Ken Tanaka* works for DaBest Community College as an Assistant Professor. After skimming through “Salaries” section of the ratified Tentative Agreement slated to begin on July 1, 2015, Ken is upset. Having been hired in 1994, Ken was only able to negotiate the minimum salary, and currently makes $60,000 a year. Now the new hire his department receives next year will be entitled to Ken’s current salary as a base rate of pay! With all the service Ken has put in, how is this equitable? Why didn’t the union negotiate a base salary increase instead of percentages?


After analyzing the financial and political conditions the University system faces, UHPA strategized that the only way to ensure across-the-board increases was to raise salaries by percent and increase minimum salaries by rank. Unlike the Department of Education, UH system salaries have never been predicated on years of service; the salary system has always been based on a meritocracy of ranks. Whereas actions to resolve compression issues can always be sought by the deserving individual, what this TA aimed to resolve was the more-difficult-to-achieve adjustment for the salary differential between 9- and 11-month appointments.
The good news is that Ken can take action to increase his pay! The new TA maintained the existing contractual provisions that allow for special salary adjustments based on merit, retention, and equity from the current contract’s section R-18, Memorandum of Understanding on the Procedures for Special Salary Adjustments and Bonus Payments. He can apply at any time for a special salary increase using supporting data from UHPA’s Salary Research.
* Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.


Salary Research Database Updated and Redesigned

The database containing University of Hawaii Faculty data has been updated for the fall of 2014 and published in a new, interactive format, including executive management salaries from July of 2013. Take a look and let us know what you think!

UHPA Board Member Norman Arancon Helping Philippines

Complete story on Honolulu Star Advertiser

May Mizuno and the Congress of Visayan Organizations (COVO) in collaboration with the Filipino Community Center, Kokua Philippines and the Filipino Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii will be holding a fundraiser dubbed “Kokua for Philippines: A Night of Hope Concert” on Sunday, Dec. 1  at 5:30 pm at the McKinley High School Auditorium. 

“We are seeking donations from corporate sponsors for donations and sponsorships,” said May Mizuno. “Proceeds from the concert will go to reputable non-governmental organizations and agencies that are already involved in the disaster relief operations in the affected areas.” 

Hernando Tan, President of Local 5 and the Executive Director of COVO provides “This is a time we need to unite after such a calamity in the Central Philippines, I respectfully ask for your kind support as we work to help the victims of the typhoon.”

The concert is being held to benefit not only the victims of typhoon Haiyan, but the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that hit the central Philippines, particularly the island of Bohol, on Oct. 15.

The Dec. 1 show will headline Kristian Lei, an internationally-acclaimed singer, comedian Augie T., and Norman Arancon.  

Where Does Money for Higher Education Go?

State funding for public higher education in Hawaii always seems to boil down to a philosophical question: What exactly is the role and mission of the University of Hawaii system and is the return worth supporting with tax payer dollars?

Funding for higher education wasn’t always an uphill battle. Institutions of higher learning go back at least two millennia. The first university in the current sense dates back a mere thousand years, but the models of education have evolved over the years.

 The Morrill Act of 1862 and the GI Bill of 1944 transformed America.

The Morrill Act set up land grant universities that taught “liberal and practical education of the industrial classes in the several pursuits and professions in life.” The GI Bill put World War II veterans through college basically free of cost. It produced 14 Nobel Prize winners, three Supreme Court justices, three presidents, a dozen senators, two dozen Pulitzer Prize winners, and many others who have contributed back to society.

Read the rest of the article on Civil Beat

UH Faculty Paychecks to be Increased Beginning This Month

3% Salary Increase Across the Board

UH faculty can expect to receive slightly bigger paychecks, beginning this summer, thanks to the terms of our current agreement. Effective July 1, 2013 faculty received a 3% increase to their base salaries.  Faculty on 11-month appointments will receive the increase in the July 19th paycheck, and faculty on 9-month appointments, whose duty period begins on August 15th, will receive the increase in the August 20th paycheck.

Another 3% pay increase to your base salary is scheduled on July 1, 2014.

Restoring Salary Reductions

In addition, faculty hired before December 31, 2009 can expect to receive more money in August. As a way to support the University of Hawaii system during a difficult economic period, in 2009 UHPA members agreed to a temporary pay reduction, with an agreement from the UH administration and the Board of Regents that the amount would be restored over time. As a result, effective August 1, 2013 faculty will receive a lump sum payment equivalent to 25% of the total temporary salary reduction that was made from January 1, 2010.

More to Come

This will be the second lump sum payment to faculty; the first was paid out last August 1, 2012. A third and final lump sum payment equivalent to 50% of the total temporary salary reduction, will be effective August 1, 2014.

Former Administrators Receiving Substantial Salaries

While this is good news, we see a disturbing trend with former administrators moving into tenured faculty positions and demanding large salaries. Ultimately, this will have a negative impact on students and on the quality of teaching and research within the UH system as funds allocated for faculty salaries must be set aside for former administrators to receive special treatment.

Unfortunately, these types of perks are viewed as an entitlement and part of the “golden parachute” for those who are no longer serving in executive administrative positions, and have received secure, safe landings as a tenured faculty member by action of the Board of Regents as part of their individual employment agreements. UHPA has raised these concerns again with the Board of Regents as they begin another search to find a new UH president.  UHPA believes these “past practices” should not be included in the final “compensation package” for the next President.

2013 EUTF Open Enrollment Changes


This message is for employees that enrolled or made changes to their health plans during the 2013 Hawai‘i Employer-Union Health Benefits Trust Fund (EUTF) open enrollment period and have not yet received a confirmation notice in the mail.  Please read the EUTF memo for instructions if you need to see a doctor or dentist or fill a prescription in July 2013.  To view memo: http://www.hawaii.edu/ohr.

EUTF recommends you email eutf@hawaii.gov and in the subject line type: URGENT! CONFIRMATION OF COVERAGE NEEDED.

Information regarding your health plans may be viewed on the EUTF’s website http://eutf.hawaii.gov.  Should you have any questions, please contact the EUTF at 586-7390 or via email at eutf@hawaii.gov.

Thank you.

Clifford Shinchi
Human Resources Specialist
University of Hawai’i
Office of Human Resources
Phone: (808) 956-8607
Fax: (808) 956-3952

Legislature Considering Repeal of Higher Tax Rate to Fund State’s Budget

The legislature is now considering a repeal on higher tax rates that were imposed on those in the highest income bracket in 2009 to offset the effects of the lagging Island economy. An income tax decrease has not been considered as a solution since 2007 when the State enjoyed a record budget surplus. It’s also an indication that the legislature is now revisiting the issue of using taxes to resolve the budget constraints. 

UHPA wanted to know how members felt about increasing taxes for the state’s general fund, which is used to support faculty and programs in the University of Hawaii system. This information assists UHPA in responding to various short-term and long-term public policy proposals.

The Question

UHPA commissioned Market Trends Pacific to conduct a survey, held January 30 through February 8, 2013. All UHPA members were asked the following question:

The University of Hawaii is funded through the Hawaii general fund, along with other state programs. Which of the following revenue sources would you favor adding or increasing to provide increased general funds?

Possible answers included the following:
a. Transient Accommodations Tax (TAT) on visitors
b. General excise tax
c. State income tax
d. Additional tax revenue from legalized gambling
e. None / Not in favor of any tax increase
f.  Don’t know / no answer

The Survey Results

A total of 847 UHPA members responded to the survey. The survey results showed 45% of the respondents are in favor of adding or increasing taxes for the Transient Accommodations Tax (TAT), which is a tax imposed on operators of transient accommodations such as hotel rooms, apartment, condominiums, or beach houses for less than 180 consecutive days.  This increase is typically passed on to visitors, which is why it is referred to as a hotel room tax.

Almost a third (28%) of those responding to the survey favored additional tax revenue from legalized gambling.  About a quarter (26%) of the respondents favored additional tax revenue from general excise tax, and 21% was in favor of deriving tax revenue from State income tax. A total of 18% was not in favor of a tax increase of any kind.

Age, Gender and Geography Influence Preferences

The survey showed that respondents 30 years old and younger are the most in favor of increasing the Transient Accommodations Tax (TAT). UHPA members 30 and younger and recent hires are more in favor of additional tax revenue from legalized gambling, and both groups are also less likely to oppose any tax increases.

Other findings from the survey: More men than women respondents favor an increase in the State income tax. University of Hawaii Maui College and Kauai Community College are the campuses most in favor of increasing the TAT.

UHPA Contract Provision Triggers EUTF Refunds for Faculty

The language requires the Employer to pay not less than the highest
percentage rate or monthly contribution for UH Faculty health benefit plans
that it paid for any other public sector bargaining unit heath premiums during
the same months. From July 1 to November 1, 2011, the United Public Workers
contract called for a higher Employer premium percentage than contained in the
UHPA contract, which triggered the “most favored nation” language.

Thanks to Article XXII in the UHPA contract, current and former UH
Faculty who were enrolled in the EUTF plan(s) (i.e., medical, drug, dental and
vision) during the period July 1, 2011 through November 30, 2011 have been
reimbursed up to a maximum of four (4) months of the dollar difference between
the negotiated UHPA and UPW premium amounts.

If you did not receive a refund check and think you should have,
contact your Human Resources Representative or the Office of Human Resources
(956-8643 or email uh-benefits-l@lists.hawaii.edu).