Mandates Subject to Collective Bargaining

Mandates Must Abide With Collective Bargaining Protocols

Any requirement imposed on University of Hawai‘i faculty as a new term or condition of continued employment must be freely discussed and jointly agreed to by the parties before the impact of these requirements can be enforced. This is the recognized standard established via the collective bargaining process to promote harmonious and cooperative relations between government and its employees and to protect the public by assuring effective and orderly operations. 

The UHPA believes this statutory requirement applies to this situation over the mandate to require faculty to be fully vaccinated to continue their employment at the University of Hawai‘i system and the 10 campuses statewide.

We Recognize The Importance of Vaccination

There is no doubt COVID-19 vaccinations play an important role in preventing the transmission of the disease and keeping down the number of cases in our state. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said those who are fully vaccinated have less chances for severe illness if they contract COVID-19 and this minimizes the need for hospitalizations.

The benefits of the vaccinations, notwithstanding, is important to the parties to adhere to the collective bargaining process.

Courts Are Approving Reasonable Mandates

UHPA does recognize that while this issue is relatively new, there have been significant and impactful recent decisions made by other universities and other public and private organizations to mandate vaccination of students and employees.  These recent mandates have been challenged and approved by the courts and the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) where employers can require all employees who physically enter the workplace to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19, so long as employers comply with reasonable accommodation provisions of the ADA and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other EEO considerations.

UHPA Has Worked Well With UH Admin and This Practice Should Continue

UHPA and faculty look forward to engaging in productive and meaningful discussions with the UH administration to explore ways to ensure UH students and faculty have a safe learning environment while also upholding the collective bargaining process.

Throughout the pandemic, UHPA and UH administration have had a productive relationship based on mutual trust and respect. We are confident we will be able to resolve any potential vaccination mandate together through joint decision-making.

UH Rescinds Return To Work Requirement

UHPA’s Negotiations Team has been working with UH over the recent weeks regarding policies concerning returning to work.   These discussions, now being led by Vice President for Community Colleges (VPCC) Erika Lacro are beginning to yield fruitful results and good collaboration, most recently noted by UH President David Lassner announcing that “The previously announced requirement that all employees return to campus August 3 is rescinded and the COVID-19 Telework leave option will remain in place.”

Great Results Are Possible Through Genuine Collaboration

UHPA will continue working with UH in developing a non-COVID-19 telework policy that represents the best interests for all. Christian Fern, Executive Director of UHPA said, “When the pandemic first struck in the Spring of 2020 and there was an immediate shift to distance learning, UH and UHPA demonstrated that we can efficiently work together to resolve issues.  The collaboration resulted in over 17,000 degrees, diplomas and certificates awarded to students during the pandemic. It simply makes sense to continue in this tradition of collaboration with UH, lead by VPCC Erika Lacro, as we now shift to discussing return-to-campus policies that will have long-term positive effects upon the entire UH community”.

We’ll continue to update our members on this progress via our regular Monday Reports. 

Terminated Tenured Position Fiasco Gets National Attention

We came across “Hawaiʻi Legislature Terminates Tenured Professor’s Position” over at TheScientist that is worth reading, though if you’ve been following our Monday Reports, there’s nothing new in there. That said, it’s got some good quotes from UHPA Executive Director Christian Fern, among others like:

“When has the legislature turned into the employer? Is it the Senators’ job to determine whether or not a particular faculty member is meeting his or her expectations?”

UHPA Executive Director Christian Fern on TheScientist

Even UH spokesperson Dan Meisenzahl seemed to agree that what happened could be problematic:

Meisenzahl notes that the university collectively bargains with three public unions, including the UHPA, and “to have the legislature start to fire people, so to speak . . . it does compromise the university’s position as a hirer and employer, as we sign and agree to contracts with our unions.”

The article is a quick, easy read that’s worth sharing.

Possible paycheck deduction error on EUTF

You may have a DAGS Error on 7/20/21 Paychecks on EUTF calculations

The below is excerpted from an email sent to EUTF trustees. If you have any questions or concerns UHPA recommends you do as directed below and contact EUTF directly.  

Late last week we found out that DAGS made an error on the 7/20/21 paychecks related to EUTF deductions.  DAGS normal process is to upload our EUTF file with the upcoming health benefit deductions.  For the 7/20/21 paycheck, DAGS was running the EUTF file and another file at the same time.  This resulted in 26,000 out of 109,000 rows (each row represents one employee’s deduction for EUTF medical, drug, dental or vision) not being updated properly.  The bulk of these updates are probably for the increase in premiums which would result in an under collection.  However, if the member during open enrollment dropped a dependent or changed to a lower cost plan, this would not have been reflected resulting in an over collection.  DAGS will resolve the issue by taking the following actions:

  1. Notify the departments of the issue (an email was sent on Friday, 7/16). 
  2. Determine the 7/20/21 over or under collection and will refund or collect the difference on the 8/5/21 paycheck.
  3. Implement procedures to prevent the same situation in the future. 

At this point, we do not have to make changes on our side.  However, please note the following:

  1. Shortage notices should not be sent out as any under collections should be resolved (i.e. 8/5/21) prior to the next shortage notice print out (i.e. mid August).
  2. EUTF staff will not issue refunds related to the 7/20/21 paycheck until we receive the 8/5/21 DAGS payroll deduction file. 
  3. Our Member Services Staff have been apprised of the situation and will be able to assist the members impacted.

HMSA publishes EUTF video on receiving care

UHPA received the following (unedited) message from HMSA that may be of interest to our members:

We are now past the halfway point of 2021, and a return to normalcy is right around the corner. With the state slowly reopening and travel resuming, it has never been more important to feel safe. Here at HMSA we know this includes getting the care you want, when and where you need it. We created a video for your members to learn about HMSA’s extensive network and access to care. It can also be viewed at

To show our members all the different ways care is available to them, this video answers questions like:

– Where can you go for care outside of normal office hours?

– What kind of care can you receive on the outer islands? What about outside of Hawaii?

We hope this video will give your members peace of mind that they will always have access to the care they need.

Attend a Tenure and Promotion Workshop Near You

Tenure, Promotion and Contract Renewal Workshops

UHPA has been invited to numerous Tenure, Promotion and Contract Renewal workshops throughout the years.  This year is no different.  UHPA staff have already attended the UH-Hilo and the University of Hawaii Community College (UHCC) Dossier Writing Series workshops.  Here is a list of upcoming workshops UHPA will be attending via zoom.  Please be sure to register with your campus if you would like to attend.  To register for the UHCC Dossier Writing workshops, go to: 

  • July 22, 2021 – 3:00-4:30 p.m.:  UHCC Dossier Writing Series – Writing Tips for Your Dossier
  • July 27, 2021 – 10:00-11:30 a.m.:  UHCC Tenure/Promotion & Contract Renewal Applicant Training
  • July 28, 2021 – 3:00-4:30 p.m.:  UHCC Dossier Writing Series – Evaluation & Assessment in Your Dossier
  • August 18, 2021 – 10:00-11:00 a.m.:  UH-Hilo Contract Renewal, Tenure & Promotion
  • August 27, 2021 – 3:00-4:00 p.m.:  UH-West Oahu Tenure & Promotion Application Process
  • September 1, 2021 – 1:30-2:30 p.m.:  Leeward CC Contract Renewal Process
  • September 1, 2021 – 3:00-4:00 p.m.:  Leeward CC Tenure & Promotion Process
  • September 10, 2021 – 3:00-4:00 p.m.:  UH-West Oahu Contract Renewal Application and Process 
  • October 1, 2021 – 3:00-4:00 p.m.:  UH-West Oahu Serving on a DPC, FPC or TPRC

Contract Successor Agreement Terms Published

2021-2023 Unit 7 Successor Agreement Negotiated Changes Published

The approved changes to the Unit 7 successor agreement and the terms agreed upon by the parties that will be incorporated into the 2021-2023 Unit 7 UHPA/BOR Agreement can be found on the UHPA website on the 2021-2023 Tentative Agreement page.

Contract Printing of Full Agreement Underway

UHPA, UH, and the Governor are now in the process of finalizing the changes to produce a formally executed successor agreement in full. Once the changes have been reviewed and memorialized in draft form, the parties will take a final review and will need to mutually approve the changes for printing. The parties are hopeful that this review and approval process will occur shortly. Until the 2021-2023 Unit 7 UHPA/BOR Agreement is printed and distributed, please continue to reference the UHPA website contract section

Lynne Wilkens Endorsed by Hawaii Fire Fighters Association for ERS Board

UHPA was copied on the below letter from the President of the Hawaii Fire Fighters Association endorsing Lynne Wilkens for the  Employees’ Retirement System Board of Trustees, and we could not be happier.   Please support Lynne in the upcoming ERS Board Trustee Election.

Dear Dr. Wilkens,

On behalf of the Hawaii Fire Fighters Association’s (HFFA) Executive Board, I am pleased to share HFFA’s endorsement of your candidacy for Trustee of the State of Hawaii’s Employees’ Retirement System.

Your professional qualification, experience within the higher education system, and your advocacy on behalf of the members of the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly over the many years makes you extremely qualified for the position on the Employees’ Retirement System Board of Trustees. HFFA is extremely confident that you will be an asset on the ERS Board and an advocate for all members, both active and retired. We will share HFFA’s endorsement with our retired and active members prior to ERS distributing the ballots in September.

Please feel free to call me if we can assist your candidacy and we look forward to working with you in 2022 as a Trustee on the Employees’ Retirement System Board.

Fraternally yours,
Robert H. Lee

Download the original PDF received: HFFA endorsement of Lynne Wilkens for ERS