SB 3 Relating to Public Employment (House)

The House Committee on Labor & Public Employment
And
The House Committee on Finance

Wednesday, August 30, 2017
Auditorium
1:00 p.m.

RE: SB 3 Relating to Public Employment

Attention:    Chairs Aaron Ling Johanson and Sylvia Luke,
Vice Chairs Daniel Holt and Ty Cullen and Members of the Committees

The University of Hawaii Professional Assembly (UHPA) appreciates the consideration the legislature has extended to faculty members during this special session.  We respectfully request the Committee support passage of SB  3 which is a measure to appropriate funds for fiscal biennium 2017-2019 for salary costs for public employees in collective bargaining unit (7) and for certain employees excluded from collective bargaining.

UHPA requests the committee support SB 3.

 

Sincerely,
Kristeen Hanselman
Executive Director

SB 3 Relating to Public Employment (Senate)

The Senate Committee on Labor

and

The Committee on Ways and Means

Monday, August 28, 2017
Conference Rm. 211
11:00 a.m.

RE: SB 3 Relating to Public Employment

Attention: Chairs Jill Tokuda and Donovan Dela Cruz, Vice Chairs J. Kalani English and Keith-Agaran and Members of the Committees

The University of Hawaii Professional Assembly (UHPA) appreciates the consideration the legislature has extended to faculty members during this special session.  We respectfully request the Committee support passage of SB  3 which is a measure to appropriate funds for fiscal biennium 2017-2019 for salary costs for public employees in collective bargaining unit (7) and for certain employees excluded from collective bargaining.

UHPA requests the committee support SB 3.

Sincerely,

Kristeen Hanselman
Executive Director

UHPA Seeks to Allow Legislature to Appropriate Salary Funds during a Special Legislative Session

UHPA filed a request that the Hawaii Labor Relations Board rule on whether the Legislature may appropriate funds for a collective bargaining agreement during a Special Legislative Session. Over the course of this month, it became clear that there were issues being raised by the Governor’s office and the Speaker of the House that the collective bargaining law, Chapter 89, might not allow an appropriation be made during a Special Legislative Session. To be clear neither the Governor’s Chief of Staff nor Speaker Saiki would reveal their specific concerns to UHPA Executive Director Hanselman. UHPA was informed that the Attorney General was being asked to comment on some technical issues. President Lassner was also not informed of these matters by the Governor’s office.

This lack of candor is antithetical to the practice of good faith negotiations.

UHPA believes that there is no prohibition to the funding of a collective bargaining agreement during a Special Legislative Session. UHPA seeks to have this issue resolved should a Special Session be conveyed this year. There are no decisions previously issued on this matter.

UHPA wants faculty members to receive their salary increases as quickly as possible. Delaying an appropriations until 2018 has a negative impact on the pocketbooks of faculty and retroactive lump payments can have tax consequences.

You will be informed of the outcome of this request for a ruling from the Hawaii Labor Relations Board. Time is critical with a Special Legislative Session tentatively scheduled to begin next week.

 

GM 60 Chairperson and Representative of the Public of the Hawai‘i Labor Relations Board

The Senate Committee on Labor
Thursday, August 31, 2017
Room 225
2:45 p.m.

RE: GM 60  Chairperson and Representative of the Public of the Hawai‘i Labor Relations Board

Attention: Chair Jill Tokuda, Vice Chair Kalani English and Members of the Committee

The University of Hawaii Professional Assembly (UHPA) supports the confirmation of Marcus Oshiro, as the Chairperson and Representative of the Public of the Hawai‘i Labor Relations Board.

Representative Oshiro brings an appreciation for the role that collective bargaining has played in meeting the needs of public employers while addressing the necessary employee protections and compensation needed to attract and maintain a skilled workforce throughout the state. He has demonstrated he possesses insight and creativity in meeting the changing nature of employer and employee relations as the political and economics of public environment undergo significant stress.

His time as a member of the Hawai‘i State Legislature provides him with a unique understanding of the Statutes that govern the process and procedures involved in Chapter 89.  

UHPA urges the Committee to confirm Marcus Oshiro as the Chairperson and Representative of the Public of the Hawai‘i Labor Relations Board.

 

Respectfully Submitted,
Kristeen Hanselman
Executive Director

SB 249, SD2, HD1, Relating to Retirement

The House Committee on Finance
Tuesday, April 4, 2017
2:00 pm, Room 308

Attention: Chair Sylvia Luke, Vice Chair Ty Cullen and
Members of the Committee

The University of Hawaii Professional Assembly (UHPA) opposes SB 249 SD2, HD1.  As with all previous attempts to diminish retirement benefits for judges, UHPA cannot support the erosion of benefits that normally assist in attracting and retaining qualified individuals to serve as judges.

UHPA requests that the Committee oppose SB 249 SD2, HD1.

Respectfully submitted,

Kristeen Hanselman
Executive Director

SB 919, SD1, HD1 RELATING TO PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT COST ITEMS

The House Committee on Finance
Tuesday, April 4, 2017
2:00 pm,  Room 308

Attention: Chair Sylvia Luke, Vice Chair Ty Cullen and
Members of the Committee

The University of Hawaii Professional Assembly (UHPA) urges the committee to support passage of SB 919, SD1, HD1 which is a measure to appropriate funds for fiscal biennium 2017-2019 for salary costs for public employees in collective bargaining unit (7) and for certain employees excluded from collective bargaining.

UHPA urges the committee to support SB 919, SD1, HD1.

Respectfully Submitted,

Kristeen Hanselman
Executive Director

HB 424, HD1, SD1, RELATING TO THE UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII

The Committee on Ways and Means
Tuesday, April 4, 2017
9:35 am, Room 211

Attention: Chair Jill Tokuda, Vice Chair Donovan Dela Cruz and
Members of the Committee

The University of Hawaii Professional Assembly (UHPA) urge the Committee to support HB 424, HD1, SD1, Part I that reinstates the authority and responsibility for all procurement contracts under chapter 103D, Hawaii revised Statutes, to the University President.

The ability of the University to expedite construction needs for repair and maintenance as well as new construction is essential to enhancing instruction and research as well influencing recruitment and retention. The University President should have both the authority and the accountability for procurement.

Part II, Section 5 & 6  speaks to the importance of faculty having direct and viable input into the University.  Our concern relates to the continuing belief that employees must have special policies directed at their participation on the Board of Regents.  Potential Board of Regents are vetted and confirmed by the Senate.  This new language when coupled with current Board of Regent Policies would not achieve the desired results.

UHPA urges the committee to support HB 424, HD1, SD1 Part I while deleting Section 5 (1) & 6 (1) underlined language and (2).

Respectfully Submitted,

Kristeen Hanselman
Executive Director

HB 424, HD1, Proposed SD1 Relating to The University of Hawaii

The Committee on Higher Education and the Arts
And
Committee on Government Operations
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
1:20 pm, Room 414

Attention:  Chairs Kai Kahele and Donna Mercado Kim, Vice Chairs Michelle Kidani and
Russell Ruderman and Members of the Committee

The University of Hawaii Professional Assembly (UHPA) urges the committee to support HB 424, HD1 proposed SD1.  Part I reinstates the authority and responsibility for all procurement contracts under chapter 103D, Hawaii revised Statutes, to the University President.

The ability of the University to expedite construction needs for repair and maintenance as well as new construction is essential to enhancing instruction and research as well influencing recruitment and retention. The University President should have both the authority and the accountability for procurement.

Part II, Section 6 speaks to the importance of faculty having direct and viable input into the “internal organization and management of the university.”  Our concern relates to the university continuing to believe that employees must have special policies directed at their participation on the Board of Regents.  These individuals have already been vetted and confirmed by the Senate.  This should suffice for their participation; they are adults who have been briefed by the Ethics Commission.  There is no need to establish different standards of behaviour than is applied to all members of the Board of Regents. UHPA recognizes the Committee Chair’s desire to ensure that the employee’s voice is heard and acted upon by the Board of Regents.

UHPA urges the committee to support HB 424, HD1 proposed SD1.                                                                     

Respectfully Submitted,

Kristeen Hanselman
Executive Director

SB 410, SD1, HD1, Relating to Collective Bargaining

The House Committee on Finance
Thursday, March 30, 2017
2:00 pm, Room 308

Attention: Chair Sylvia Luke, Vice Chair Ty Cullen and
Members of the Committee

The University of Hawaii Professional Assembly (UHPA) urges the committee to support  SB 410, SD1, HD1 which encourages the parties to a collective bargaining agreement to negotiate in a manner that effectuates the purpose of Chapter 89. Such purpose includes recognizing that public employees have a voice in determining their working conditions. This proposed measure advances the cooperative relations between employers and employees that establishes a healthy collective bargaining environment.

UHPA encourages the Committee to support SB 410, SD1, HD1.

Respectfully Submitted,

Kristeen Hanselman
Executive Director

HB 1182, HD1, SD1, RELATING TO THE EMPLOYEES’ RETIREMENT SYSTEM

The Committee on Ways and Means
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
1:30 pm, Room 211

Attention: Chair Jill Tokuda, Vice Chair Donovan Dela Cruz and
Members of the Committee

The University of Hawaii Professional Assembly (UHPA) continues to request support for the intent of HB 1182, HD1, requiring the Employeesʻ Retirement System (ERS) actuary to perform annual stress tests of the system and the ERS Board to submit annual reports of the tests to the legislature as we previously testified.

Due to market indicators nationally, the ERS Board had previously taken a responsible approach by slowly lowering the assumed rate of return 50 basis points over a five year period. However, the recent decision by the ERS Board to reduce the assumed rate of return 50 basis points all at once has caused a great deal of anxiety for beneficiaries and the public as a whole.  That one action by the ERS Board immediately increased the unfunded liability by $1.7 Billion, and has statutorily forced the legislature to review the required employer contributions.  When actions by the ERS Board have statewide fiscal implications, additional oversight may be required to ensure the beneficiaries have confidence their interests are being addressed.

Requiring the ERS actuary to perform an annual stress test and report its findings to the legislature will provide a level of transparency that is currently not in place and ensure that the decisions of the ERS Board are not made in a vacuum since the decision to reduce the assumed rate has statewide implications.  

UHPA supports the intent of HB 1182, HD1.

Respectfully submitted,

Kristeen Hanselman
Executive Director