1. Coming in 2008-09: A Free $15,000 Life
Insurance Benefit for New Members

(Note: Here is advance notice about the
newest NEA benefit, but it is not designed for publication.  Watch for
more details later.)

Membership recruiters will have a new tool to
help promote the benefits of being part of the Association family.

Beginning with the 2008-09 school year, new
NEA members will be covered with a 12-month free life insurance benefit
of $15,000.

All new members actively at work will be covered
automatically, with the exception of retired, substitute, student members and
agency fee payers. Any new member who rejoins the Association after an absence
of five or more years will also be eligible.

Provided by the NEA Members Insurance Trust®, the new life insurance coverage will
be in-force for 12 months following the member’s start date. At the end of the
first year, the individual will be given the opportunity to pay for
continuation of the same coverage with no evidence of insurability.

2. Save on Brand Name Merchandise with NEA
Click & Save

NEA Click & Save, one of the newest
discount programs for NEA members and their families, is currently being used
by nearly 30,000 shoppers who want to save on brand name merchandise.

Hundreds of top retailers, online stores, and
local merchants are part of NEA Click & Save, which was introduced
to Association members in November 2007.

Members register free online at
and then start shopping! They can also request e-mail reminders from favorite
merchants about upcoming sales and discounts.

There is an option to select a low-cost
premium NEA Click & Save membership which provides even greater

In the first months of operation, the leading
shopping areas for NEA members were:

1. Electronics

2. Clothing

3. Child & baby items

4. Flowers & gifts

5. Home furnishings

6. Travel

7. Tickets

Frequently visited retailers were Target, Phillips,
Circuit City,, and Dell.


3. Toolkit Helps Leaders & Members
Understand New 403(b) Regulations Effective January 2009

NEA Member Benefits has designed a New IRS
403(b) Regulations Information Toolkit
to help Association leaders,
members, and staff better understand how the new Internal Revenue Service
regulations (which have a general effective date of January 1, 2009) will
impact NEA members as they save for retirement.

The Toolkit includes sections on:

the regulations––a primer for NEA affiliates

an “orphan” 403(b) account means

PowerPoint presentation highlighting key points in the regulations

asked questions

The kit also outlines steps that local associations can take in response to the
IRS regulations, guidance for UniServ staff, and a sample letter for local
leaders to send to their school district business official.

To download a copy of the Toolkit,
see “Investments”
under the Financial Services section at,
or click on Toolkit.


4. New Members: Welcome to the Association!

NEA Member Benefits is completing the first
year of a pilot program that reaches out to new Association members with a
welcome message and special targeted information.

The first new member mailing is a Welcome
Card from NEA Member Benefits, including a stick-on note that tells new members
how they can obtain a free one-year subscription from the NEA Magazine Service.

Next in the series of messages is a Welcome
Kit with a mini-catalog of programs available from NEA Member Benefits and a
bookmark featuring a 2008

For individuals with e-mail addresses, NEA MB
sends out electronic messages tailored to the new dues-payers. Those contacted
are also provided a link to an NEA MB Web Site page designed specially for new

More than 141,000 new members were welcomed
into the Association in the first seven months of the pilot project.

UHPA Board of Directors Takes Straw-Poll of Members Concerning NEA Affiliation

Over the past year the UHPA Board of Directors has been discussing its affiliation with the National Education Association (NEA).  The UHPA Bylaws state that the Board has the authority to determine whether or not UHPA is affiliated with any other organization. Beginning February 10th, UHPA Board of Directors authorized taking a non-binding straw-poll of the UHPA members to determine whether UHPA should continue its affiliation with the NEA or disaffiliate. The Board of Directors will meet on February 23, 2013 to take action on this question.

Statements on NEA Affiliation or Disaffiliation

National Education Association Representative Assembly(NEA-RA)

The NEA Representative Assembly will be held in San Diego, California from July 1-6, 2009. This is the annual meeting of the primary legislative and policy-making body of the NEA.

Any faculty member who is an Active UHPA/NEA member is eligible to be a delegate and must be nominated. Self nominations are acceptable.  Click here to print the Nomination Form.

  • Nomination forms can be submitted to UHPA by email, mail, or fax.
  • All nomination forms are due to UHPA by 4:30 p.m. on March 16, 2009.
  • Please ensure that if you are nominating a faculty member other than
    yourself that the nominee has consented to run.

The NEA constitution provide that “If the number of candidates for the delegate positions is equal or less than the number of delegate positions to be filled, elections may be waived, and the candidates declared elected to the delegate positions in question.”

The UHPA policy on Remuneration for Elected Delegates to the NEA Representative Assembly provides for “actual expenditures up to $800 stipends to the allocated number of delegates elected to the NEA Representative Assembly who serve as either a member of the UHPA Board of Directors, UHPA Faculty Representatives, or UHPA committee member.”

If you have questions, please contact the UHPA office at (808)593-2157.

NEA Position Statement on Performance Pay

NEA Statement

NEA Member Benefits Communication Update

1. Articles on NEA MB Products and Services (MCA): Kmart Offers Special Back-to-School Savings for NEA Members
2. Articles on NEA MB Products and Services (MCA): Enterprise Offers Special Benefits for NEA Members
3. Articles on NEA MB Products and Services (MCA): NEA MB Programs & Services Listing—2009-2010
4. Articles on NEA MB Products and Services (MCA):  Hot Deals and Discounts From NEA Member Benefits—July 2009 This monthly feature gives you the latest deals and discounts available to members. [Good for your e-newsletters (e.g., Member Matters), websites, and print pubs!]
5. Special Interest Articles (MCA):  Playing Catch-Up With Your Retirement Savings
6. Special Interest Articles (MCA):  Deciding to Refinance

Hawaii Health Care Conference for Union Members – September 13, 2013

2013 Hawaii Labor Health Care Conference (the first-of-its-kind collaboration between Hawaii’s Labor Unions and Kaiser Permanente Hawaii) is scheduled for Friday, September 13, 2013, from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel
For additional information on this conference or to register, please go to:

Faculty Thought Leadership Forums a Success!

With nearly 100 participants between both campuses, the Faculty Thought Leadership Series started off with great energy and great ideas. We’re busy planning out the remaining tour which will come to a campus near you.


We capture 24 ideas on how to make UH a better place to teach, research, and serve the community and posted them online.  All participants get a login and password to contribute and everyone can view the content posted.


We invite your feedback and review on our Facebook page where you can also view some photos from the UH West O’ahu event!


Senate Seniority is the Great Equalizer


What was Senator Inouye’s most powerful tool in the United States Senate?  Certainly, his influence stemmed from his personal ability to bring individual Senators together to reach compromises.  However, the Senator’s ability to influence his fellow Senators became more powerful as his years of seniority in the Senate accumulated.  The Senator himself always recognized this unique aspect of the Senate, and he used it to make people listen and respond to what otherwise would be the small voice from an island State.

Among the States of our Union, seniority in the United States Senate is the political “great equalizer” between large and small States.   Our form of democracy is constructed around two very different legislative bodies; the House and the Senate. Every State, regardless of population size, is entitled to elect two Senators, while the U.S. House of Representatives is based on population size; the higher the population, the more elected Representatives from the State.  The influence in the Senate is more about the clout of an individual senator, and that clout increases with more Senate seniority.

Seniority in the U.S. Senate has some clear features that are important to understand.  First of all, seniority in the Senate comes from the Rules of Senate and can only be earned in the Senate.   It is “non-transferable,” meaning that a member cannot take years served in the US House and apply them to the Senate.  Also, Senators develop seniority through continued service on a particular committee.  That in turn can lead to a chairmanship if a member is from the political Party in power.

Hawai`i benefited from the extraordinary amount of seniority Senators Akaka and Inouye held, and then lost that advantage when Senator Akaka retired and Senator Inouye died.  Hawai`i began to rebuild seniority in the Senate with the election of Senator Brian Schatz, followed by the election of Senator Mazie Hirono.  Presently, Brian Schatz is Hawai`i’s most senior Senator; he was sworn into office in December 2012.  He has a significant seniority “head start” on all the other members of the Senate elected in 2012 that were sworn in after him.  This head start works in our favor and shouldn’t be lost.

Measuring this advantage, Senator Schatz now ranks ahead of 15 other U.S. Senators.  This head start, and his own energy, led to his being only one of two new Senators to be appointed with a chairmanship of a subcommittee.  If we re-elect Senator Schatz in 2014, he will move up at least seven more steps on the seniority ranking in the Senate, and possibly higher.

Senator Schatz serves on three committees that are strategically important for Hawai`i (Energy and Natural Resources, Commerce, and Indian Affairs) and building seniority in these committees is important for us as well.  His advancement pays off for Hawai`i by ramping up issues that are critical to us like clean energy, which Schatz has fought for since he was a State legislator.  And that he has stepped up on Native Hawaiian matters is essential for the betterment of the whole State.  It is about moving the power of ideas that might otherwise not see the light of day, such as clean energy and building an Asian-Pacific education and research center in America’s island state, where his Senate seniority will make a difference for our State.

By the rules of the Senate, if Representative Hanabusa won the Senate seat in 2014, she would lose these advantages and would begin at the bottom of the seniority ladder in the Senate, despite her years of service in the U.S. House of Representatives.  There may be some public misunderstanding here.  However, there shouldn’t be.  Again, years of service in the House do not transfer to the Senate.  So the big loser in the seniority ladder would be the small State of Hawai`i, which would go back to the bottom.  Furthermore, any committee assignments she would be appointed to would be unknown, and there is no practical likelihood that a new Senator would receive a subcommittee chair, as Senator Schatz did.

The University of Hawai`i Professional Assembly (UHPA) has endorsed the election of Brian Schatz in 2014 because he is a young leader with a record for excellent judgment, who, in a short time, has built relationships and taken the right positions in the United States Senate.  The way elections work out in our State, Senator Schatz has to run for re-election to the Senate in 2014, and, if he wins, again in 2016.  We expect a spirited and informative election in 2014, and building Senate seniority for our small State should be a central issue in the debate ahead and a critical factor for the public in voting for a candidate.