Next Monday, April 1, marks the official first day of UHPA’s affiliation with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). This year also marks the 50th anniversary of UHPA as the exclusive bargaining agent of University of Hawai’i faculty.

Protecting Faculty Rights; Expanding Our Impact

“Tenure, academic freedom, and other rights have been enshrined in our carefully constructed faculty contracts, but we cannot take any of this for granted,” said Christian Fern, UHPA executive director. “The UHPA team has had to remain vigilant and be ready to intervene on behalf of faculty.”

“UHPA’s role has greatly expanded over the years. We do much more than contract negotiations and making sure the terms and conditions of faculty contracts are honored,” he added. “The intersection of politics and faculty rights has pushed us to explore new ways to effectively meet the needs of faculty.”

Local and National Challenges

“There are new challenges facing faculty in universities across our nation, there are constant threats to unions in our changing national political landscape, and we have issues brewing right in our own backyard, with our Board of Regents and in the legislature,” Fern said. “Whether it’s an issue occurring in Hawai‘i or happening in another state, our affiliation with AFT comes at a perfect time.”

“Complacency is one of our greatest dangers. Solidarity, our collective voice, and our kuleana to each other are all critical,” he said. “With the shape of things today, there is no place for spectators. Every faculty member has something to contribute and can make a difference. And with the collaboration of AFT, we are headed in the right direction.”

Updated Website Now Underway

UHPA has begun to update the look of its website to become a one-stop source of pertinent information to enable faculty to be more nimble, agile and proactive in shaping the future of the UH and the role of faculty. As with all websites, ours is work in progress. You can expect to see more features and functions to our website in the coming months that make it easier for UHPA members to easily navigate and to find the information they need to engage with other faculty on timely topics and to mobilize for action.