UHPA news from week ending 12/14

Bargaining Update

Mid-Term Bargaining and Proposed Furloughs

Please review “UHPA Stands Up Against Governor Ige’s Overreach” published and emailed on 12/11 at about 4:15pm. 

Successor Bargaining

Irrespective of the situation UHPA is facing with the Employer in mid-term bargaining, negotiations for a successor UHPA/BOR Unit 7 Agreement continues.  Another meeting is scheduled for this Monday, December 14, 2020.  As noted previously, the UHPA Negotiations Committee and the Employer are now fully engaged in discussing and deliberating over the various proposals.  Please visit the uhpa.org website for the latest information on this developing matter.

Retirement Incentive

While UHPA still has not received a formal response from the State’s Chief Negotiator Ryker Wada, Governor David Ige, and the State’s Attorney General over the draft MOU, we understand that the Employer may be revisiting the matter for further review and consideration.  While we have not received an official word of its outright rejection, we remain hopeful and optimistic in that the Employer may consider offering a type of retirement incentive.   Please visit the uhpa.org website for the latest information on this developing matter.

Reference Links

Governor created chaos and confusion with furlough roll-out (joint statement)

One day after Gov. David Ige announced plans to furlough tens of thousands of employees in his state workforce, details are emerging showing the so-called plan actually isn’t one.

The Hawaii Government Employees Association (HGEA), the Hawaii State Teachers Association (HSTA), the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly (UHPA), and the United Public Workers (UPW) have learned that each state department director has been given a very short window to determine which employees to furlough and/or if an exemption should be sought with no guidance or parameters. Union leaders are hearing reports of confusion among top department heads about how they are supposed to roll out the furloughs. Additionally union leaders have been told that each department may be directed to implement furloughs independently from the other departments.

It’s downright scary that these are the people who are leading the economic recovery and essential services that affect the health and functioning of our state. The Ige administration should halt this ridiculous plan now before more damage is done to the workers, public services and Hawaii’s economy.

Yesterday, Ige announced in his news conference that 24/7 operations, first responders and public safety employees would be exempt from furloughs. He also exempted federally funded positions and departments that generate their own revenue such as the Hawaii Department of Transportation (Airports, Highways and Harbors Divisions) and the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.

Many state departments either receive federal funds or generate revenue which may make them eligible to opt their employees out of the furlough.

In another contradiction to his public statement on furloughs, state sheriffs and conservation resource officers are NOT on the furlough exemption list even though they are first responders and have law enforcement powers.

While Ige said Wednesday Schools Superintendent Christina Kishimoto would release furlough plans for educators, Kishimoto emailed a message to all Department of Education employees the same day that said, in part, “The governor’s Office of Collective Bargaining is the lead on these active negotiations; therefore, we do not have details of the specific impact to HIDOE employees at this time.”

All four unions have valid contracts in place and none of the unions have agreed to furloughs.

Announcing a drastic nearly 10% pay cut to workers though a furlough will hobble a key pillar of Hawaii’s economic engine—government workers—when economic recovery is so critical.

HGEA, HSTA, UPW, and UHPA collectively call on the governor to halt this ill-timed, poorly planned furlough implementation and to respect the contracts of tens of thousands of his dedicated employees.

A Bad Time for Furloughs

Aloha Faculty members:

This afternoon, Gov. David Ige announced his plan to unilaterally implement furloughs for state employees, beginning Jan. 1, 2021.  

UHPA is currently under a collective bargaining agreement through June 30, 2021, and has not agreed to the furlough plans presented by Gov. Ige. 

 

UHPA strongly denounces this plan, joining the other public-sector unions to make it clear there will be an adverse impact to our local economy, as forewarned by the University of Hawai‘i Economic Organization (UHERO).  

UHPA, the Hawaii Government Employees Association (HGEA), Hawaii State Teachers Association (HSTA) and the United Public Workers (UPW) jointly issued a statement to the media explaining our position that has been published on our website.

Furloughs are Counterproductive

At a time when access to faculty and classes are most critical, furloughs are counterproductive. Last month, UH-Mānoa reported having the largest number of incoming freshmen for the fall 2019 semester in almost 40 years. The flagship Manoa campus welcomed 2,184 first-time freshman class — the largest class since 1981, boosting overall enrollment by 3.1% to 18,025 students.

Increase in Overall Student Enrollment

Overall, there was a small 0.8% decrease in overall student count across all 10 Hawaii campuses this past fall, but this was a much smaller decrease compared to other universities.  Nationally, university enrollment dropped 3% and by 1.4% for public four-year universities, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.

Some community colleges also experienced enrollment increases: Kauai Community College showed a 6.4% increase and UH West O‘ahu also had a 3% increase in enrollment this past fall.  According to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, community college enrollment overall declined by 3.2% this past fall semester over last year, but this was much less than the 9.4% drop for public two-year institutions nationwide.

UH: A Viable Choice for More Private High School Graduates

As a result of the pandemic, the role of the UH has become even more important for local families dealing with the challenges of the pandemic. Just under a third — 28.5% — of private school graduates in Hawaii enrolled at UH this past fall. There was a 20% increase in private high school graduates who chose to remain at home and attend the UH this past fall compared to a year ago. 

Other Key Highlights: 

  • Enrollment by Native Hawaiian students reached a record high since reporting started in 2005. Students of Hawaiian ancestry now make up a quarter —  25.6% — of total enrollment.
  • The proportion of students who are the first in their families to attend college also rose this year to 22.3%, the highest figure since that information started being tracked in 2015.
  • Despite the pandemic, faculty were able to rapidly pivot to new ways of safely delivering instruction without disruption. As a result, six of UH’s seven community colleges saw increases in graduation success rates, and five of seven saw increases in on-time graduation. UH-Mānoa’s on-time graduation rate has improved every year since 2006 and now stands at a record-high.

There is too much at stake to implement furloughs at a time like this. The UH is an economic engine in our state and plays a key role in workforce development. We must continue the momentum and build our road to economic recovery, not tear it down before it even starts. We must create a resilient economy and avoid the social costs of furloughs. We believe our state deserves better and we look forward to more discussions with the Governor to explore other solutions to the state budget shortfall.

Joint Statement on Governor’s Furlough Plan from UHPA & Hawaii’s public sector unions

Governor’s Furlough Plan And Budget Cuts Will Hurt Hawaii’s Working Families, Economy And Communities

The Hawaii Government Employees Association (HGEA), the Hawaii State Teachers Association (HSTA), the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly (UHPA), and the United Public Workers (UPW) stand in strong opposition to Gov. David Ige’s plan to unilaterally implement furloughs starting in January 2021.

These furloughs and planned budget cuts, announced just before the holidays, couldn’t come at a worse time. Cutting pay for at least tens of thousands of government workers impacts their ability to meet financial obligations and spend in support of local businesses. Many public workers have already lost their second jobs in the tourism industry or have a spouse who is out of work, and now they face pay cuts.

These drastic cuts will carry devastating, long-lasting consequences, not only for state workers and their families. Mass pay cuts would throttle a key pillar of Hawaii’s economy — government — at a time when the tourism industry is still extremely weak and construction is slowing. This is a dangerous and badly timed policy decision that key lawmakers have publicly stated is not necessary at this time. A study released this spring found that every $1 reduction in state employees’ salaries would result in a $1.50 reduction in overall economic activity in the islands.

Under Ige’s plan, thousands of public workers would be affected, including teachers, educational assistants, custodians, groundskeepers, cafeteria workers, social workers, university professors, engineers, building inspectors, those who care for our most vulnerable populations, and hundreds of other positions. 

And it’s not just about workers’ pay and how their spending impacts our local economy; lost work hours during a prolonged furlough will negatively impact all public services provided by the government.


Our elected leaders must do everything possible to avoid repeating the devastating history of the furloughs in 2009 and 2010, when public offices and facilities were forced to reduce their hours, and some—schools included—closed for several days a month. The public had to contend with services that were eliminated or endure scaled-back or delayed services while our children were denied a quality public education.

Lastly, we question the governor’s extreme timeframe. History has demonstrated the deeply negative impacts of a two-year furlough, some of which our state has yet to recover from. 

This announcement is especially baffling when the U.S. Congress finally seems close to passing a stimulus package that could give aid to states and cities. Ige’s planned implementation of state employee furloughs is drastic and rash.

Hawaii’s four public unions remain committed to standing up and speaking out for our members, our local economy and the communities we all live in. Together, the unions will pursue all legal avenues to stop the unilateral implementation of these furloughs. 

UHPA news from 11/30-12/7

Bargaining Update

Mid-term Bargaining and Proposed Furloughs

Since the initial meeting held on Monday, November 16, 2020, the State’s Chief Negotiator Ryker Wada hasn’t responded to the UHPA Negotiations Committee follow-up letter questioning the Governor’s and the UH Administation’s furlough plan for Faculty members.  In addition, no future meetings are currently scheduled.

Successor Bargaining Negotiations

Negotiations for a successor UHPA/BOR Unit 7 Agreement continues with a meeting scheduled for Monday, December 7, 2020.  The UHPA Negotiations Committee is now fully engaged in discussing and deliberating with the Employer over the various proposals.

Retirement Incentive

As of Friday, December 4, 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 a proposed retirement incentive for Faculty members.

Budget Update

  • New Budget update expected after December 14, 2020

Reference Links

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