UHPA news from week of 11/23-11/30

Bargaining Update

Mid-Term Bargaining and Proposed Furloughs

Following the meeting held on Monday, November 16, 2020 with UHPA’s Negotiations Committee and Chief Negotiator Ryker Wada, other State representatives from DHRD and B&F, and University of Hawaii officials, a follow-up letter with numerous questions was sent to Chief Negotiator Wada from the UHPA Negotiations Committee.  To date, Chief Negotiator Wada has not responded to the letter and no future meetings are currently scheduled.

Successor Bargaining

The UHPA Negotiations Committee met with Chief Negotiator Ryker Wada, other State representatives from DHRD and B&F, and University of Hawaii officials on Monday, November 23, 2020.  The Employer and UHPA exchanged their contract proposals and each side was able to present a summary explanation over their proposals.  The Employer and UHPA are scheduled to meet again on Monday, November 30, 2020.

Retirement Incentive

As of Friday, November 27, 2020, UHPA still has not received any formal response from the State’s Chief Negotiator Ryker Wada, Governor David Ige, and the State’s Attorney General over the draft Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) negotiated between the UHPA Negotiations Committee and the UH Administration over the proposed retirement incentive for Faculty members who retire between December 15, 2020 through June 30, 2021.

Fall 2020 Virtual Campus Visits

Over the past month, UHPA has been holding its Fall 2020 Campus Visits and on Tuesday, November 24, 2020 UHPA completed its final visit with UH-Manoa.  Due to the pandemic, all campus visits were done virtually via Zoom the Faculty participation was the highest it has ever been on every campus.  While we do miss the face-to-face campus visits with UHPA staff, it was such a pleasure to see the increase in registration and on-line participation.  

I would especially like to recognize Kathy Yamashita and Peter Kay of the UHPA staff who planned and organized these virtual meetings, UHPA President Ashley Maynard for her presence at every meeting, and for each of the Board Members that represented their campus.  Overall, the Fall 2020 virtual campus visits were a tremendous success in terms of member participation and engagement. We truly appreciated the opportunity to listen, hear, and learn about what is happening, developing, and occurring at each campus.  

Disturbing trend of incorrect information being spread on campus

Unfortunately, a large amount of the concerns that were shared by the membership at all campuses was both troubling and disturbing.  This pandemic has not been easy on everyone, especially Faculty who have undergone so many changes, directives, requirements, expectations, etc. as it continues without recognition or appreciation.  

Each visit confirmed UH officials are using the pandemic as an opportunity to instill fear and uncertainty, instill divisiveness, and deliver incorrect information and innuendoes to Faculty who are diligently carrying out their duties to support students and their respective campuses.

UHPA recognizes the pandemic has created incredible hardships for everyone, but our members continue to put the interests of their students and campuses first.

Common concerns on all campuses and UHPA’s response:

  1. The threat of having their 11-month position be reduced to 9-months based on projected revenue shortfalls.  As explained by UHPA, any reduction of an 11-month position to 9-months by the Employer must be for a business and operational reason due to a change or modification of the position’s assigned duties and responsibilities and not for budgetary reasons or fiscal exigency.  If you are experiencing this situation, UHPA recommends that you contact UHPA via email at feedback@uhpa.org or call the office at (808)593-2157 and leave a message for any of our professional staff.
  1. The Employer seeks volunteers to teach classes for free.  As explained by UHPA, the Employer cannot assign classes to any Faculty and not compensate the Faculty member in accordance with Article XXI, Salaries, of the 2017-2021 Unit 7 Agreement.
  1. Furloughs are a done deal and that furloughs will be implemented on Faculty in the near future.  As explained by UHPA, the Employer’s authority to implement furloughs are not covered under the 2017-2021 Unit 7 Agreement and the UHPA has not agreed to the Governor’s request to engage in mid-term bargaining to negotiate and authorize furloughs.  
  1. A retirement incentive will be offered to Faculty.  As explained by UHPA, there is a proposal agreed upon by UH and UHPA on the Governor’s desk to provide a retirement incentive for UH Faculty.  However, to date, the Governor has not formally denied or approved any retirement incentive for UH Faculty.
  1. The UHPA knows about our campus plans and we have communicated and consulted with UHPA.  While there are some campuses who have initiated consultation with UHPA on various matters, it would be best to have Faculty contact UHPA via email at feedback@uhpa.org or call the office at (808)593-2157 and leave a message for any of our professional staff to validate and/or confirm these general statements.

We encourage all Faculty to contact UHPA to seek advice and information via email at feedback@uhpa.org or call the office at (808)593-2157 and leave a message for any of our professional staff especially during these unprecedented times.

Mahalo for attending!

UHPA thanks all the Faculty who took the time out of their busy schedules to attend their respective campus visit and thank you for all the hard work and dedication you have shown through your actions and outcomes over this past year.  UHPA recognizes and appreciates the work that you do that keeps our University moving forward, successfully, and stronger than ever. 

Reference Links

UHPA news and announcements from week of 11/16-11/23

Bargaining Update

Mid-Term Bargaining and Proposed Furloughs

The UHPA Negotiations Committee met with the State’s Chief Negotiator Ryker Wada and other State representatives, including individuals from the Department of Human Resources Development, the Department of Budget & Finance, and the University of Hawaii on Monday, November 16, 2020.  During the meeting, the State shared their proposed furlough plan for other State employees and the UH shared their proposed furlough concepts as it could possibly apply to Faculty members.  The meeting ended with the UHPA Negotiations Committee informing the Employer that they will provide the Employer a list of questions regarding the State’s furlough plans and the UH’s proposed furlough concepts and depending upon the Employer’s response another meeting date may be scheduled.  

Successor Bargaining

The UHPA Negotiations Committee was scheduled to continue successor bargaining with the Employer in the afternoon on Monday, November 16, 2020.  However, the Employer notified the UHPA earlier in the day that they weren’t ready to exchange their proposals and requested to cancel the pre-scheduled meeting.  The UHPA Negotiations Committee is scheduled again to meet with the Employer this coming Monday, November 23, 2020.

Retirement Incentive

As of Friday, November 20, 2020, UHPA still has not received any formal response from the State’s Chief Negotiator Ryker Wada, Governor David Ige, and the State’s Attorney General over the draft Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) negotiated between the UHPA Negotiations Committee and the UH Administration over the proposed retirement incentive for Faculty members who retire between December 15, 2020 through June 30, 2021.

Budget Update

The Board of Regents met on November 19, 2020 and approved the following Budget documents:

Upcoming UHPA meetings

The UH-Manoa virtual campus meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, November 24, 2020 at 4:00 p.m.    Invitations were sent on Monday, November 16 with the registration link.  Attendance for the zoom webinar is by registration only. 

Reference Links

UHPA news and announcements from week of 11/9-11/16

Bargaining Update

Mid-term bargaining and proposed furloughs

UHPA’s Negotiations Committee is scheduled to meet with Chief Negotiator Wada and the State’s representatives today, Monday, November 16, 2020 beginning at 10:45 a.m.

Retirement incentive

As of Wednesday, November 11, 2020, UHPA still has not received any formal response from the State’s Chief Negotiator Ryker Wada, Governor David Ige, and the State’s Attorney General over the draft Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) negotiated between the UHPA Negotiations Committee and the UH Administration over the proposed retirement incentive for Faculty members who retire between December 15, 2020 through June 30, 2021.  

Successor Bargaining

UHPA Negotiations Committee will be meeting with the UH Administration and State representatives today Monday, November 16, 2020, beginning at 3:00 p.m. . The parties will be continuing discussions over the Employer’s proposed ground rules and the parties intend to exchange their initial proposals during today’s meeting.

Budget Update

  • Board of Regents Budget due November 19, 2020
  • Governor’s Budget due middle of December, 2020

Upcoming UHPA meetings

All virtual campus meetings have been scheduled.  Invitations will be emailed the week before your scheduled meeting.  You must register to attend.

  • Tuesday, November 17 @ 4:00 p.m.: Kapiolani Community College
  • Thursday, November 19 @ 4:00 p.m.: Leeward Community College
  • Tuesday, November 24 @ 4:00 p.m.: UH-Manoa

Reference Links

UHPA news and announcements from week of 11/2-11/9

Bargaining Update

Mid-term bargaining and proposed furloughs

On October 30, 2020, the State’s Chief Negotiator Ryker Wada sent a letter to UHPA providing a chronology of the parties’ written communications since the Employer’s initial September 25, 2020 meeting, as well as, the State’s updated PowerPoint Presentation over “COVID-19 Impact on the State’s General Fund Financial Plan (Updated), Union Briefing October 2020.”  Chief Negotiator Wada impressed upon UHPA the imminent need for UHPA to begin meeting with the State due to the “crushing and unprecedented budget deficit.”  By letter dated November 2, 2020, the UHPA Negotiations Committee offered to meet with the State and other designated parties who have knowledge of and the ability to respond to UHPA’s outstanding questions regarding the State’s proposal.  UHPA’s Negotiations Committee is scheduled to meet with the State and Chief Negotiator Wada on November 16, 2020 at 10:45 am.

Successor Bargaining

On Monday, November 2, 2020 at 2:30 p.m. bargaining over a successor UHPA/BOR Unit 7 Agreement formally began with a virtual meeting between the Employer and the UHPA Negotiations Committee.  The parties met for an hour to discuss a number of items, including the Employer’s proposed ground rules, the agreed upon date for the exchange of proposals, the scheduling of regular meeting dates up to January 30, 2021, and other related matters.  The parties agreed to meet regularly every week beginning Monday, November 16, 2020, at 3:00 p.m. for an hour dedicated to successor bargaining negotiations. The Employer designated UH Vice President for Community Colleges Erika L. Lacro as the Chief Spokesperson representing the Employer for these upcoming successor bargaining negotiations. 

Retirement incentive

As of Wednesday, November 4, 2020, UHPA has not received any formal response from the State’s Chief Negotiator Ryker Wada, Governor David Ige, and the State’s Attorney General over the draft Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) negotiated between the UHPA Negotiations Committee and the UH Administration over the proposed retirement incentive for Faculty Members who retire between December 15, 2020 through June 30, 2021.  Again, the MOU was transmitted by UH President David Lassner to the State’s Chief Negotiator Ryker Wada, Governor David Ige, and the State’s Attorney General on Friday, October 23, 2020.

Budget Update

UH Budget Update:

The Board of Regents Budget and Finance Committee met on Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020 at 10:00 a.m.  

STATE Budget Update:

The Board of Regents Budget and Finance Committee met on Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020 at 10:00 a.m.

FEDERAL Emergency Relief Funds

VP Kalbert Young presented the Status of Expenditures of Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF) from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (Agenda Item F, pg. 200).  This is a summary of the report submitted to the Federal Government.  On the last page of the report (pg. 205) there is a snapshot of the COVID-19 information page indicating the link to the actual government report and all other COVID-19 related reports.

Upcoming UHPA meetings

All virtual campus meetings have been scheduled.  Invitations will be emailed the week before your scheduled meeting.  You must register to attend.

  • Tuesday, November 10 @  4:30 p.m.: Hawaii Community College
  • Thursday, November 12 @ 4:00 p.m.: UH-Hilo
  • Tuesday, November 17 @ 4:00 p.m.: Kapiolani Community College
  • Thursday, November 19 @ 4:00 p.m.: Leeward Community College
  • Tuesday, November 24 @ 4:00 p.m.: UH-Manoa

Reference Links

UHPA news and announcements from week of 10/26-11/2

Bargaining Update

Mid-term bargaining and proposed furloughs

On Wednesday, October 28, 2020, the UHPA Negotiations Committee met to discuss the State’s Chief Negotiator Ryker Wada’s response dated October 20, 2020 regarding UHPA’s questions to the Governor’s proposal to negotiate furlough savings for bargaining Unit 7.  The UHPA Negotiations Committee still has a number of questions regarding the Governor’s proposal and are planning to entertain Chief Negotiator Ryker Wada’s request to meet and discuss the Governor’s proposal so that he can provide the additional clarification and information that UHPA’s Negotiations Committee is seeking before any determination is made.  

The UHPA Negotiations Committee will be offering to meet with Chief Negotiator Ryker Wada and State representatives remotely on Monday, November 16, 2020, at 10:45 a.m. to have this discussion about the Governor’s proposal to negotiate furloughs effective December 1, 2020 through June 30, 2024.

Successor Bargaining

Pursuant to Article XXX, Duration, of the 2017-2021 UHPA/BOR Unit 7 Agreement, it states that “Negotiations over a successor agreement shall begin no later than ninety (90) days prior to the February 1st of the Agreement’s terminal year.”  On October 28, 2020, the UH Vice President for Community Colleges Erika Lacro who will be UH’s Chief Negotiator for this upcoming successor bargaining sent a letter to UHPA requesting to commence negotiations over a successor UHPA/BOR Unit 7 Agreement.  The UHPA Negotiations Committee and the Employer are scheduled to meet on Monday, November 2, 2020, at 2:30 p.m.  

Retirement incentive

To date, there has been no formal response by the Employer on the draft Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) negotiated between the UHPA Negotiations Committee and the UH Administration over the proposed retirement incentive for Faculty Members who retire between December 15, 2020 through June 30, 2021.  The MOU was transmitted by UH President David Lassner to the State’s Chief Negotiator Ryker Wada, Governor David Ige, and the State’s Attorney General on Friday, October 23, 2020.

Budget Update

Federal Monies:  CARES ACT

The State House Committee on COVID-19 Economic and Financial Preparedness has a Sub Committee on COVID-19 CARES Funds this link will take you to the Sub Committee’s most recent publication.  The slide presentation includes all monies, current allocations as well as encumbered monies.  Page 10 of the slides indicated the monies allocated to the University of Hawai‘i and what those monies may be used for.  These monies coincide with the September, 2020 report by President Lassner to the Board of Regents of CARES money allocated to the University.

You can click here for a more detailed review of the CARES monies 

UH Budget

The next UH Budget update: Monday, Nov. 9, 2020

Upcoming UHPA meetings

  • Board of Directors Meeting, Nov. 7, 2020 – please communicate your concerns to your board prior to the meting

Reference Links

UHPA news and announcements for the period: 10/19-10/26/2020

Bargaining Update

Mid-term bargaining and proposed furloughs

On September 25, 2020 the State of Hawaii, Office of Collective Bargaining, through it’s Chief Negotiator Ryker Wada, requested that UHPA engage in mid-term bargaining and consider furlough savings to offset the State’s budgetary deficit of $2.1 billion in Fiscal Biennium 2019-2021.  Under the State’s plan, furloughs would be implemented effective December 1, 2020 through June 30, 2024, resulting in up to eight-six (86) days of directive leave without pay during this period – approximately two (2) days per month resulting in a 9.23% pay reduction.  

List of our concerns sent

On September 29, 2020 UHPA sent Chief Negotiator Wada a list of questions and concerns over their proposal to implement furloughs under their request to enter into mid-term bargaining.  The major issue of discussion was the fact that the Employer’s proposal under mid-term bargaining would extend beyond the terms of the Unit 7 Agreement in effect for the duration of July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2021.  The Employer’s proposal sought to implement furloughs until June 30, 2024, which would extend beyond the current Unit 7 Agreement and impact on the successor Unit 7 Agreement.

On October 2, 2020, Chief Negotiator Wada acknowledged receipt of UHPA’s September 29, 2020 response and requested that such conversations and explanations over UHPA’s concerns would be best addressed in a meeting between the parties.

On October 9, 2020, UHPA sent Chief Negotiator another set of questions and concerns over their proposal stating that more information needs to be provided by the Employer on the nature of the business to be discussed at these meetings.

UHPA is reviewing responses

On October 20, 2020, Chief Negotiator Wada responded back to UHPA’s questions and requested additional information.  The response is currently being reviewed by the UHPA Negotiations Committee to determine the next course of action.  A meeting of the UHPA Negotiations Committee is being planned for this week.

Retirement incentive update

As an update to UHPA Negotiations Committee Chairperson Karla Hayashi’s report dated October 5, 2020, after UHPA received UH’s counter proposal on October 5, 2020:

  • The UHPA submitted a counter on October 9, 2020.  
  • UH countered again on October 12, 2020.  
  • UHPA and UH tentatively agreed to the terms and conditions over a Faculty Retirement Incentive on October 20, 2020.  
  • On October 23, 2020, the UH submitted a draft Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to the Governor, the Attorney General, and the Office of Collective Bargaining for their review and approval.  
  • The proposed Faculty Retirement Incentive is in the Employer’s court and UHPA is waiting for its approval.  

Budget Update

The Budget Document for FY 2020-2021 is SB 126 SD1, HD1, CD1

  • The University Allocation is on pages 36-38
  • The First and Second Quarter allocations have been dispersed to UH System
    • Each quarter allocation was reduced by a 10% restriction from Budget & Finance.
    • The restrictions and their impact were reported to the Board of Regents Committee on Budget and Finance, Oct 1, 2020. The Report begins on page 38.
    • FY20-21 UH System Operating Budget.  Campus report begins on page 13.

UH Budget Planning FY2021-2023

The Board of Regents passed the “Budget Policy Paper Framework for Fiscal Biennium 2021-23” at the Regents meeting held this past Thursday.  This paper will set the framework for the budget process for the University statewide.  The Paper begins on page 52.

Other news

Pay increase due in November: follow the details published on our website.

Upcoming UHPA meetings

  • Campus meetings: Please email Kathy Yamashita if you have not received your invitation. 
    • Monday 10/26 4pm: UH Maui College campus visit via Zoom
    • Tuesday 10/27 4pm, Honolulu Community College campus visit via Zoom
    • Thursday 10/29 3pm Kauai Community College campus visit via Zoom
  • Board of Directors Meeting, Nov. 7, 2020

Reference Links

Pay Increase Due in November

Negotiated 1.2% Retroactive Pay Increase Due November 20, 2020

In accordance with the Tentative Agreement over Article XXI, Salaries, of the UHPA/BOR Unit 7 Agreement, dated May 13, 2020, and the subsequent Legislature passage and Governor’s approval of Act 48, SLH 2020, the following negotiated pay raises are forthcoming:  

  1. Effective January 2, 2020 all Faculty Members shall have their base pay increased by 1.2%
  2. Effective January 1, 2021 all Faculty Members shall have their base pay increased by 1.2%

The State of Hawaii, Department of Budget and Finance, has released the legislative appropriations to the University of Hawaii for payment.  All Faculty Members in service before January 2, 2020 shall receive a retroactive pay increase of 1.2% of their base pay retroactive to January 2, 2020 in their November 20, 2020 paycheck.  All Faculty Members in service on January 1, 2021 shall receive a 1.2% pay increase to their base pay.

While this in no way signals or disregards that the University of Hawaii will be facing significant budgetary shortfalls and challenges in the near future, these negotiated pay increases were agreed upon by the Employer on August 3, 2017 and which the Legislature has already budgeted for its payment.

In Solidarity,

Christian Fern

UHPA Executive Director

Karla Hayashi

UHPA Negotiations Committee Chairperson

Update on UH Faculty Retirement incentives

UHPA Negotiations Committee Update On Proposed Retirement Incentive For UH Faculty

In a Letter dated August 27, 2020, University of Hawai‘i President David Lassner proposed to enter into negotiations with the University of Hawai‘i Professional Assembly (UHPA) concerning a retirement incentive to UH Faculty who are eligible for retirement or early retirement and who retire between December 15, 2020 and June 30, 2021.

The UHPA Negotiations Committee recognizes that this matter has significant interest to eligible UH Faculty and the committee members are encouraged by the Employer’s initial proposal. The UHPA Negotiations Committee members reviewed the Employer’s proposed offer and identified areas that required further clarification, as well as areas not viable to support such an endeavor.

On September 28, 2020, the UHPA Negotiations Committee submitted a counter proposal to the Employer’s August 27, 2020 proposal.  

The UHPA Negotiations Committee just received a response from the Employer on another counter proposal dated October 5, 2020.  The UHPA Negotiations Committee is reviewing the recent counter proposal and made this matter a priority.  We will keep the membership apprised of any new developments in the days and weeks ahead in hopes of reaching a mutually agreeable retirement incentive.

In Solidarity,

Karla Hayashi

UHPA Negotiations Committee Chairperson

UHPA Endorses Kai Kahele for Congressional District II

UHPA felt it was important to weigh in on this year’s Congressional District 2 Race for the upcoming general election because of the many needs in our community resulting from the pandemic that require ongoing federal support in Hawai‘i. After interviewing Senator Kai Kahele, we believe that he possesses the background and understanding of our University, and more importantly, the needs of our members, the UH faculty. As a UH alumnus, Kai will best represent our interests in Washington, D.C. We are pleased to endorse Kai for Congress!

 

Access Political Endorsement Committee (PEC) process and procedures, including candidate questions used to determine candidate endorsements.

This content is made available to UHPA Members only via our Google Drive files. If you’re not a member, signup is quick and easy via our online form.

In Memoriam: UHPA’s First Executive Director Jerome “Jerry” Comcowich

UHPA joins others in mourning the loss of Jerome “Jerry” Comcowich, a retired UH faculty member who was UHPA’s first executive director. Jerry became a founding member of UHPA in 1973 and served the union for decades as a board member and as delegate to National Education Association meetings.

Jerry was walking in a bike lane near his Enchanted Lake residence on the morning of September 3, when a driver of a pick-up truck struck him and two other parked vehicles. He was taken to the hospital in critical condition where he later passed away.

The loss of this healthy 80-year-old who enjoyed running 10 miles a week is tragic, but Jerry’s commitment to service and contributions to the community will not be forgotten.

“Everyone who has crossed our path over the years has had an important role in shaping what the UHPA is today,” said Christian Fern, UHPA executive director. “We’re proud to be beneficiaries of the work of people like Jerry.”

Jerry joined the UH as an assistant professor in the College of Education in 1969, serving as an academic advisor and developmental counselor. He later joined the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) and was instrumental in planning the SOEST building. Jerry retired in 2009 from his tenured faculty position at SOEST’s International Center for Climate and Society.

While at the University, he took several leaves of absence to grow professionally and serve the community. In 1977, he was named special assistant to U.S. Sen. Spark Matsunaga, working in Washington, D.C. His primary areas of focus were higher education, transportation and labor. He also worked as a special assistant to U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, beginning in 1990, and focused on labor, education and foreign affairs legislation.
In 1994, he was appointed by President Bill Clinton as a special assistant to Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education David Longanecker in the U.S. Department of Education. In that position, he advocated for student financial aid to ease the burden of debt from tuition for college graduates.

Jerry’s family has requested memorial gifts be directed to the Hawaii Food Bank. On behalf of all UHPA members, UHPA has made a contribution as a tribute to Jerry and in honor of his life and support to UHPA.