EUTF Common Qualifying Events That Allow Enrollment Changes To Your Health Benefits Plan

Please review the “Common Qualifying Events” and also be aware of the timeline to submit the “EC-1: Enrollment Form for Active Employees” and the required documentation.  The chart and the EC-1 form are available on the OHR website under Health Benefits – Hawai‘i Employee-Union Health Benefits Trust Fund (EUTF):

For more information on health care benefits, please visit the EUTF website at or contact an EUTF representative by phone (808) 586-7390 or by e-mail


Note:  The 2014 EUTF Health Benefits Open Enrollment is scheduled for April 7, 2014 through May 2, 2014. 

Reaching Out to the Next Generation of Scientists is Sheer Genius

Dr. Ania Wieczorek’s love for molecular ecology and biotechnology is clearly evident in the way she serves the community. She may even tell you it’s part her DNA.  She has led the UH Biotechnology Outreach Program since it began in 2002, sharing her expertise in numerous venues across the state, on the Mainland, and in Taiwan.


She saw a need in the community for greater awareness and appreciation for genetics, and filled it. Dr. Wieczorek felt more individuals, both adults and children, could make sound decisions about biotechnology issues if they were informed about scientific facts. That desire led to her launch of a new field trip program for elementary school students seven years ago called “Gene-ius Day.” Dr. Wieczorek’s goal is to use DNA to inspire students.

“Our goal of the popular, year-long series is to make science fun, approachable, and practical,” Dr. Wieczorek said.

To date, more than 5,000 young students have participated in hands-on activities on topics such as human and plant genetic traits, forensic science, agriculture and DNA research.  The students can always count on conducting a new experiment in a laboratory, and to learn something new.

“It’s exciting to see so many children eager to learn about biotechnology at such a young age,” Dr. Wieczorek said. “We are providing them with valuable, hands-on experiences that will prepare them for more advanced learning.” 

The Gene-ius Day became so popular that Dr. Wieczorek started another program called “Saturday Gene-ius” about two years ago.  Each Saturday Gene-ius class has about 24 students and their parents come to the UH-Manoa campus for two hours of exciting, thought-provoking activities. The classes are also held at Kauai Community College. 


Dr. Wieczorek added that in the near future, the Saturday Gene-ius program will be expanded to middle school students, which will greatly expand the reach of this outreach program. 

The Saturday Gene-ius classes fill up quickly.  For more information about Dr. Wieczorek’s program or the register, visit

Photo caption: Dr. Ania Wieczorek with Waipahu Elementary School students.

Reaching Out to the Next Generation of Scientists is Sheer Genius

UH faculty contribute to our community in numerous ways beyond instruction and research. UHPA member Dr. Ania Wieczorek, Associate Professor in the Department of Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences in the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources at UH-Manoa, is one of those prolific faculty members who freely shares her knowledge. She serves as Chair of the Graduate Program, providing academic and career guidance to graduate students, and she is equally as adept with leading educational programs for elementary school children.

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Hearing for HB2266 HD1 – Making an Appropriation to Support University of Hawaii Collective Bargaining Costs

Hearing Notice

PDF of Bill


Giving Testimony

If you wish to support this legislation go to the Hawaii Legislature page and submit your testimony 24 hours prior to the hearing.

Testimony should be submitted in ONE of the following ways:

  • Online submission – registration is required: In order to register click on the “Register” button on the top right corner of the Hawaii Legislature page.  After your registration is complete, you must first sign in and then click on the “submit testimony” button.
  • PAPER: Bring 2 copies (including an original) to Room 327 in the State Capitol
  • FAX: For testimony less than 5 pages in length, transmit to 808-586-6221 (Oahu) or 1-800-535-3859 (for Neighbor Islands)
  • EMAIL:



It’s Not About Smoking!

The University of Hawaii (University) failed to convince the Hawaii Labor Relations Board (HLRB) to dismiss the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly’s (UHPA) charges about UH Manoa (UHM) bypassing UHPA on matters subject to negotiations.  The HLRB indicated there were significant issues raised by UHPA in their prohibited practice charge. These included UHM’s handling of a no-smoking policy that exceeds both state law and BOR policy and raise bargainable issues.  Further proposed changes to faculty five-year reviews referred to the Faculty Senate raise bargainable issues.

As soon as the hearing opened, the HLRB, having read the
parties’ pleadings, announced it was ready to rule against the University’s
Motion to Dismiss.  After a brief
discussion, the HLRB unanimously denied the University’s Motion to Dismiss and
set the case for full hearing at the end of May.  The HLRB wanted to hear full evidence on
whether UHM has been misusing faculty senates, has been taking inconsistent
positions between the UH system and campus, or has been failing to raise issues
with the union in a timely way.

The University is represented by Jeffrey Harris, Esq. of
Torkildson, Katz, Moore, Hetherington & Harris.  At the HLRB hearing, attorney Harris affirmed
he represented the University and the Board of Regents.

The University is seeking to have faculty evaluation
designated as an issue not subject to negotiations as faculty members are
aware this strikes at the issues of tenure, promotion, and contract renewal
by threatening faculty rights contained within the collective bargaining

Further, the University asserts that campuses should be
allowed to establish their own policies and implementation even when the
subject matter has relevance to all BU07 members.  UHPA contends that such behavior invites
conflicting and contradictory positions being advanced by the University under
the same collective bargaining agreement.  This will create significant issues of inequity
and unfair treatment of BU07 members.

UHPA believes strongly that issues such as faculty
evaluation and no-smoking policies are system-wide issues that need addressing
by the University not delegated to a specific campus.  UHPA requested that President Lassner
negotiate on the immediate issue of no-smoking and tobacco use policies.  No response to the request has been received
by UHPA.  While UHPA does not support
smoking or use of tobacco products, UHPA does insist that its role as
exclusive bargaining agent be recognized to ensure that the interests of
faculty on all ten (10) UH campuses are addressed.

University of Hawaii Professional Assembly (UHPA) Calls For UH Administration to Bargain


Date:        February 4, 2014

Contact:    Kris Hanselman   
(808) 593-2157


University of Hawaii Professional Assembly (UHPA)
Calls For UH Administration to Bargain

The University of Hawaii system has continued to disrespect the role of the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly (UHPA) as the exclusive bargaining agent for all UH faculty through an ongoing pattern of implementing policies at various UH campuses without negotiating with UHPA.

“We are concerned that these actions inherently weaken our status, weaken our union, and therefore, weaken our opportunities for future negotiations,” said Sharon Rowe, UHPA officer and professor at Kapi’olani Community College since 1989. “We would prefer to work cooperatively with UH administration rather than have them neglect the contract, which is state law.”

UHPA has taken a two-pronged approach to preserve faculty rights. In December 2013, the union filed a prohibited practice charge against the UH administration for bypassing UHPA and dealing directly with the Manoa Faculty Senate to deliberate and approve actions taken on faculty evaluations and a tobacco-free campus at UH Manoa.

Faculty senates at the various campuses were established by the UH Board of Regents and do not represent the statutory authority to represent the interests of UH faculty. By law, only UHPA has the sole jurisdiction over protecting faculty rights relating to academic freedom, tenure, intellectual property rights, workload determination, salaries and other issues. UHPA’s charter is to guarantee fairness and avoid faculty and economic abuse.

A Hawaii Labor Relations Board hearing is scheduled for tomorrow, February 5, at 9 a.m. at which the UH administration is expected to seek to have the prohibited practice charge dismissed.

In addition to the prohibited practice charge, UHPA issued a letter on Monday, February 3, to President David Lassner demanding to negotiate fairly on issues that impact all bargaining unit members on all campuses.

“There have been attempts to trivialize our charges by focusing only on tobacco use on UH Manoa campus,” added Kris Hanselman, UHPA associate executive director. “However, there is a much larger issue than a smoking ban. This is about addressing once and for all a pattern of introducing and implementing a wide range of policies that affect faculty at all 10 UH campuses without honoring the role of UHPA in the negotiation process.”

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About University of Hawaii Professional Assembly
The University of Hawaii Professional Assembly (UHPA) represents nearly 4,000 faculty members at 10 campuses in the University of Hawaii system statewide. It has been the exclusive bargaining agent for all UH faculty since 1974.

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Schatz Co-introduces College Affordability and Innovation Act


Press Release

Murphy, Schatz, Murray, Sanders Introduce College Affordability and Innovation Act

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), and Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont)
introduced the College Affordability and Innovation Act of 2014, new
legislation to make college more affordable for students across the
United States. Over the last 30 years, the cost of college has increased
by a whopping 300 percent, forcing some students to take on crushing
student loan burdens or putting a degree entirely out of reach for
others. Student loan debt is now the highest form of personal debt in
the nation, reaching over $1.1 trillion for 38 million student loan
borrowers across the country.

During last night’s State of the Union address to Congress, President
Obama reaffirmed the importance of reducing the cost of college in
order to expand economic opportunity for middle class and low-income
Americans. The College Affordability and Innovation Act aims to put an
end to these rising college costs and ensure students of all backgrounds
have access to quality education with less of a need to take out costly
student loans. The bill focuses on two principles that the
Administration has also prioritized in its work to expand economic
opportunity: innovation and accountability. While some colleges and
education experts have developed new and creative ideas to reduce the
cost of college, not enough colleges have actually put these ideas into
practice. Furthermore, the cost of college is now at its highest and
still continues to rise, and the federal government invests more money
than ever before in higher education. In spite of its investment, in
many ways schools are not held accountable to students and American

“College affordability is one of the biggest middle class issues of our time – no generation escapes the issue,” said Schatz. “A
higher education is the best way to for people to  move up the economic
ladder.  The federal government should subsidize higher education, but
if we’re giving $140 billion in financial aid to institutes of higher
learning, we need to make college more affordable, not less.  Each
college can have whatever mission it wants, but if these institutions
want to receive federal dollars, our bill says that part of that mission
must involve affordability and access.”

“Over the past
decade, families in Connecticut have seen the cost of the things they
need increase faster than their wages. The cost of a college education
has soared to prohibitively high levels, preventing countless
prospective students from obtaining a degree, and the opportunities they
deserve. I’ve heard from students and educators all across Connecticut
and the message is clear: we need college administrators to wake up
every day thinking about how they’re going to bring down the cost of
college for students
,” said Murphy. “Our legislation will
incentivize schools to create new, innovative programs to bring down the
cost of college while improving the quality of a degree, and will set
new standards for schools that receive federal funding so that they’re
more accountable to students and the taxpayer. Reducing the cost of
college needs to be a top priority as we work together to increase
economic opportunities for all Americans. I look forward to working with
Senators Schatz, Murray and my colleagues on this legislation in the
months to come

“At a time when we’re working to reduce
inequality and create paths to the middle class, I’ve heard from too
many students in Washington state who are struggling with student loan
debt, and even worse, from others who are hesitant to go to college
because the costs are simply too high. That’s unacceptable, and that’s
why I’m proud to co-sponsor this legislation,”
said Murray.
the short term, this legislation incentivizes institutions to innovate
to reduce costs, and over the long term, it will give students the
opportunities and resources they need to make smart decisions on higher

To encourage colleges to innovate and be accountable to the students they serve, the bill does the following:

  • Creates a new evidence-based competitive pilot program to encourage innovation.
    Currently, there is little incentive for colleges to test ideas that
    may reduce the cost of college. This new pilot program would spark
    innovation by authorizing and funding a new evidence-based competitive
    pilot program to encourage institutions to develop programs that offer
    high-quality education, lower costs, and reduce the time for completing a
    degree. These programs would potentially include online courses,
    competency-based degrees, dual-enrollment programs, and accelerated
  • Implements rigorous evaluations for new programs. Under the
    Murphy-Schatz bill, institutions that receive funding to implement new,
    innovative programs that reduce the cost of college would undergo
    rigorous evaluations of these programs to ensure that students are
    getting a quality education.
  • Creates new commission to recommend minimum accountability standards for all institutions that receive Title IV dollars. In order to ensure that all schools
    are delivering quality education for their students, the Murphy-Schatz
    bill would create a commission of students, education experts, and
    stakeholders to recommend minimum standards for each undergraduate
    program in the United States to meet in order to remain eligible for
    federal funding. Those standards will focus on the access schools
    provide to low- and middle-income students, affordability, and value.
  • Rewards institutions that do best on new accountability measures.  Institutions
    that do best on these measures will receive funding awards to be used
    for additional need-based aid for students. Institutions that
    consistently fall below the minimum standards created by the new
    commission will be incentivized to improve by requiring them to improve
    over a gradual period or face a loss of Title IV eligibility.

The bill has been endorsed by the United States Student Association
(USSA), which represents more than four million students enrolled in
postsecondary education.  “Students can’t afford to continue taking on thousands of dollars in debt and enter a workforce with very low job prospects,” said Sophia Zaman, President of USSA.  “USSA
applauds Senator Chris Murphy and Senator Brian Schatz for leading this
effort to ensure that college becomes more accessible and affordable
without sacrificing the quality of education that the American public

The Hawai‘i Association of College Admissions
Counselors has also expressed support for the bill because of its focus
on helping students.  “We are excited that Senator Schatz is tackling the problem of rising college costs,”  said Nelson Chee, President Elect for HACAC.  “The
high school students we work with and their families are worrying more
and more about how they can afford to pay for a college education.  For
many this is a real barrier for them in taking that next step to higher
education.  Senator Schatz’s bill will refocus colleges on what really
matters – providing a good education at an affordable price to all

Complete College America, a nonprofit that works
with states to increase college completion, sees the bill as an
opportunity for students.  “To secure America’s future, many more
Americans must complete college — especially from groups too often left
behind on graduation day,”
said Stan Jones, president of Complete College America.  “We
applaud Senators Murphy and Schatz and their colleagues for their
efforts to maintain access to affordable, quality higher education,
inspire innovative new strategies to boost college completion, and hold
accountable colleges and universities as full partners in this vital