Federal Restrictions on Travel to Conferences and Meetings in Hawaii Eliminated

Senator Schatz has prevailed in adjusting the Federal OMB guidelines to ensure that faculty members are able to travel more freely and to conduct meetings and conferences on the islands.  This should help eliminate the barriers for many faculty members that impeded collaboration.

2017 Senate Committee Chairs and Vice Chairs Announced

UHPA has published the most recent 2017 Senate Committee Chair and Vice Chair assignments within our Legislative Action Center

Show Senate Committee Assignments Now

Governor says no salary increase for faculty

On October 31 UHPA and UH engaged in negotiations on a successor contract. The Governor presented his “apparent” opening offer of a 0% salary increase the first year of the new contract, a 0% increase in the second year, and an EUTF flat rate that will not increase with rising premium costs by the health insurance carriers.This is a significant change from the current practice of the employers’ contribution being established through a % of the total premium cost.

The Governor’s proposal negatively impacts all faculty by diminishing your buying power for at least a two year time period. It devalues the work of faculty members and is a break from the recent past where Governors, both Republican and Democrat, gave wage increases to faculty and other public employees.

The UHPA bargaining team expressed their concerns regarding the failure to support faculty members and the probable consequence of faculty leaving the University and the difficulty in recruiting quality employees. The State is not without appropriate resources to increase the compensation of faculty members.  It is a willful decision by the Governor to deny wage and benefits increases.

The Governor’s representative indicated they had not fully determined how to balance funds and faculty members needed to be patient. UHPA informed the Governors’ representative that they are doing damage to the reputation of the University as a desirable place to work.

The next negotiations session is December 1.

How the Governor’s EUTF offer may affect you

The True Impact of the Governor’s Offer

State law does not allow UHPA or any bargaining unit to negotiate health plan benefits or health plan offerings.  The plan benefits and offerings are determined by the Hawaii Employer-Union Health Benefits Trust Fund (EUTF), which includes 5 representatives from the employer, and 5 representatives from labor, one of which represents the retirees.  UHPA and all bargaining units can only negotiate the amount of health care premiums paid by the employer.   

The Governor’s opening offer of a 0% salary increase for the first year, a 0% increase for the second year, and an EUTF flat rate that will not increase with increasing healthcare costs has dire implications for our faculty members.  The Governor’s representative was unable to answer any questions regarding the impact of the proposal.

The employer currently pays 60% of the health care premiums costs for the plan offerings under the EUTF, you pay 40% of the health care premiums.  The Governor’s offer is changing  from a percentage to a fixed dollar amount at the level it is today, which means that any health care increase will pass directly on to you.   

The economy remains strong, but with Inflation/CPI projections of up to 3% in 2017, this offer will have a negative impact on your purchasing power.  Healthcare inflationary trends, although lower than in the past, are still slightly above 5%, with prescription drug costs running closer to 10%.  The projected CPI with rising healthcare costs, combined with no increase for your EUTF healthcare premiums, compound the impact of no pay increase.

To illustrate the impact of the Governor’s offer, we have provided some examples below which take into account an increased CPI of 3% and an increase of 5% in EUTF healthcare premiums.

Example #1

Chris is a R3 nine month faculty member at the minimum salary of $64,896, with family coverage under HMSA’s 80/20 Medical Plan, with vision, and dental coverage.


  • Salary – $64,896
  • Annual Employee EUTF Premium Contribution – $7,892.16


  • Salary – $64,896
  • Annual Employee EUTF Premium Contribution – $8,818.49 (increase of $926.33)
  • CPI Impact – $1,946.88

In one year, Chris’ salary will be decreasing by $2,873.21 or a decrease of 4.4%, erasing the 4% pay increase received in 2016.  

Example #2

Jamie is a rank 4 faculty member at the minimum salary, with two party coverage under HMSA’s 90/10 Medical Plan, with vision, and dental coverage.  


  • Salary – $75,720
  • Annual EUTF Premium Contribution – $8,990.16


  • Salary – $75,720
  • Annual EUTF Premium Contribution – $9,850.75 (increase of $946.99)
  • CPI Impact – $2,271.60

In one year, Jamie’s salary will be decreasing by $3,218.59, or 4.2%, erasing the 4% pay increase received in 2016.  

Members saved thousands on their mortgages

We’re happy to report that for the last quarter, UHPA members processed 4 loans (one of which was a first-time buyer) and saved an average of $1,333 on each of their mortgages.  That brings the total amount of savings for UHPA members to $138,000 on this program.   It has been reported that interest rates may be going up soon, your mortgage payment may never be as low as it could be right now.


2017 House Committee Chairs and Vice Chairs Announced

UHPA has published the most recent 2017 House Committee Chairs and Vice Chair assignments within our Legislative Action center.

Show House Committee Assignments now



Speaker of the House, Joseph Souki, announces House Leadership for the 2017 Legislative Session


Speaker:                     Joseph Souki; Kahakuloa, Waihe‘e, Waiehu, Pu‘uohala, Wailuku, Waikapū

Vice Speaker:             John Mizuno; Kalihi Valley, Kamehameha Heights, portion of Lower Kalihi

Majority Leader:         Scott Saiki; McCully, Kāheka, Kaka‘ako, Downtown

Majority Floor
Leader:                        Cindy Evans; North Kona, North Kohala, South Kohala

Majority Whip:            Ken Ito; Kāne‘ohe, Maunawili, Olomana

Majority Policy
Leader:                        Marcus Oshiro; Wahiawā, Whitmore Village

Assistant Majority
Leader:                        Roy Takumi; Pearl City, Waimalu, Pacific Palisades

Assist. Maj. Ldr:         Chris Lee; Kailua, Waimānalo

Assist. Maj. Ldr:         Dee Morikawa; Ni‘ihau, Lehua, Kōloa, Waimea

Speaker Emeritus:    Calvin Say; St. Louis Heights Pālolo, Maunalani Heights, Wilhelmina Rise, Kaimuki


Senate President Ron Kouchi, announces Senate Leadership for the 2017 Legislative Session


President:                     Ron Kouchi; Kaua‘i, Ni‘ihau

Vice President:             Michelle Kidani; Mililani Town, portion of Waipi‘o Gentry, Waikele, Village Park, Royal Kunia

Majority Floor
Leader:                          Will Espero; ‘Ewa Beach, Ocean Pointe, ‘Ewa by Gentry, Iroquois Point, portion of ‘Ewa Villages

Majority Leader:           Kalani English; Hāna, East and Upcountry Maui, Moloka‘i, Lāna‘i, Kaho‘olawe

Majority Caucus
Leader:                           Brickwood Galuteria; Waikīkī, Ala Moana, Kaka‘ako, McCully, Mō‘ili‘ili

Majority Whip:               Donovan Dela Cruz; Mililani Mauka, Waipi‘o Acres, Wheeler, Wahiawā, Whitmore Village, portion of Poamoho

Commerce, Consumer
Protection and Health:  Roz Baker; South and West Mau

Ways and Means:          Jill Tokuda; Kāne‘ohe, Kāne‘ohe MCAB, Kailua, He‘eia, ‘Āhuimanu

Judiciary and Labor:    Gil Keith-Agaran; Wailuku, Waihe‘e, Kahului




UHPA formally issues Demand to Bargain over Letters of Hire

On Thursday, October 27, UHPA sent the below letter via certified mail to President Lassner to address the unresolved issue over letters of hire which we have previously discussed.

Kristeen Hanselman, Executive Director for UHPA, explained the rationale behind this Demand to Bargain:

“UHPA is committed to ensuring that faculty members are not subject to the arbitrary whims of administrators who fail to meet their commitments contained within letters of hire. There has not been a constructive outcome that advances the rights of faculty members to expect their letter of hire be honored. The position of the University is that letters of hire are private contracts with individual employees and  enforceable only through a lawsuit brought by the injured faculty member. The absurdity of this means that a faculty member’s contractual rights to grieve are being challenged by the employer on key issues such as wages.”

Faculty members hired within the last three to five years are especially vulnerable. If you have provisions of your letter of hire not being honored, please contact UHPA.

Copy of letter sent on Thursday, October 27, 2016:

(formatting will vary from original letter due to HTML differences)

David Lassner, President
University of Hawaii System
2444 Dole Street, Bachman 202
Honolulu, HI  96822

Dear President Lassner:

After months of attempting to find a mutually agreed upon resolution that letters of hire would be subject to collective bargaining and enforced through the collective bargaining agreement, University of Hawaii Professional Assembly (UHPA) is submitting this demand to bargain.

UHPA will not remain silent while the University of Hawaii (University) imposes letters of hire and supplemental agreements to individual faculty members that establish private terms and conditions of employment that circumvent collective bargaining with the recognized union representative.  The arguments advanced by the University undermine not only the traditional academic practice, but substantially diminish its credibility and appeal to any faculty member considering employment with the University.  To adhere to a practice that the employer may unilaterally change compensation and conditions of work established by a letter of hire breeds distrust and creates a coercive environment for new faculty members.

UHPA demands the following:

1)  Effective immediately, the University will cease and desist from issuing any letter of hire, purporting to hire any person into bargaining unit 07, that states, contains, infers, promises, cross-references, or alludes to any of the following, unless that letter of hire is countersigned and approved by UHPA in advance:

a. wage rate;
b. compensation package;
c. incentive package;
d. startup package;
e. commitment of resources;
f. timeline to or conditions for tenure;
g. workload, hours; and
h. any other bargainable term or condition of employment, whether inside or outside the letter of hire.

2) Effective immediately, the University will meet and bargain over and present written proposals for language to be promptly incorporated into a Memorandum of Understanding effective for the current academic year and the next Collective Bargaining Agreement that will:

a. recognize and validate, both retroactively and prospectively, the traditional academic hiring procedure, as practiced for decades at the University, through explicit language subjecting all bargainable topics contained in letters of hire to enforcement under the collective bargaining agreement; and/or
b. provide minimum standards of initial employment for all incoming faculty through explicit matrices or charts or language establishing floors for all terms contained in typical letters of hire and as to all disciplines, ranks, and categories of incoming faculty on all campuses; and/or
c. provide a routine by which UHPA can, in the future, review any and all unit 07 letters of hire and effectively reject them, and by which the parties can accept and adopt previously-issued letters of hire.

If item 2) is achieved, item 1) will be unnecessary; but item 1) shall be in effect until item 2) is achieved.

The actions contained in items 1) and 2) must be implemented by October 31, 2016 with notice of such action received by UHPA by the close of business on October 31.  If notice of compliance is not received, UHPA reserves the right to take any and all corrective action without further notice.


Kristeen Hanselman

Executive Director

cc:  John Morton, VP for Community Colleges


Salary Research Database Updated

Data gathered from the Office of Human Resources has been published on our UH Salary Research section and over the years has proven to be an invaluable resource that is easily available. This data is typically updated quarterly.