beginning September 1, 2007 and ending on August 31, 2010 are Karla Hayashi (UH-Hilo), John Cole (Hawaii CC), Richard Randolph (Kauai CC), Brenda Cartwright (UH-Manoa Education, Business, Law, Architecture, and Travel Industry Management constituency) Robert Paull (UH-Manoa CTAHR and Natural Sciences constituency), Richard Nettell (UH-Manoa at Large), and James Tiles (UH-Manoa at Large).  The UH-Manoa Social Sciences, Social Work, Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, and Arts and Science constituency remains unfilled.

 

NEW BUSINESS 

Election of Officers and Members at Large 

Due to the constitutional changes adopted, the election of officers and members at large was held.  Congratulations to the officers-elect and members at large, who will take office on September 1, 2007.  They are: 

President…………………………. Joseph Chernisky, Leeward CC

Vice President………………….. Adrienne Valdez, UH-West Oahu

Secretary…………………………. Karla Hayashi, UH-Hilo

Treasurer………………………… Ming-Bao Yue, UH-Manoa

Members at Large……………. Joshua Cooper, Maui CC

                                                Ruth Horie, UH-Manoa

                                                Richard Nettell, UH-Manoa

Retirement Reception Honoring John H. Radcliffe

You’re invited to celebrate with us!

UHPA Successful in Lobbying

UHPA lobbyist John Radcliffe has reported that the Senate/House Conference Committee has agreed to two bills proposed and supported by the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly (UHPA).  The first bill requires the UH Board of Regents (BOR) to disclose executive/administrative salaries and proposed salary increases at least six days prior to their approval by the BOR.  This will allow time for public comment and review of these salaries.

The Conference Committee also agreed to a proposal that would require that the Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) divest any holdings or investiments of companies doing business in Sudan as long as the Darfur crisis continues.

The Legislature has approved both bills and sent them to the Governor for signature.

A final report on all UH and public employee legislation is currently being prepared.

EUTF Open Enrollment

The EUTF is currently conducting open enrollment for changes to your health benefit plans.  The deadline for making your changes is May 18, 2007.  Please review the information provided by the EUTF carefully.  Please see your Department Personnel Officer for assistance in making your change.

UHPA Supports Mass Transit Connecting Campuses

John Radcliffe testifed at the Honolulu City Council Special Meeting on December 7, 2006 in support of mass transit.  UHPA Associate Executive Director Radcliffe emphasized the need to have the transit route lead between the Manoa campus and future campus at West Oahu.  By linking the campus on Oahu, the transit system will serve both commuter needs and access to higher education.  We are pleased to report that the City Council has accepted a proposed route that will begin in Kapolei and end at the lower campus of Manoa.
Also, to see the full report of the various alternative transit routes, complete with videos, please go to www.honolulutransit.org.