University of Hawaii Professional Assembly Declares Impasse in Bargaining with Governor, UH President and Board of Regents


Eight months have passed since the UHPA sent contract proposals to the State of Hawaii and the UH Administration. After seven months of negotiations that began in late May 2008, the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly (UHPA), the union that represents 3900 faculty members, has declared an impasse in its bargaining efforts with the Governor, UH President and Board of Regents. UHPA’s current contract expires June 30, 2009.

Download the PDF of the full press release.

UHPA Members can also Why we are at an impasse”.

Download the PDF of the impasse filing.


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(Please note that current members do not need to re-apply to receive the increase in gas savings.  Effective April 1st, their savings per gallon will double from 2 cents to 4 cents.)

November 2008 Board Notes


Newly–elected Director Dennis Vanairsdale was introduced and welcomed by members of the Board of Directors.  The
amended Bylaws, adopted in April 2008, indicate that an election would
be conducted for a second Director to represent Kapiolani Community
College.  Director Vanairsdale’s term begins immediately and ends on August 31, 2012.


President Joseph Chernisky’s written report included the
action taken by the Executive Committee on October 28 by Conference
Call to approve independent expenditures on behalf of two UHPA endorsed
candidates, Jessica Wooley for House District 47 and Amy Monk for House
District 17.  He expressed his appreciation to the members
of the Interim Nominations and Elections Committee for conducting the
special Kapiolani CC Board election and for finalizing the Nominations
and Elections Charter.  Kudos was given to the Faculty
Forum Committee for a productive forum and to UHPA’s Associate Director
for her work with the Hawaii Alliance.

UHPA Directors Brenda Cartwright, Cathy Chan-Halbrendt, Robert Cooney, Michael Mottl, Robert Paull, Elizabeth Tam and Charles Weems were recognized and congratulated for their research awards.  Additionally, Directors were informed that Collective Bargaining Committee member David Duffy outstandingly generated twenty-eight research awards.


Directors unanimously passed a motion to confirm the appointments of uDexter Choy,
Professor of Travel Industry Management at UH-Manoa, serving the
remainder of a one-year term as the Faculty Representative for PAU 081;
vNathan Murata,
Professor of Kinesiology and Leisure Science at UH-Manoa, serving a
two-year term as the Faculty Representative for PAU 082; and
wScott Robinson, Associate Specialist in Education at UH-Manoa, serving a two-year term as the Faculty Representative for PAU 084.  Their terms begin immediately.  Professor Choy’s term expires on May 31, 2009.  He replaces Juanita Liu, who has been appointed as the Interim Dean for TIM.  Professors Murata and Robinson will serve to May 31, 2010.  Professor Robinson replaces Barbara Landau.


Directors were informed that the old Bylaws included detailed
information regarding the Faculty Representatives and the Faculty Forum.  The
amended Bylaws indicate that the Board shall establish a system of
Faculty Representatives and the Faculty Forum; however, it does not
include the duties and responsibilities, the term of office, etc.  It
was suggested that an advisory committee be established to review
whether or not the system of Faculty Representatives and the Faculty
Forum should continue and to make recommendations if the system needs
to be changed.  After some discussion, Directors unanimously passed a motion to
continue the present practice of the Faculty Representative system and
Faculty Forum meetings and to establish a Faculty Representative
Advisory Committee partially in place prior to the spring 2009 Faculty
Forum, whereby this issue will be discussed by Faculty Representatives,
and that the advisory committee will make recommendations to the Board
of Directors by its April 2009 meeting


At its meeting on October 11, the UHPA Executive Committee
approved the creation of the Investment, Finance, and Audit Committee
(IFAC), an advisory committee of the Board of Directors.  The
IFAC Charter was adopted and amended by Directors at their October 25
Board meeting, which indicates that a Chair would be appointed from
amongst the Directors.  Accordingly, Directors unanimously passed a motion to confirm the appointment of Dennis Vanairsdale of Kapiolani Community College as Chair of the IFAC.  His term begins immediately and will end on August 31, 2009.


The interim Nominations and Elections (N&E) Committee,
consisting of Leticia Colmenares, Sharon Rowe, Nandita Sharma, Duane
Stevens, and Adrienne Valdez, presented Directors with a revised
version of the Charter.  The N&E accepted changes that were recommended.  Directors passed a motion to approve the N&E Charter as amended.

Pursuant to the N&E Charter, five Directors would be elected to serve on the N&E.  Nominated and elected by acclamation to the Nominations and Elections Committee are Brenda Cartwright (UH-Manoa), Leticia Colmenares (Windward CC), Sharon Rowe (Kapiolani CC), Nandita Sharma (UH-Manoa), and Duane Stevens (UH-Manoa).


President Chernisky was contacted by the Martin Luther King,
Jr. Coalition–Hawaii Coalition concerning the 2009 Parade and Rally
scheduled for Monday, January 19, 2009.  Last year, UHPA marched in the parade under the sponsorship of the Hawaii State AFL-CIO.  A
motion was made to participate as an organization; however, the motion
was later withdrawn upon learning that we may march with the AFL-CIO
again.  Directors passed a motion to participate in
the Martin Luther King, Jr. 2009 Parade under the auspices of the
Hawaii State AFL-CIO and to make a $150 contribution to help support
the Martin Luther King Jr. Coalition–Hawaii


Directors requested the Executive Director to elaborate more with reference to his written report about negotiations.  He has been and will continue to have informal discussions with the UH and State representatives.  Directors were informed that hopefully by the Christmas holiday UHPA will know one way or another which route will be taken.  Regular updates can be found on the UHPA website at


After the adjournment of the Board
meeting, Directors remained to hear the presentation given by Dr. Carl
Bonham, Associate Professor of Economy at UH-Manoa and the Executive
Director of the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization
(UHERO), regarding the global economic forecast.  For information about UHERO and their economic research, go to


Wishing you a joyous season filled with laughter, good health, great friends, a kind heart and much peace.

From the staff and Board of Directors of the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly

Aloha United Way “Labor Cares” Event

In an effort to bring Unions together, establish camaraderie and work together for a very good cause, a core committee from various unions has been established to organize this event.

To volunteer and/or donate gently used items contact Lynn Ching ( at 543-2212 or Ronald Tanaka ( at 543-2249.

Feel free to print and post the informational flyer.

Pacific Beach Hotel Rally

“One Year” rally being held on Monday, December 1, 2008 from 12:30 to 1:30 pm @ the Pacific Beach Hotel, 2490 Kalakaua Ave.  Courtesy transportation will be available via shuttle van from the ILWU Hall to Waikiki starting at noon.  For more info or to reserve seating on the shuttle, please call Joanne Kealoha @ 864-1310 or Rick DeCosta @ 783-4627 by Nov 28th. 

October 2008 Board Notes


The Treasurer’s report and monthly financial statements were received.



President Joseph Chernisky highlighted his written report,
which indicated the following actions taken by the Executive Committee.  Œ A grievant’s appeal to reconsider the non-renewal of contract to arbitration was denied.  It was determined that no contract language had been violated.  The
Executive Committee approved the creation of an Investment, Finance and
Audit Committee (IFAC) and adopted a charter for this advisory
committee.  ŽDirectors
Brenda Cartwright and Adrienne Valdez developed criteria and an
application form to be used by UHPA grant applicants for the 2009
Hawaii Great Teachers Seminar.  Directors were reminded that last spring, a Funding Request form was adopted.  The
Executive Committee identified criteria for determining if a request
qualifies for consideration and will present the criteria to the Board
for adoption.  Based
on the tentative criteria for funding requests, the Executive Committee
approved three requests—a table ($1500) for the UH-Manoa College of
Education’s Annual Recognition Dinner on November 14, 2008; a table
($1000) for the Hawaii People’s Fund Annual Dinner on November 1; and
one roundtrip airline ticket for Ah Quon McElrath to participate in an
UHPA Labor Forum at Maui Community College.

In their review of the IFAC Charter, Directors unanimously passed the motion to amend the frequency of meetings to “at least” quarterly, which would allow the committee to meet more often if needed.



The Funding Request Form was approved last spring, and it can be found on the UHPA website . The
proposed criteria indicate that the funding request needs to
demonstrate a direct benefit to UHPA or the active membership which is
educational, economic, political, or promotes positive public relations.  The
funding request should also align with the organization’s current
priorities such as collective bargaining, the Constitutional
Convention, or organizing membership initiatives and/or could be
related to labor, social justice or P-20 issues. Finally, the request
should identify all alternative sources of funding, if any.  The
completed form and supporting documents need to be submitted to UHPA at
least twenty-four (24) hours before the Executive Committee or Board of
Directors’ meeting.  It can be hand-delivered, mailed, faxed, or emailed to the UHPA office.  Directors unanimously passed the motion to approve the proposed Guidelines and Criteria for UHPA Funding Requests as amended.  The amendment allowed for submission by email.



President Chernisky expressed his
appreciation to Directors Brenda Cartwright and Adrienne Valdez for
their work in formulating the proposed criteria and application form
that would be used for the 2009 Hawai‘i Great Teachers Seminar.  Directors unanimously passed the motion to approve the HGTS criteria and application form as presented.  Information about the 2009 seminar will be posted early in spring semester 2009.


Directors unanimously passed the motion to appoint Ernest Kho of Natural Sciences, UH-Hilo, serving a two-year term as the Faculty Representative for Primary Academic Unit 035.  His term begins immediately and will expire on May 31, 2010.



Due to changes to the IRS code regarding
the staff’s 401(k) retirement plan, the Personnel Committee met to
discuss modifications, which were reflected in their written report to
the Board of Directors.  Directors unanimously passed the motion to adopt the resolutions presented by the Personnel Committee.



Directors were informed that the building permit for the
modifications to UHPA’s Palm and Akala buildings has been approved, and
that the Executive Committee met with Mr. Alan Hirota of AES Design
Group, Inc. to discuss the bidding process.  It was agreed
that bids would go to both union and non-union contractors with the
provision that non-union workers receive comparable union wages for
this project.  Directors unanimously passed the motion to approve the bidding process and construction plan in
the AES Design Group, Inc. memorandum dated October 24, 2008; and
authorized the Executive Director to take all actions necessary to
implement and facilitate the bidding process
.  Additionally,
since construction could begin as soon as December 2008, a special
meeting would be needed to approve the selection of the contractor.  Directors passed the motion to
call a special meeting to be conducted by telephone conference for the
exclusive purpose of considering the recommendation of the Executive
Committee to accept a contractor for the construction of the building
improvements to the UHPA properties at Palm Drive and Akala Lane; and
that the special meeting will be held at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday,
November 25, 2008



Collective Bargaining Committee
Chair Karla Hayashi reported that Faculty Representatives were given
similar bargaining scenarios to those being presented at the thirteen
separate campus meetings.  Although the options for some
of the “door” numbers were changed, the general reactions were similar
to those from campus meetings.  Directors were informed
that UH Vice President for Administration Sam Callejo, who replaced Ed
Yuen as the University’s Spokesman, will be retiring and UH Vice
President for Community Colleges John Morton would probably take over.  All of the scheduled bargaining sessions have been canceled.  Since this time, new and informal discussions with the UH and state administration representatives have continued.


As an UHPA member you are also a National Education Association (NEA) member and receive their publications.  One
of these, “The Advocate” has an opinion column located on the last page
that expresses the views of higher education faculty members.

The NEA is looking for members willing to express their views on the following three questions for upcoming issues.

(1) Should undocumented students be barred from attending public colleges?  YES/NO

(2) Should Colleges and Universities do more to standardize the grading practices of professors?  YES

(3) Should professors consider e-textbooks rather than copy textbooks to help lower costs for students?  NO

If you are open to writing your opinion for the topics above, please contact Truphena Choti at the NEA  She would like your response ASAP.

A UH-Hilo faculty member was recently published in a past
issue.  It would be great to see more UHPA members represented in this
national forum.  Please seriously consider advancing your name.


UHPA Bargaining Information Meetings


September 22            12-1
pm                         Biomed Tower T211

September 30            12-1
pm                         Bilger 150

October 6                   5:00-7:00 pm                JABSOM, MEB 315

October 23                3:30-4:30 pm             HIG 110

UH-Hilo / Hawaii CC

October 14               12:30-2:00 pm             UCB 127

UHH West Hawaii Campus

October 28               12 noon-2:00 pm         West Hawaii – B4, R2

UH-West Oahu

October 1                  12:30-1:45 pm               UHWO, E 101

Honolulu CC

October 10                 10:00-11:00
am              Bldg. 7, Room 401

Kapiolani CC

September 29            12 noon -1:00
pm         Ohia 118

Kauai CC

September 24            12 noon -1:00
pm         One Stop Center

Leeward CC

November 5              3:30 – 4:45 pm            GT 105

Maui CC

October 29                3:00 – 4:30 pm            Ka Lama 103

Windward CC / ETC

October 9                 4:00 pm                         Akoakoa 107/109