Happy New Year!

From all of us to all of you, may 2015 bring all that you desire to fruition. Happy New Year from UHPA!

FacFAQs: Will the snap-back be included in my “high three”?

Pearla has served many years as 9-month faculty at Lili’uokalani Community College, and is looking forward to her retirement in Spring 2015! After much congratulations and many joyful tears from colleagues, she started thinking about the financial repercussions of the snap-back. She knows that ERS often doesn’t include retroactive payments so as not to inflate one’s AFC. Will the snap-back be included in her “high three”?


Although Pearla’s “retirement estimate” does not reflect it, and it is not common practice from ERS, the snap-back payments are the exception that proves the rule! Because the lump sum falls within Pearla’s “high three,” she can rest easy that the lump sum will definitely be included in the ERS’s calculation of her actual AFC.

FacFAQs: Can I split up my sabbatical?

Marvin is an Associate Professor employed at UH Waimea on an 11-month appointment. He applied for and was granted a 4-month sabbatical leave during Fall 2014. After he returned from his sabbatical, he applied for another leave, this time for 2 months during Spring 2015. However, his fiscal officer, Jan is telling him that, “the clock starts over again,” and that he should have requested the split time before taking the initial 4-month leave. Marvin is shocked! He reread the third paragraph of Article VI, Leaves of Absence with Pay, and can’t find anything prohibiting this. In fact, Marvin thinks Jan might be misinforming him. Marvin asks Jan if she is sure about this, and Jan reiterates her position that Marvin has lost his opportunity, having checked with someone in the VCAA’s office. Is this a contract violation? What should Marvin do next?



After contacting UHPA offices and speaking to a staff member, Marvin learns both that Jan’s assertions are a contract violation, and of his options moving forward. Since Marvin has written communication (an email) from his fiscal officer last week asserting that he must have filed the request as separate, he notifies his Dean and VCAA that he will be filing a grievance.

Marvin’s Administration expresses surprise! Apparently the person Jan spoke to in the VCAA’s office was an APT, and the Dean tells Marvin she wasn’t even aware Marvin was misinformed. Marvin applies and receives his extra 2 months of Sabbatical Leave.


Tenure Conversion Language Upheld in Historic Decision

The case of Dr. Mironesco comes out of UH-West Oahu and concerns a long term faculty member, who was generally funded but was not assigned to a tenure-track position count, thus not making her eligible for tenure.  The language we negotiated into our collective agreement (see Article XIII, Faculty Appointments Not Eligible for Tenure) has established the right of faculty members to tenure-track positions once they are available to the campus.  The administration would then have the burden of proof that the individual was not qualified to keep them from being placed in the new tenure-track position.  This arbitrator’s decision accepts the argument that was made as to the interpretation of the language we wrote and the administration accepted in 2003.  This is a huge victory for “adjunct faculty” and makes UHPA’s contract language even more exceptional on a national level.


Try-all Tech Expectation Garners Eyerolls from Faculty

We’ve heard many promises about how using tech in the classroom will make things better, but the actual results are not always promising. Our favorite quote from this piece in the Hechinger Report, “Is technology actually making higher education less efficient?“:

“We’ve been hearing over the last four or five years that technology is going to reduce costs, increase quality and increase access,” said Diane Harley, director of the Higher Education in the Digital Age project at University of California, Berkeley.”

“I always say, pick two.”

What are your experiences with technology?

Weigh in with your views on the UHPA Facebook site!



We’ll Miss You, Pam!


Who is UHPA?

We are UHPA! Our Assistant Executive Director is snapping quick YouTubes of our  members and you might be next!


UHPA Vice-President Sally Pestana instrumental in expanding iCAN program

Between 2011 and 2014, the UHCCs received fifty million dollars in four rounds of federal Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant funds through the U.S. Department of Labor.  The grants focus on all aspects of job creation — including new workforce training program development, existing program enhancement, and job placement. For the past two years, UHPA Vice President Sally Pestana has been the grant coordinator for the first round of funds received by Kapiolani CC.

One part of the KapCC grant outcomes was the creation of the iCAN program (Individualized Career Achievement Network).  The iCAN Career Skills course is a 130 hour course designed to help participants prepare for a job training program at a University of Hawai’i Community College or entry-level employment.  The course focuses on upgrading the reading, writing, and math levels for students who never thought college was an option for them.  In addition, Sally developed a 30 hour iCAN Health Care Foundations course this semester. This course focuses on medical terminology, ethics, safety, and communication skills needed for entry level employment in the state’s health care sector.

Sally was instrumental in expanding the iCAN program to off campus venues such as the Oahu Work Links (OWL) office and McKinley Community School for Adults.  She is quick to give credit to a fabulous team of instructors and counselors she coordinates who deliver the program.  You will have a better feel for the iCAN program through two short videos highlighting the great work this program is doing for our state — one person at a time!

Read more: Non-traditional students discover they can with iCAN

Non-traditional students discover they can with iCAN from University of Hawai’i System on Vimeo.

UHPA Director Sets World Record

Congratulations to UHPA Director, Jennifer Small Griswold, Ph.D., and her husband Brett for setting a new Guinness World Record for longest time danced by a couple.  They danced the Argentine Tango for over 36 hours while simultaneously raising money for the National Federation of the Blind.

Dr. Griswold is an Assistant Professor of Meteorology at UH Manoa.

UPDATE:  Congratulations Jennifer and Brett on ANOTHER world record!

The Griswolds did it again!

This past Sunday (12/14/14) in the Honolulu Marathon, with a time of 11 hours 43 minutes and 8 seconds, UHPA Director, Jennifer Griswold, and her husband Brett broke the Guinness World Record for “The Fastest Marathon Tango Danced by a Couple”!

Executive Director JN Musto Announces Retirement


Date:        November 10, 2014

Contact:    Kris Hanselman
(808) 593-2157


UHPA Executive Director J. N. Musto Announces Retirement;
Search for Successor Now Under Way

(Honolulu, Hawai‘i) – J. N. Musto, Executive Director and Chief Negotiator of the University of Hawai‘i Professional Assembly (UHPA) has announced he is planning to retire in August 2015 after more than 35 years in the position.
“Dr. Musto first informed us of his plans to retire at a board meeting in 2012, and this has given us ample time as an organization to develop a transition plan to continue to effectively serve our 4,000 faculty members across the ten University of Hawai‘i campuses statewide,” said David Duffy, UHPA President. “Still, this is a major change for us as an organization, and we have now begun to execute our roadmap for the future.”

UHPA’s transition plan includes finding a successor to Musto. A nationwide search for qualified candidates officially began this month with ads placed in such publications as the Chronicle of Higher Education. The UHPA board plans to start reviewing candidates mid-January 2015.

“We recognize it will be difficult to find a leader of Dr. Musto’s caliber, which is one of the reasons we are starting now and casting a very broad net,” Duffy said. “His leadership and negotiations experience combined with his ability to advocate for the needs of UH faculty and for higher education in a collaborative, respectful manner set a new bar for public sector unions in Hawai‘i. Dr. Musto’s example of relationship-building and his contributions to the advancement of collective bargaining in our state definitely earn him a permanent place of honor in the history of the Hawai‘i labor movement.”
Under Musto’s leadership, UHPA also emerged as a recognized force in political races, providing substantial financial and tactical support to those it endorsed despite its relatively smaller membership size in comparison to other public sector unions.  Musto culminates his career with a signed two-year contract with Gov. Neil Abercrombie, the UH administration, and the UH Board of Regents, which is set to go into effect when the current contract expires at the end of June 2015, pending funding support from Hawai‘i’s legislators.

Position Requirements

According to the position description, the new Executive Director will be expected to “provide leadership to the Board of Directors and oversee the union’s collective bargaining, contract enforcement, service to members, and the faculty’s commitment to providing the people of Hawai‘i with the highest levels of public higher education,” while also being “able to work in the diverse, unique and complex culture of Hawai‘i.”  A full description and application information is available on UHPA’s newly established web pages.

Background on J. N. Musto

While pursuing a graduate degree, J. N. Musto was a secondary school biology teacher, with the intent to revolutionize the development and teaching methods of biology curricula.  It was his personal mission to introduce new education reforms based on experiential teaching.

His focus on science later transitioned to a deeper academic pursuit of law and education, which led to Musto earning a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 1973. His dissertation was titled, “Policies, Practices, and Extent of Professional Staff Reductions in Selected Michigan School Districts.”

He taught educational law and public sector employment at Northern Michigan University, while also spending two years supervising student teachers in both Michigan and Wisconsin. This experience gave him insights into the full spectrum of educational settings, extending from Native American reservations to the most advanced university research facilities.
Before coming to Hawai‘i, Musto was the Executive Director & Chief Negotiator for the Central Michigan Faculty Association and the Ferris State College Faculty Association, affiliates of the Michigan Education Association.  During this period he participated in the organizing of faculty unions from California to New York and Florida on behalf of the National Education Association. Throughout his career, he has often been called on to give national presentations on a wide range of topics related to public employment and the unionization of college and university faculty.

In addition to serving with UHPA, Musto has supported the community in other ways.  He served on the board of directors of the Research Corporation of the University of Hawai‘i (RCUH); was a trustee and chairman of the Hawai‘i Public Employees Health Fund and later as a trustee of the successor Employer-Union Health Benefits Trust Fund (EUTF); and served on several nonprofit boards, including the Aloha United Way, the Epilepsy Society, and Hawai‘i Literacy, Inc.  During the 2014 Legislative Session, Governor Abercrombie re-appointed Musto as one of seven Commissioners to the Education Commission of the States (ECS).
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About the University of Hawai‘i Professional Assembly

The University of Hawai‘i Professional Assembly (UHPA) represents nearly 4000 faculty members at 10 campuses in the University of Hawai‘i system statewide. It has been the exclusive bargaining agent for all UH faculty since 1974.