Political Action Fund Objection

UHPA has an active Political Endorsement Committee that has participated in state & federal elections through political endorsements, contributions to candidates and independent expenditures on behalf of our endorsed candidates.  The UHPA Board of Directors has taken action to allocate from the dues of all Bargaining Unit 7 members an amount of $5.00 a month to be placed in a Political Action Fund.  The Fund will be subject to the accounting requirements and used for purposes consistent with the Hawaii State Election and Federal Election laws.

Although all faculty members in the UH System are members of Bargaining Unit 7, not all faculty members choose to be members of UHPA.  However, they are still required to pay an amount equivalent to member dues.  These non-members are given an opportunity each year to object to certain expenditures made by UHPA that are unrelated to our duties under HRS Chapter 89, including political action contributions.  They can receive a rebate of these funds based upon objections made annually.

Our policy will allow members of UHPA to object to the $5.00 per month allocation to the Political Action Fund.  This will not lower your total dues, but it will not add to the total amount of funds allocated for partisan political purposes with respect to candidate endorsements and contributions.  If a member chooses to object to this funding, they will not be allowed to vote on any recommendation for candidate endorsements made by the Board of Directors.

The request to withhold funding from the Political Action account must be made each year.  If you do not wish to contribute to the “candidate endorsement” fund for fiscal year 2016-2017, then you must sign, date, and return an UHPA Allocation Objection Form by August 1, 2016.

The UHPA Board of Directors has taken this action in response to the strong feelings held by some members that the union should not participate in making candidate endorsements or political contributions.  However, we believe it is essential for a public sector union to maintain a political presence since the fundamental work of our bargaining with the State of Hawaii is ultimately subject to legislative approval.

 

UH Salary Databases Updated

UHPA has updated the UH online salary database information pages as supplied by the Office of Human Resources (OHR). You can view by faculty type, department, campus, or system-wide.   Please let us know if you see any discrepancies so we can follow up with OHR.

Federal Grant Opportunities for the College of Education

The Office of U.S. Senator Brian Schatz would like to notify you about the following federal grant opportunities.  The grant application can be used by faculty in the College of Education.

For more information, click the link below each listing, visit GRANTS.GOV, or call the Program Management Office at 1-800-518-4726.

Education

Department of Education
Project/Program: Institute of Education Sciences (IES): Education Research: Low-Cost, Short-Duration Evaluation of Education Interventions CFDA Number 84.305L
Description: The purpose of the Low-Cost, Short-Duration Evaluation of Education Interventions and Low-Cost, Short-Duration Evaluation of Special Education Interventions grant programs is to support rigorous evaluations of education interventions implemented by SEAs and LEAs that have important implications for improving student education outcomes. The evaluations are low cost because they rely on administrative records or other available data and are completed within a two-year period. The evaluations are rigorous because they use randomized controlled trials or regression discontinuity designs that, if well implemented, would meet What Works Clearinghouse evidence standards without reservations for determining the effectiveness of interventions. The evaluations are to be carried out by partnerships between research institutions and SEAs or LEAs.
Eligibility: Research partnerships involving at least one research institution and at least one SEA or LEA. The partnership must choose one principal investigator from either the research institution or the SEA or LEA to have overall responsibility for the administration of the award. Applicants that have the ability and capacity to conduct scientifically valid research are eligible to apply as the research institution partner. These include, but are not limited to, nonprofit and for-profit organizations and public and private agencies and institutions, such as colleges and universities. SEAs and LEAs (public agencies whose primary responsibility is the education of students in prekindergarten, K-12, postsecondary, and/or adult education) are eligible to apply as the education agency partner.
Current Closing Date: January 12, 2016
Estimated Total Program Funding: $1,000,000
Award Ceiling: $250,000
Award Floor: N/A
CFDA Number: 84.305 — Education Research, Development and Dissemination
For more information, go to: http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=279259

Department of Education
Project/Program: Institute of Education Science (IES): Special Education Research: Low-Cost, Short-Duration Evaluation of Special Education Interventions CFDA Number 84.324L
Description: To support rigorous evaluations of education interventions that State educational agencies (SEAs) or local educational agencies (LEAs) believe will produce meaningful improvements in student outcomes within a short period (for example, within a single semester or academic year), that can be conducted at low cost, and that will provide policymakers with valid and useful results more rapidly than is typically achieved in education research. Purpose of Program: The purpose of the Low-Cost, Short-Duration Evaluation of Education Interventions and Low-Cost, Short-Duration Evaluation of Special Education Interventions grant programs is to support rigorous evaluations of education interventions implemented by SEAs and LEAs that have important implications for improving student education outcomes. The evaluations are low cost because they rely on administrative records or other available data and are completed within a two-year period. The evaluations are rigorous because they use randomized controlled trials or regression discontinuity designs that, if well implemented, would meet What Works Clearinghouse evidence standards without reservations for determining the effectiveness of interventions.
Eligibility: Research partnerships involving at least one research institution and at least one SEA or LEA. The partnership must choose one principal investigator from either the research institution or the SEA or LEA to have overall responsibility for the administration of the award. Applicants that have the ability and capacity to conduct scientifically valid research are eligible to apply as the research institution partner. These include, but are not limited to, nonprofit and for-profit organizations and public and private agencies and institutions, such as colleges and universities. SEAs and LEAs (public agencies whose primary responsibility is the education of students in prekindergarten, K-12, postsecondary, and/or adult education) are eligible to apply as the education agency partner.
Current Closing Date: January 12, 2016
Estimated Total Program Funding: $1,000,000
Award Ceiling: $250,000
Award Floor: N/A
CFDA Number: 84.324 — Research in Special Education
For more information, go to: http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=279281

Senator Schatz Addresses Bias in Letter to NASA

In a memo issued in March 2013, NASA grant-awarded faculty were surprised to see Hawai’i classified with “foreign destinations” for the purposes of travel approval. Despite a correction issued a year later in March 2014,  lower-level NASA officials continued to restrict approval, asserting to Hawai’i faculty that their travel monies were non-domestic. After hearing from concerned faculty, Senator Schatz wrote to NASA Administrators in an effort to bring awareness to the difficulties which state researchers frequently face; namely, that it can be challenging to overcome stereotypes about Hawai’i in efforts to maximize research opportunities in what happens to also be a popular tourist destination.

In a response dated August 18th, Chief Financial Officer, David Radzanowski clarified the proper procedures and identified points of contact who would be able to assist grantees in remedying the misconception. Now faculty should be able to acquire approval without undue burden. Mahalo Senator Schatz.

Read the Correspondence Between Senator Schatz and NASA Officials

FacFAQs: When do I get that raise that’s in the new contract?

Senior Botany Professor and 9-month faculty member at Mauna Kea College, Dr. Domingo, knows the new UHPA-BOR 2015-2017 contract went into effect on July 1, 2015. He was just telling a new hire that union dues are 1% of your salary, yet, due to this contract, faculty will get an 8% raise over the next two years. Not a bad return on investment! However, Dr. Domingo just got his July 20th paycheck, and he isn’t seeing his increase. Was there a snag in the contract?

Answer:

The duty period for 9-month faculty runs from mid-August to mid-May (the academic year).  Dr. Domingo is technically only earning money until May, but his paychecks for that period are spread out over 12 months.  As a result, he receives paychecks through the summer for monies already earned over the previous year. Even though the new contract is in effect, Dr. Domingo won’t be earning money under the new contract terms until he returns to work. As a result, he can expect to see his new salary kick in after he starts earning money under the new agreement in mid-August.

If Dr. Domingo had been on an 11-month appointment, his duty period would begin on July 1. Therefore, his salary increase would also be applied on July 1st, the day he starts earning money again under the new contract. In fact, this was the source of his confusion; he was on a temporary 11-month appointment in 2009 when the last contract went into effect.

Political Action Fund Objection

UHPA policy allows active members of UHPA to object to the $5 per month allocation to the Political Action Fund. A member must complete an Allocation Objection Form. The form for the 2015-2016 fiscal year (July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016) is available now and must be returned to the UHPA office by September 1, 2015.

FacFAQs: How do I apply for a Special Salary Adjustment?

Martin is an 11-month instructional faculty member who just got awarded tenure at Aʻā Community College on a neighbor island (congratulations, Martin!). Unfortunately, he had no ability to negotiate higher than the base salary upon hire. In fact, he was a mid-year hire who requested a raise based on the salary info on the UHPA website. His VCAA told him she’d get back to him when the HR director returned from Christmas break, and then called his Department Chair to request the name of the next candidate, accusing him of walking out on salary negotiations! Fortunately, Martin’s DC called him to check if this was true. In any event, he was forced to take the lowest possible salary in order to get the job.

When looking back at his dossier, Martin realizes that he has gone above and beyond what was expected to receive tenure and promotion. After reflecting for a bit, Martin decides that summer 2015 is the perfect time to compose a document asking for a special salary adjustment. How exactly does that work?

Answer:

Martin can find information on the process for Special Salary Adjustments in R-18, Memorandum of Understanding on the Procedures for Special Salary Adjustments and Bonus Payments:
http://www.uhpa.org/contracts/contract-2009-2015/r-18-memorandum-of-understanding-on-the-procedures-for-special-salary-adjustments-and-bonus-payments/

He also checked the paper copy of the 2009-2015 contract, and found the same information on page 99 (in the blue section in the back).

Martin cleverly decided to encourage some of his colleagues to do also apply for special salary adjustments with him since they had worked on many of the same projects. Since there were no written departmental procedures as to how to apply for a special salary adjustment, he requested that writing those up be added to the agenda at the next department meeting. An email to UHPA staff revealed that the underlying principle of the contract language is a discussion with one’s colleagues. UHPA staff also told him that it’s good to get down some procedures (ex. some departments take a formal, recorded vote), because it may be optimal to avoid Administration feeling it necessary to solicit the opinions of one’s colleagues privately and/or independently.

Lastly, in the composition of his request, Martin found the salary info available on the UHPA website helpful, and a good starting point: http://www.uhpa.org/salary-research/

Good luck, Martin! UHPA is rooting for you!

FacFAQs: When Did the Base Increases Really Happen?

Associate Professor of Sociology and 9-month Instructional faculty member at Mokihana College, Dr. Ying, was perusing the 2009-2015 contract, and found the following language: “Effective July 1, 2014, all Faculty Members shall have their base salaries increased by three percent (3%).” He recalled the finance officer at his institution saying that, for 9-month faculty, this raise actually was effective on Aug 1, 2014, and payable on Aug. 20, 2014. What’s the deal?

 

Answer:

The salary increases for faculty on 9-month appointments are effective August 1 of the respective year since the duty period for 9-month faculty runs from mid-August to mid-May (the academic year.)  The salary for Dr. Ying’s 9-month appointment is paid out over 12 months.  What confused Dr. Ying is that he receives paychecks through the summer even though he’s off duty.  Those salaries have already been earned.  Even if Dr. Ying resigned or retired on June 1st, he would be paid through August 1st to receive his full wage.  However, those salaries would be for work done in the prior academic year.

If Dr. Ying had been on an 11-month appointment, he would have a duty period from July 1 through June 30, therefore the new fiscal year salary increase would be applied on July 1st.

FacFAQs: Will Proposed Budget Cuts Undermine our Next Contract?

Lenny was perusing a Star-Advertiser article published on March 13th, 2015 titled “Panel trims $72M from UH Budget,” where he was suprised to read President Lassner quoted as saying the $72 million cut made by the House Finance Committee could “hurt operations.” Now he’s a bit worried about his raise. How will this affect implementation of the 2015-2017 contract?

Answer:

Don’t believe the hype. The additional cost of the collective bargaining settlement is part of the Executive Budget, and therefore remains unaffected by this cut in the Board of Regents’ proposed UH budget. Lenny can go ahead and plan that trip to Borneo next year during Spring Break.

FacFAQs: Will the snap-back be included in my “high three”?

Pearla has served many years as 9-month faculty at Lili’uokalani Community College, and is looking forward to her retirement in Spring 2015! After much congratulations and many joyful tears from colleagues, she started thinking about the financial repercussions of the snap-back. She knows that ERS often doesn’t include retroactive payments so as not to inflate one’s AFC. Will the snap-back be included in her “high three”?

Answer:

Although Pearla’s “retirement estimate” does not reflect it, and it is not common practice from ERS, the snap-back payments are the exception that proves the rule! Because the lump sum falls within Pearla’s “high three,” she can rest easy that the lump sum will definitely be included in the ERS’s calculation of her actual AFC.