New Contract to be signed on August 3, 2017

The  new contract between UHPA, the University of Hawaii, and the Governor will be signed on August 3. This will formalize the tentative agreements on all language and EUTF contributions for faculty members. The salary increases now must be requested by the Governor to the Legislature for approval.

There are two possible avenues for the funding to be approved:

Special session

If there is a special legislative session convened it is possible for the legislature to approve the salary increases so that the funds would be immediately appropriated. Both the Senate and House leadership must agree to advance an appropriations bill for BU7.

2018 Legislature

Should a special session not be held or no action on salary appropriations is taken then the Governor’s budget to the 2018 Legislature must request funding for BU7. It then goes through the legislative process for approval. This could result in receipt of retroactive pay increases at some point during 2018.

Contract language is already in effect

In the meantime as of July 1, 2017 all contract language and the employers’ EUTF contribution is in full effect. You can review the PDFs which make up the tentative agreement and once the contract is signed we will update our website.

As always, please contact UHPA for assistance as there are many language changes that may affect your situation.

Approved! The Contract is Ratified by 95.7% of BU07 Voting Members

What now?

  • All language within the newly-ratified collective bargaining agreement will be in effect as of July 1, 2017.
    • The current contract remains in effect until June 30, 2017, 11:59 pm.
  • UHPA was able to ensure that increased employer contributions for EUTF will be funded as of July 1, 2017.

When can we expect to get the raise(s) in the agreement?

Since the Legislature is not in session there are two possible routes to funding:

  • A special Legislative session is called and the Legislature agrees to place funding of the contract on its agenda. It then votes to fund the contract.
  • If there is no funding through a special Legislative session, then in December 2017 the costs for the contract are placed in the Governor’s Budget proposal to the Legislature.
  • If the Legislature approves the funding, salary increases will be paid retroactively.

What’s next?

  • UHPA is in regular contact with legislators regarding a potential special session.
  • Regardless of what happens legislatively, we are moving forward to implement all new language provisions (other than salary adjustments) in the collective bargaining agreement.
  • The new contract will be posted online after it is formally signed.

It’s Time to Ratify a New Contract – eVoting now underway

Agreement Reached

The UHPA Board of Directors, Governor Ige, UH President David Lassner and the Board of Regents have reached a tentative agreement over the terms of a successor faculty contract effective July 1, 2017 following the expiration of the current contract on June 30, 2017.

We Recommend that you Vote In Favor

Your Board of Directors unanimously recommends this contract be approved. It is important to ensure faculty members are able to continue to provide the best education for our students and be assured your rights and compensation are protected for four years.

Check your inbox.

eBallots were sent on 5/22 we emailed detailed information about the Tentative Agreement. If you are having difficulties please contact our office.

Highlights of the Tentative Agreement

Salary Increases for All Faculty Members

  • Y1: $500 plus 2.13% ATB (Added To Base)
    • (the $500 is divided into 24 payments and ATB)
  • Y2: $500 plus 2.82% ATB
    • (the $500 is divided into 24 payments and ATB)
  • Y3: 2% ATB plus reopener
  • Y4: 2% ATB plus reopener

Contract language highlights

  • Faculty rights and protections are stable for 4 years from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2021
  • In-rank promotions for I2 faculty
  • Letters of Hire are grievable and subject to arbitration
  • Tenure and Promotion process strengthened
  • Existing Intellectual Property language is retained

Have you voted yet? Ballot reminders sent to your inbox

UHPA has sent all members of Bargaining Unit 7 an email with login and password to an electronic ballot to vote on ratification of our tentative agreement.  Check your inbox, subject line: “Reminder to Vote – UHPA Contract Ratification Vote“.

Your Board of Directors unanimously recommends this contract be approved. It is important to ensure faculty members are able to continue to provide the best education for our students and be assured your rights and compensation are protected for four years.

The ballot email also contains links to detailed information regarding the contract including a slide deck, FAQs, calculators, and the actual signed documents.

Voting ends soon. Make sure your voice is heard.

Salary Calculator Added to Tentative Agreement Information Package

We appreciate all the questions brought forth regarding the Tentative Agreement, Mahalo! We’ve responded by updating the FAQ, adding to the slide deck and in addition have created a spreadsheet where you can plug in your salary and get details on how the agreement will benefit you.

The link to the calculator is on the last “Reference Slide”. The link to the slides and the updated FAQ is in the email sent on Monday 5/22, subject line “Be Informed: Details of Tentative Agreement” from UHPA and also any ballot reminder emails we send.

Detailed explanation of the calculations in our response to the State’s offer on 4/23

The Negotiating Team created a document and spreadsheet to further explain the numbers referred to in the email sent to the membership on Sunday 4/23 regarding the governor’s offer and our response. The button below goes to Google documents shared to your non-@hawaii.edu account and if you have any technical difficulties please follow these 3 steps.

 

 

Executive Director Kristeen Hanselman interviewed on KHON about our 4/23 rejection of the Governor’s offer

The relevant excerpt from this KHON story: More raises likely following teachers’ contract agreement, but how will the state pay for them?

“The bargaining team is willing and able to meet at any time, but we were quite firm that the offer that is on the table does not satisfactorily meet the needs of our members,” said UHPA executive director Kristeen Hanselman.

Hanselman says the latest offer from the state did not even come close to what the members want, so it seems unlikely that any agreement will be reached before the end of the Legislative session.

Hanselman says the state offered two percent for the first year starting in July, followed by another 1.2 percent in January. With no agreement in sight, any pay raises agreed upon will have to be funded by lawmakers at next year’s session.

Watch the segment on YouTube:

Watch Executive Director Kristeen Hanselman on PBS Insights

On April 21, 2017 INSIGHTS ON PBS HAWAI‘I: “Bargaining Power” show aired and you can watch via YouTube. Our Executive Director Kristeen Hanselman was a guest on the show and  made several important points regarding how the faculty bargain in contract negotiations. We highly recommend you watch.

 

How you will be affected by a lump sum payment

Highlights

  • UHPA recently received the written salary proposal from the Governor.
  • The offer provides a 1% one-time lump sum cash bonus of a faculty members’ base salary.
  • The offer will impact faculty members differently based on your employment date.

If you were hired Before July 1, 2012

Faculty Members hired before July 1, 2012 will have ERS deductions taken from the lump sum cash bonus. The lump sum cash bonus will count toward the “high three” years of salary for purposes of calculating retirement benefits.

If you were hired from July 1, 2012 to the present

Faculty Members hired July 1, 2012 to the present shall have no ERS deduction taken from the lump sum cash bonus. The lump sum cash bonus will not count toward the “high five” years of salary for purposes of calculating retirement benefits.

Other Faculty Compensation

There are no increases in minimum annual salaries; lecturer fee schedule; non-credit fee schedule, and overload rates per credit hour.

UHPA’s view on the Governor’s 1% lump

This is an unacceptable proposal from the Governor and continues to devalue the work of faculty members. UHPA’s bargaining team has been firm in its opposition to this paltry sum and has expressed this directly to the Governor’s representative.

FAQs about the Hawaii ERS Unfunded Liability

In recent weeks, we have seen a great deal of information regarding the dramatic increase in the unfunded liability of the Hawaii ERS (Employeesʻ Retirement System).  We understand the concerns and wanted to provide some perspective on this situation to ensure that you, as beneficiaries, understand what happened and how it is being handled.  Please look through the Q&A below and let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

 

  • What is the Hawaii ERS unfunded liability?

    • The ERS unfunded liability is the amount of money, at any given point in time, in which future retirement payments exceed the amount of funds currently available to pay for them.
  • Why did the Hawaii ERS unfunded liability balloon this year by roughly $3 Billion?

    • According to the ERS actuarial valuation report, there were two main factors contributing to the dramatic increase in the unfunded liability:
      • The ERS Board voted to decrease the investment return assumption from 7.50% to 7.00%, which subsequently increased the unfunded liability by $1.7 billion
      • Increasing life expectancy, because people are living longer in retirement, resulted in an increase of $1.2 billion
    • These changes caused the ERS funding ratio to drop from 61.2% funded to 54.7% funded.
  • What are the implications of the increase in the Hawaii ERS unfunded liability?

    • The roughly $3 Billion increase in the unfunded liability increased the funding period from 27 years to 66 years to full funding.  Statutorily, the employer contribution rates must be reviewed for adjustment once the accrued liability exceeds 30 years.  There is legislation attempting to address new contribution rates during the 2017 legislative session.
  • Did the Hawaii ERS Board know the ramifications of decreasing the investment return assumption from 7.50% to 7.00%?

    • Yes.  Wesley Machida, the State Budget & Finance Director, is an Ex Officio voting ERS Board Member.  He confirmed that the ERS Board was apprised of the impact that decreasing the investment return assumption would have on the unfunded liability, but chose to proceed anyway.  Due to a strong trend of lowering return expectations across the industry, the ERS Board has been slowly decreasing the investment return assumption, beginning at 8.00% and slowly moving down to 7.50% over a five year period.  What had previously taken five years to accomplish, was done all at once by the ERS Board, which had negative implications on the unfunded liability.
  • Did the Hawaii ERS Board have to take this approach and decrease the investment return assumption from 7.50% to 7.00%?

    • No, it was not necessary to decrease the investment return assumption in such a dramatic fashion.  The ERS Board was making progress in decreasing the investment return assumption gradually, ensuring that the accrued liability did not exceed thirty years.  That one action changed the entire ERS landscape and is forcing the legislature to make decisions on how to find the funding.
    • In December 2016, CalPERS, the California Public Employeesʻ Retirement System, took a similar action by decreasing their investment return assumption from 7.50% to 7.00%, but decided to spread that decrease over a three year time period.  This is an approach the ERS Board could have taken.
  • What are the ramifications of the action taken by the Hawaii ERS Board?

    • $385 Million is required to meet the funding obligations for the ERS due in large part to the actions by the ERS Board.  Those actions are forcing the legislature to look at yet another area in need of funding, taking away from competing interests, such as pay raises for public employees.
  • Why is the Hawaii ERS in this fiscal dilemma in the first place?

    • Going back to the 1960ʻs, the Legislature raided roughly $1.6 Billion to help make ends meet in other areas.  If those raids were not made, the ERS would likely be above 90% funded.
  • Should you be concerned about your retirement payments?

    • No, not at this time.  It is foolish to believe that the everyone eligible for retirement benefits would seek payment all at once.  As long as the required payments towards your retirement benefits are made, there should be no issues in meeting the retirement obligations.  Think of the ERS unfunded liability as you would your mortgage payments.  As long as you make the necessary monthly payments, there are no issues and you continue to live in your home.