UHPA Stands in Solidarity with Hotel Workers

UHPA stands in solidarity with the hotel workers who have been without a contract and believes the request of the 2,700 hotel workers on Oahu and Maui for fair wages and better working conditions is fair and reasonable.

Last chance: Disney’s Aulani Resort offer expires Oct 2

Our 5th Annual UHPA Aulani Resort Experience is shaping up to be more popular than ever.  There are only a handful of rooms available.  This is your absolutely last chance to get a fantastic rate for a great family weekend.  You can book your stay for up to 5 days before or 5 days after our allocated days of Nov 1-3. This means you can stay at the Aulani either the weekend prior or during Nov 1-3!

This offer is available to UHPA Members only while supplies last.

 

Get a discount on your next vehicle

UHPA Members now have access to an exclusive automotive purchase program via the JN Group that includes guaranteed discounts on your next vehicle (either new or pre-owned) purchase.

Not a member yet? Click here for a quick and easy join with no additional fees.

Are you already a member but can’t access the content? Click here to troubleshoot or just call our office.

UHPA Making Sure Your Dues Deductions are Accurate

The last four faculty paychecks illustrated the problems within DAGS and the ongoing issues when a state agency doesn’t know UHPA and takes some authority away from UH payroll. A brief recap of the mistakes that UHPA identified and ensured there were corrections.

Pursuant to the U.S. Supreme Court Janus v AFSCME decision effective June 27, 2018, dues deduction from nonmembers were to end. On July 5, the Department of Accounting & General Services (DAGS) deducted dues from UHPA nonmembers and no dues deduction were made from members. The dues from nonmembers, which were inappropriately deducted, were deposited to an escrow account established by UHPA. UHPA notified DAGS of their error. DAGS was unable to refund dues from nonmembers deducted from July 27 – June 30. UHPA prepared checks for the refund and checks were mailed to all nonmembers on August 3.

On July 20, DAGS again deducted union dues from UHPA nonmembers. The nonmembers’ dues portion was deposited into the UHPA escrow account. Refunds were made by DAGS with the Aug 5 pay check. UHPA members’ dues deduction was deducted as SD725 and SD726 to correct the mistakes made earlier.

UHPA identified further issues with the August 5 payroll, for those UHPA members whose monthly salary ended in an odd amount, $1.00 was added to the dues deduction instead of $.01. The $.99 correction was made by DAGS on Aug 20.

On August 20, UHPA noticed that 9 month faculty received their negotiated pay increase but DAGS did not recalculate the dues. You will see the DAGS correction on your Sept 5 pay check.

The series of incidents have been frustrating for both UHPA staff and members affected by DAGS’ mistakes. UHPA filed a Prohibited Practice with the Hawaii Labor Relations Boards seeking to remedy these problems and ensure the State is compliant with their obligations under the Hawaii collective bargaining law. UHPA is seeking a resolution that will establish a clear procedure that ensures accuracy for dues collection by DAGS.

New Notification Requirements for Placement on Administrative Leave with Pay

Many faculty members who were placed on administrative leave with pay were subject to ongoing 30 day extensions without being informed of the need for the extensions.These situations often were a result of administrative investigations based on workplace violence or Title IX. complaints. Investigations were ongoing for substantial periods of time with no information forthcoming on the status of the activities. These extended periods of time can have negative consequences on a faculty member’s work and standing within the academic community.

Under a new Memorandum of Understanding faculty members shall receive the rational and supporting facts for the extension. The information shall include the anticipated end point of the investigation. This helps ensure that investigations are dealt within the proper timeline often prescribed within UH administrative policy.

The MOU modifies Article XVIII, Section B.6 Disciplinary Actions.

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.

Our policy allows Active members of UHPA to object to the $5.00 per month allocation to the Political Action Fund. This will not lower their 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 an Active 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 2018-2019, then you must sign, date, and return an UHPA Allocation Objection Form by October 1, 2018.

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.

UHPA Office Closed August 23 & 24

Due to the expected impact of Hurricane Lane, the UHPA office will be closed on Thursday, August 23, and Friday, August 24, 2018.  We anticipate that we will be back in business at 8 a.m. on Monday, August 27, 2018.

UHPA’s Series of Requests to Meet Repeatedly Ignored; Prohibited Practice Complaint Filed

NEWS RELEASE

Date: August 6, 2018

Contact: Kris Hanselman
Executive Director
(808) 593-2157
kris@uhpa.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Gov. David Ige and State Comptroller’s Inattention to University of Hawaii
Professional Assembly and U.S. Supreme Court Ruling
Result in Inaccurate Payroll Deductions for UH Faculty

UHPA’s Series of Requests to Meet Repeatedly Ignored;
UHPA Files Prohibited Practice Complaint with Hawaii Labor Relations Board

The University of Hawaii Professional Assembly (UHPA), the union that represents UH
faculty, filed a prohibited practice complaint against the governor and the director of the
Department of Accounting and General Services (DAGS) with the Hawaii Labor
Relations Board last Friday afternoon.

The filing urges Gov. David Ige and DAGS director Rod Becker to heed UHPA’s
requests for a “full, immediate, and effective” discussion on faculty payroll deductions to
meet the requirements of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

UHPA’s requests to meet with the governor and other government agencies to prepare
for the payroll deductions in anticipation of the U.S Supreme Court ruling on Janus v.
AFSCME began nearly six months ago, but those requests were continually ignored.

The lack of consultation resulted in payroll deduction errors in two consecutive faculty
paychecks within the last month.

Background
When the U.S. Supreme Court issued its landmark ruling on Janus v. AFSCME in late
June, it came as no surprise. For months, there had been indications the justices would
rule in favor of a right-to-work environment in the public sector. This meant the State of
Hawaii, the employer of UH faculty, could no longer automatically deduct agency fees
from the paychecks of non-members — the equivalent of union dues from members.

Despite UHPA’s continuous outreach efforts, the governor’s office nor DAGS granted a
request for a meeting. As a result, the State of Hawaii was not able to meet its legal
obligations and this resulted in payroll deduction errors in faculty paychecks in July.
These errors have not yet been fully resolved.

“The payroll errors are the result of DAGS creating its own unilateral payroll policies and
procedures without consultation and prior planning with UHPA. This is a violation of
Hawaii’s collective bargaining laws,” Hanselman said. “In addition, DAGS has imposed
unrealistic deadlines on UHPA to support this system they created. We do not have
confidence that these kinds of errors will not continue in the future.”

After months of UHPA’s requests for a meeting, DAGS has suddenly requested a
meeting with UHPA for August 13 — nearly a month and a half after the initial error-plagued
faculty paychecks were issued.

“They are a day late and dollar short,” Hanselman said. “This crisis could have been
averted if the governor and his agencies collaborated with us at the front end, not after it
occurs,” said Kris Hanselman, UHPA Executive Director. “We believed the governor
would understand the gravity of this situation and do the right thing, the right way, but it
appears his administration did not take this U.S. Supreme Court decision seriously and
now we are having to spend time and resources to fix the problem to meet our
obligations to our members and our organization.”

Read Prohibited Practice Complaint

Register to Vote at Walk In Polling

Reminder: The deadline to register to vote online is this Thursday, July 12th.  It is very simple and easy to do.  Simply visit the link below to begin.  You can also request a mail ballot or update your voter registration all online.

A Different Take on the U.S. Supreme Court “Janus” Ruling

By Lynne Wilkens, UHPA President

This past week’s U.S. Supreme Court decision on Janus v. AFSCME (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees) has created a stir across the nation.

The ruling overturns the Supreme Court’s 1977 ruling on Abood v. Detroit Board of Education that has served as a precedent for more than 40 years. Janus serves as a new landmark case and is causing concern over the loss of employee rights and a weakened collective voice in the workplace. There has also been not-so-subtle gloating about renewed power for employers with a legal way to defund and cripple unions.

Backers of Mark Janus, the Illinois child worker, argued collective bargaining is inherently political in nature. Therefore, union members should no longer have to pay member dues because any assertions by unions violate the First Amendment rights of its members.

Yet in Hawaii, there is a different tenor and tone in response to Supreme Court’s decision. Over the past 18 months, the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly (UHPA) armed its members with accurate information to brace them for the anticipated ruling and will continue to update its members as the new law is implemented in our state.

Hawaii embedded collective bargaining in its statutes to “promote harmonious and cooperative relations between government and its employees and to protect the public by assuring effective and orderly operations of government.” This establishes joint decision-making between government and its employees to create a win-win environment that supports Hawaii’s cultural values, our economy and our future.

University of Hawaii faculty members know that with UHPA as their designated union, they can speak with a strong, unified voice to negotiate with the UH administration and governor at the bargaining table. As a unified group, they can persuade legislators to release funds for wages in ratified contracts. All of this may seem overtly political because of the way the faculty contracts are approved and funded.

Under the Janus ruling, UHPA will continue to ensure contracts provide equitable and satisfactory terms of employment for all faculty, regardless of whether they are union members. However, support for grievances and other services will no longer be available to non-paying members. This is fair for the paying members.

Some UHPA members may not want to give up 1% of their salaries for agency fees. But we believe the majority of the members want UHPA’s representation and are willing to pay for it.

The broader community also benefits from a healthy equilibrium of power in the workplace. There is a UH professor who generates $35 million in non-state research funding and 450 jobs. This is only possible because the 4,000 faculty members at the 10 University of Hawaii campuses across the state represented by UHPA can focus on quality teaching, research, and community service due to the good contract they have in place.

Take away faculty’s voice and rights, and these community benefits also go away. Faculty members will not stay at the UH if they are treated unfairly, especially if they are offered a much more attractive compensation package from another university — another type of brain drain.

UHPA has a solid record of effective representation of UH faculty over the past 40 years. The union provides significant value for the dollar in contract negotiations, grievance settlements, and representation of faculty interests. This high-performance service has only been possible because of the collaboration between UHPA and its membership and we are confident this partnership will continue to play a vital role in the future.

Lynne Wilkens is president of the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly’s board of directors.