UHPA and UH to Bargain on No Smoking and Tobacco-Free Campus Policies

UHPA appreciates the attention paid to this important matter and recognition of our request to suspend implementation and enforcement of diverse policies that have not been subject to negotiations as required by law.

Read President Lassner’s letter to UHPA

It’s Not About Smoking!

The University of Hawaii (University) failed to convince the Hawaii Labor Relations Board (HLRB) to dismiss the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly’s (UHPA) charges about UH Manoa (UHM) bypassing UHPA on matters subject to negotiations.  The HLRB indicated there were significant issues raised by UHPA in their prohibited practice charge. These included UHM’s handling of a no-smoking policy that exceeds both state law and BOR policy and raise bargainable issues.  Further proposed changes to faculty five-year reviews referred to the Faculty Senate raise bargainable issues.

As soon as the hearing opened, the HLRB, having read the
parties’ pleadings, announced it was ready to rule against the University’s
Motion to Dismiss.  After a brief
discussion, the HLRB unanimously denied the University’s Motion to Dismiss and
set the case for full hearing at the end of May.  The HLRB wanted to hear full evidence on
whether UHM has been misusing faculty senates, has been taking inconsistent
positions between the UH system and campus, or has been failing to raise issues
with the union in a timely way.

The University is represented by Jeffrey Harris, Esq. of
Torkildson, Katz, Moore, Hetherington & Harris.  At the HLRB hearing, attorney Harris affirmed
he represented the University and the Board of Regents.

The University is seeking to have faculty evaluation
designated as an issue not subject to negotiations as faculty members are
aware this strikes at the issues of tenure, promotion, and contract renewal
by threatening faculty rights contained within the collective bargaining

Further, the University asserts that campuses should be
allowed to establish their own policies and implementation even when the
subject matter has relevance to all BU07 members.  UHPA contends that such behavior invites
conflicting and contradictory positions being advanced by the University under
the same collective bargaining agreement.  This will create significant issues of inequity
and unfair treatment of BU07 members.

UHPA believes strongly that issues such as faculty
evaluation and no-smoking policies are system-wide issues that need addressing
by the University not delegated to a specific campus.  UHPA requested that President Lassner
negotiate on the immediate issue of no-smoking and tobacco use policies.  No response to the request has been received
by UHPA.  While UHPA does not support
smoking or use of tobacco products, UHPA does insist that its role as
exclusive bargaining agent be recognized to ensure that the interests of
faculty on all ten (10) UH campuses are addressed.

University of Hawaii Professional Assembly (UHPA) Calls For UH Administration to Bargain


Date:        February 4, 2014

Contact:    Kris Hanselman   
(808) 593-2157


University of Hawaii Professional Assembly (UHPA)
Calls For UH Administration to Bargain

The University of Hawaii system has continued to disrespect the role of the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly (UHPA) as the exclusive bargaining agent for all UH faculty through an ongoing pattern of implementing policies at various UH campuses without negotiating with UHPA.

“We are concerned that these actions inherently weaken our status, weaken our union, and therefore, weaken our opportunities for future negotiations,” said Sharon Rowe, UHPA officer and professor at Kapi’olani Community College since 1989. “We would prefer to work cooperatively with UH administration rather than have them neglect the contract, which is state law.”

UHPA has taken a two-pronged approach to preserve faculty rights. In December 2013, the union filed a prohibited practice charge against the UH administration for bypassing UHPA and dealing directly with the Manoa Faculty Senate to deliberate and approve actions taken on faculty evaluations and a tobacco-free campus at UH Manoa.

Faculty senates at the various campuses were established by the UH Board of Regents and do not represent the statutory authority to represent the interests of UH faculty. By law, only UHPA has the sole jurisdiction over protecting faculty rights relating to academic freedom, tenure, intellectual property rights, workload determination, salaries and other issues. UHPA’s charter is to guarantee fairness and avoid faculty and economic abuse.

A Hawaii Labor Relations Board hearing is scheduled for tomorrow, February 5, at 9 a.m. at which the UH administration is expected to seek to have the prohibited practice charge dismissed.

In addition to the prohibited practice charge, UHPA issued a letter on Monday, February 3, to President David Lassner demanding to negotiate fairly on issues that impact all bargaining unit members on all campuses.

“There have been attempts to trivialize our charges by focusing only on tobacco use on UH Manoa campus,” added Kris Hanselman, UHPA associate executive director. “However, there is a much larger issue than a smoking ban. This is about addressing once and for all a pattern of introducing and implementing a wide range of policies that affect faculty at all 10 UH campuses without honoring the role of UHPA in the negotiation process.”

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About University of Hawaii Professional Assembly
The University of Hawaii Professional Assembly (UHPA) represents nearly 4,000 faculty members at 10 campuses in the University of Hawaii system statewide. It has been the exclusive bargaining agent for all UH faculty since 1974.

Love Makes a Family: Marriage Equality Community Gathering on Sunday, October 27, 2013 at the State Capitol

With the special session opening this Monday, October 28, Pride At Work Hawai’i celebrates the many unions – collectively representing over 30,000 working people in Hawai’i – who have stepped forward (so far) to proclaim their support for marriage equality, including Local 5, HSTA, UFCW, UHPA, Machinists 1998, HNA, Musicians, SAG-AFTRA, USW 12-591, and HSTSO. 

With the repeal of Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act in June, same-sex couples who marry in a state where it is recognized will have access to over 1,000 rights and benefits under federal law, including paying their federal taxes as a couple, taking guaranteed family medical leave to care for their spouse, and collecting spousal Social Security benefits.  Here in Hawai’i, every day that goes by without marriage equality is a day that same-sex couples and their families lack key protections and benefits.  This inequality is unfair, unjust, discriminatory and anti-union.

Support for Marriage Equality

The University of Hawaii Professional Assembly representing the faculty of the University of Hawaii has a long and distinguished history of standing up for the rights of our members. We worked for passage of the right of our members to enter into civil unions. The bill that comes before the Legislature simply attempts to extend federal benefits to couples that are in civil unions, benefits that are already available to same sex couples already married.
We respect the diversity of opinions on this issue. We believe that the religious beliefs of those opposed to same sex marriage can be reasonably accommodated through the legislative process. We ask that everyone respect this process.

Workplace Time to Express Milk

“The Right to Time and Place to Express Breastmilk” notice may be downloaded from the OHR website under HR Documents / Federal & State Posters http://www.hawaii.edu/ohr/docs/breastmilk.pdf.

Please note there is a federal law on expressing breastmilk that is similar to the state law.  Information on the federal law was provided in 2010. 

Should you have any questions, please contact 956-8643.

Governor Appoints Retired LCC Faculty Member as an EUTF Trustee

Upon the recommendation of public sector unions, Professor Linda Currivan was appointed by the Governor. Professor Currivan retired in June after 28 years of service at Leeward Community College. In addition to her other duties, Professor Currivan was the Director for Developmental Education in the Division of Language Arts. Professor Currivan was also active in UHPA, having served on the Board of Directors, as a Faculty Representative, the strike coordinator for the LCC campus in 2001, and being active member on the UHPA Negotiating Team leading to the talks to changes in the teaching workload language of the UHPA/BOR Agreement. Professor Currivan will serve a three year term.