The 3,987 UH faculty members within Bargaining Unit 7 have ratified the proposed 2015-2017 UHPA/BOR Agreement by a vote of 99.1% (2798) in favor, with a total 70.8% (2823) of 3987 faculty members voting. The contract negotiations and the ratification voting were both finished an unprecedented year before the end of the expiration of the current Agreement, ensuring a smooth transition through June 30, 2017.
The ratified contract provides an 8% across-the-board salary increase over the two years of the agreement, as well as increases in minimum salaries paid by rank and appointment period in both 2015 and 2016 , while also establishing three joint contractual committees that will address the issues of distant learning, child-care on the campus and child-care leave, and the development affordable workforce housing.
The task of reaching an agreement was the result of rational cooperation between the employer and the union, a contrast to more confrontational negotiations in the past. President Lassner and Vice President John Morton, JN Musto, Executive Director of UHPA and I were the negotiators, with Morton and Musto as leads. Without the two of them, it might have been a different, certainly slower process. Most importantly, the agreement could not have been achieved without the incredible support and participation of Governor Abercrombie.
Under the provisions of the Hawaii Revised Statues, the Agreement is still subject to funding by the State Legislature. As it is an election year, we do not know all the individuals who will occupy key positions in the Legistrature, but we will work with all the continuing and newly elected legislators to ensure that this contract is fully funded before the close of this academic year.
These are difficult times for UH, and higher education across our nation, but this settlement leaves our university community free to address the other important challenges we are facing.
Finally I’d like to thank all the faculty who expressed their support for the negotiations process and the final result that we achieved. UHPA can be proud of of this accomplishment, and confident that we can face the continuing task of representing the interests of the faculty.
Professor David Duffy, UHPA President