HGEA says “HSTA’s Actions Jeopardize Collective Bargaining for All Public Employees.”
Click here to view HGEA’s eBulletin.
With a vested interest in the outcome of the Hawaii State Teachers Association’s prohibited practice complaint filed with the Hawaii Labor Relations Board, the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly filed a “Petition for Intervention” with the HLRB this afternoon. The petition, filed on behalf of UHPA by Tony Gill, attorney with Gill, Zukeran & Sgan, will allow UHPA to comment on the legal aspects relating to this case.
“It’s important to note that we are not commenting on the facts leading up to the State’s unilateral implementation of its last, best, final contract offer to HSTA, but we felt it was imperative to share our concerns and obtain clarification about the circumstances that determine whether and how an employer may unilaterally implement a last, best, final offer,” said J. N. Musto, Executive Director and Chief Negotiator of UHPA, which represents nearly 4,000 faculty members statewide in the University of Hawaii system.
The outcome of this HLRB case will have implications for UHPA and other unions. Unlike some other labor unions, if there is an impasse in negotiations between UHPA and the State, faculty members would be allowed to strike and would not be subject to interest arbitration. Based on the petition filed today, UHPA will seek to ensure the faculty’s right to strike will be not be affected by the HLRB’s decision.
Although UHPA’s current contract does not expire for another four years, UHPA is taking a precautionary measure to avoid costly and time-consuming litigation in the future. “Any decision reached in this case may form the blueprint for the same tactic when UHPA’s current contract expires in 2015,” the petition noted.
The specter of having a last, best, final offer imposed on faculty members is still fresh in the minds of UH faculty members. In 2010, the University of Hawaii attempted to unilaterally impose its last, best, final offer for the faculty, but both the UH and UHPA reached an agreement before any court or arbitration decisions were necessary.
“We simply want to ensure there is a bargaining table that fosters good-faith negotiations. We recognize the UH and faculty are critical to our state, and the last thing anyone wants is to impact students and the quality research that takes place at our university. We want to ensure the impasse resolution process enhances a spirit of collaboration and mutual respect,” Musto said.
With the support of a grant from the McElrath Fund for Economic and Social Justice, Pride At Work Hawaii will train participants in developing organizational and leadership skills to effectively raise and address LGBT issues in the workplace and labor unions.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, mahu and intersex union members as well as allies – union and non-union – who are concerned about equality and economic justice for all are encouraged to attend.
For more information, contact Pride At Work Hawaii at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (808) 543-6054.
On April 1, 2011 all State and county employees were informed that their adult dependent child up to age 26 could be added to their medical and prescription drug plans effective July 1, 2011 except if your adult dependent child was employed and eligible for medical and/or a prescription drug plan through his/her employment. Effective July 1, 2011 this exception will be removed. Your adult dependent child up to age 26 who is employed and eligible for medical and/or a prescription drug plan through his/her employment may now be covered under your plan for medical and/or prescription drug. You must complete and return an EC-1 form to your personnel office by July 6, 2011.
Click here to view the memorandum for more information regarding coverage and possible rate changes.
After a two-year grievance process, an arbitrator has found that the UH administration violated the collective bargaining agreement and state labor laws when it denied a faculty member’s promotion based on the member’s union activities. The arbitrator found that the anti-union language used in the negative promotion recommendations warranted removal from the faculty member’s dossier. The arbitrator ordered that once the dossier is rid of the discriminatory taint, it will be sent to the UH Board of Regents to decide on promotion and back pay remedies.
Article lIB of the Agreement between the UHPA and the BOR states that the UH-Employer may not discriminate against any union member on the basis of his or her union activity or lack thereof.
This order is a result of UH Manoa faculty member Vickery Lebbin being denied a promotion in 2009 due to union activity. An arbitrator found that the UH administration discriminated. This is a timely decision as the 2010-11 Tenure and Promotion procedures are underway. This order makes clear that the administrative behavior exhibited in the Lebbin case is prohibited for all employees. UH is required to post a notice informing employees of this order within 30 days.
UHPA filed the grievance and successfully fought for Lebbin, who had been a UHPA board member. This victory is an unprecedented case in Hawaii labor relations history, and resulted in the UH Board of Regents granting Lebbin a promotion with back pay. The UH must post a cease and desist notice that recognizes violating the collective bargaining agreement and state labor law, both electronically and at conspicuous locations on all UH system campuses.
The arbitration took almost two years to complete because the UH administrators failed to cooperate and provide necessary information, attempting to hide behind claims of confidentiality impeding the investigation of a grievance alleging discrimination. The Hawaii Labor Relations Board ordered a third party neutral to interview members of the Tenure and Promotion Review Committee to ascertain whether assertions made by UH administrators were based in fact.
The Lebbin case underscores the importance of joining UHPA and creating a strong voice to put an end to discrimination in all forms. Click here to read the full text of the arbitrator’s decision, which includes details of Lebbin’s challenges and insights into the actions and motives of UH administrators.