COME MARCH WITH UHPA! Monday, January 18, 2010, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parade & Rally

Free UHPA shirts to the first 20 who sign in!
Free UHPA caps to all participants!

TIME: Meet at 8:30 a.m. The parade begins at 9:00 a.m.

LOCATION: Look for the UHPA banner in the Ulumau parking lot next to the canoe storage area at the Magic Island end of Ala Moana Park.

PARADE ROUTE: From Magic Island, Ala Moana Park to Kapiolani Park via Ala Moana Blvd. and Kalakaua Ave. The route is about 1.7 miles and will take about 90 minutes to walk.

WEAR: UHPA shirt and/or hat, comfortable shoes, and sunscreen and bring water.

AFTER THE PARADE: Stay for the unity rally, entertainment, food booths, community booths, and children’s playground at Kapiolani Park Bandstand.

Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy linking labor, civil and human rights. This is an important day for union members, especially government employees, because Dr. King was assassinated in Memphis while supporting municipal garbage workers on strike.  His legacy of civil rights and human dignity (the Memphis garbage workers carried signs, “I am a Man”) is an important message for contemporary struggles linking labor, civil and human rights.

The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Coalition-Hawai`i (MLK) is again honored to extend our invitation to the community and its many organizations and individuals to participate in the 22nd Annual MLK Celebration Parade & Rally on Monday, January 18, 2010. All are invited to participate in the numerous other related events on and about this date. Our 2010 theme is another of Dr. King’s profound statements:   “We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.”

Click here for more details.

NEWS RELEASE — January 7, 2010

The University of Hawaii Professional Assembly (UHPA) filed a motion for a temporary restraining order with the First Circuit Court this afternoon to stop UH President M.R.C. Greenwood from unilaterally imposing salary reductions for UH faculty.

The temporary restraining order would halt the nearly 6.7% pay reduction, proposed to go into effect January 1, 2010.  UHPA requested the court make the restraining order effective as soon as possible and before January 15, 2010, the first faculty pay day of 2010.  In addition, UHPA is asking the court to order an arbitration over UHPA’s class grievance that was filed with President Greenwood since she claims the issues raised in the grievance are not “arbitrable.”

“This is a day of mixed feelings for the faculty.  One the one hand, it is encouraging that President Greenwood will personally participate in the negotiations,” said J.N. Musto, UHPA executive director and chief negotiator.  “On the other hand, we are disappointed that she has not retracted her unilateral decision to impose the faculty salary reductions that became effective January 1. This left us no other alternative but to file a motion for a temporary restraining order in Circuit Court to halt this action.”

“The arbitrator’s decision and ruling this past summer concluded our existing contract continues in full force and effect until a new contract is in place, whether or not the parties are at impasse in bargaining. We are confident that we will prevail in having the Circuit Court recognize the binding nature of the continuing contract language,” Musto said.  “It appears that in order to reach an agreement on a new contract, we must first establish for the UH administration that the provisions of the existing contract continue in effect.”

NEWS RELEASE — January 4, 2010

The University of Hawaii Professional Assembly filed a class grievance directly with UH President M.R.C. Greenwood on behalf of UH faculty (bargaining unit 7 members) this afternoon, demanding that she immediately retract her letter sent to faculty on Dec. 28 about her plans to unilaterally impose her “last, best, final offer.”  The grievance also demands her to stop from implementing her proposed contract changes, pending arbitration.

The grievance, which is allowed under the current contract agreement, was hand-delivered to Greenwood this afternoon and UHPA is demanding documentation of her compliance with her signature by 4 p.m. tomorrow, Tuesday, Jan. 5.

UHPA asked for a rapid response because of the magnitude of her proposed action and to avoid litigation.

“We filed this class grievance on behalf of the UH faculty because of UH President Greenwood’s clear breach of contract.  We believe it is only fair to ask for immediate arbitration and to hold UH President Greenwood’s unilateral imposition of salary reductions for UH faculty until we can have an arbitration decision,” said J.N. Musto, UHPA executive director and chief negotiator. “UHPA has always bargained in good faith and worked within the parameters of the collective bargaining process.  We can only hope this action encourages UH President Greenwood to begin to do the same.” 
 
The grievance pointed out, according to a decision and award by Arbitrator Mario Ramil on July 20, 2009, UHPA’s current agreement did not expire on June 30, 2009, but continues in force and effect.  UHPA sought and obtained judicial confirmation of the decision award in First Circuit Court, and noted that the UH administration did not object to the court’s confirmation.  A judgment on this was entered in First Circuit Court on December 17, 2009.

The final judgment was “unqualified and did not stipulate any circumstances under which UH could ignore, abrogate, or be released from the governing agreement, other than by reaching agreement on a replacement agreement,” the grievance noted.  Arbitrator Ramil stated that the agreement continued because the parties had not reached a successor agreement.

With the binding agreement in place, Greenwood’s letter constitutes a “wholesale breach of contract.”  The proposed unilateral changes, which include a 6.667% pay cut, a payroll lag that amounts to a 4.2% reduction, and the reduction in healthcare contributions, amount to more than a 15% reduction in pay for faculty.

In addition, by sending her letter directly to UH faculty, Greenwood violated UHPA’s right to serve as the exclusive representative of the faculty (bargaining unit 7) that was established in the agreement.

NEWS RELEASE — January 6, 2010

In response to UH President M.R.C. Greenwood’s denial of UHPA’s class grievance yesterday, UHPA hand delivered a letter to Greenwood this afternoon informing her that faculty are willing to resume negotiations. UHPA would like President Greenwood to personally participate in the negotiations process and that the discussions be under the auspices of Carol Catanzariti, the federal mediator who has been appointed by the Hawaii Labor Relations Board to oversee the negotiations.

We appreciate President Greenwood’s willingness to continue to seek an agreement with the faculty, and believe it’s important for her to be present at these meetings,” said J.N. Musto, UHPA Executive Director and Chief Negotiator. “With her involvement, we are hopeful that we can reach an agreement in an expeditious manner.”

President Greenwood has met once with the UHPA board’s executive committee, but to date has not participated in any collective bargaining sessions. 

Musto also encouraged Greenwood to invite to the meeting Howard Todo, UH vice president for budget and finance and chief financial officer, and Howard H. Karr and Dennis Hirota, UH Board of Regents chairperson and vice chairperson, respectively.

“I believe it’s important for all those charged with reaching an agreement to actually spend time in the same room listening to each other,” Musto wrote in his letter.

A letter received yesterday by UHPA from UH attorneys stated the issues raised in the grievance are not “arbitrable” under the existing contract and suggested that UHPA submit its concerns to the Hawaii Labor Relations Board.

UHPA pointed out that since the Hawaii Labor Relations Board has appointed federal mediator Carol Catanzariti to oversee the process of negotiations, it would be appropriate to request that the mediator convene and conduct the meeting.  Musto has already contacted Catanzariti let her know that UHPA’s collective bargaining committee is willing to meet as soon as she sets up the meeting.     

NEWS RELEASE — January 6, 2010

In response to UH President M.R.C. Greenwood’s denial of UHPA’s class grievance yesterday, UHPA hand delivered a letter to Greenwood this afternoon informing her that faculty are willing to resume negotiations. UHPA would like President Greenwood to personally participate in the negotiations process and that the discussions be under the auspices of Carol Catanzariti, the federal mediator who has been appointed by the Hawaii Labor Relations Board to oversee the negotiations.

We appreciate President Greenwood’s willingness to continue to seek an agreement with the faculty, and believe it’s important for her to be present at these meetings,” said J.N. Musto, UHPA Executive Director and Chief Negotiator. “With her involvement, we are hopeful that we can reach an agreement in an expeditious manner.”

President Greenwood has met once with the UHPA board’s executive committee, but to date has not participated in any collective bargaining sessions. 

Musto also encouraged Greenwood to invite to the meeting Howard Todo, UH vice president for budget and finance and chief financial officer, and Howard H. Karr and Dennis Hirota, UH Board of Regents chairperson and vice chairperson, respectively.

“I believe it’s important for all those charged with reaching an agreement to actually spend time in the same room listening to each other,” Musto wrote in his letter.

A letter received yesterday by UHPA from UH attorneys stated the issues raised in the grievance are not “arbitrable” under the existing contract and suggested that UHPA submit its concerns to the Hawaii Labor Relations Board.

UHPA pointed out that since the Hawaii Labor Relations Board has appointed federal mediator Carol Catanzariti to oversee the process of negotiations, it would be appropriate to request that the mediator convene and conduct the meeting.  Musto has already contacted Catanzariti let her know that UHPA’s collective bargaining committee is willing to meet as soon as she sets up the meeting.     

Holiday Office Hours

UHPA Responds to Salary Reductions

 

Today’s action is a not only a breach of contract, but also shows blatant disrespect for the negotiated agreement and the faculty. UHPA is notifying other public sector unions about this because it sends a chilling message to all unions that at any time the State can renege on its negotiated agreements.  This mocks the collective bargaining process and puts every agreement in jeopardy.

President Greenwoods’ action and letter to faculty today creates further distance with the faculty and undermines trust in her and her leadership.

UHPA has attempted to reach out to the general counsel of the UH to discuss next steps, but the UH has been shut down over the holidays as directed by UH President Greenwood.  We are poised to take the necessary and deliberate action needed to ensure the UH keeps its word by honoring the contract. UHPA will take action to protect the rights of the faculty and to preserve a legitimate collective bargaining agreement in whatever court or venue is necessary.

PLEASE READ IMPORTANT LINKS BELOW:

December 28th Letter from John Morton

December 28th Employer Unilateral Proposal

T. Anthony Gill, Esq. Statement

Faculty Messaging Piece

Arbitrator Ramil’s Decision