Response Letter from Senator Daniel K. Inouye
Response Letter from Senator Daniel K. Inouye
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Two actions were recommended by the Executive Committee and acted upon by the Board:
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.
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 email@example.com by April 27.
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.
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.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’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.
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:
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.
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.
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
You’re invited to celebrate with us!
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.