UHPA Celebrates Representative Lisa Kitagawa

UHPA Celebrates One of Their Own

Newly elected Representative Lisa Kitagawa represents State House District 48. Lisa was born and raised in Kāne‘ohe where her family has lived for over four generations.

Lisa is a public school graduate of Castle High School (1998) and continued her education at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.  Kitagawa received her Bachelor of Science degree in Family Resources and her Masters degree in Higher Education Administration.

For 12 years Kitagawa was employed at UH Manoa. She was a faculty and UHPA member from 2006-2011 working for the Office of Student Affairs and teaching Education Administration through the College of Education.  She also served as APT staff and worked for the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources.  Leaving in 2017 she became the key legislative aide to Representative Johanson House Labor Chair. It was Kitagawa in the 2018 session that was key to marshaling UHPA backed legislation through the House and Senate Committees in proper form and meeting all procedural deadlines.

Representative Kitagawa is knowledgeable about the University and committed to ensuring that faculty interests are protected and advanced.

We look forward to a rewarding working relationship with a new advocate for Higher Education.

UHPA Congratulates Senator Keohokalole

UHPA Congratulates Another One of Its Own
Senator Jarrett Keohokalole

Newly elected Senator Jarrett Keohokalole was elected to the Kāne‘ohe District 24 Senate seat vacated by Senator Jill Tokuda.  We congratulate Jarrett on his commitment to walk his Senate District and meet every person who would stop and engage with him in conversation.  We appreciate that he walked the District four times to establish his commitment to be visible and represent well his constituency.

Jarrett comes from a long family history in the Kāne‘ohe community.  He is the seventh generation to raise a Keohokalole family in this community.  He understands the difficulties young families experience in meeting demands for childcare, housing and obtaining good health care. He is committed to bringing improved infrasture to his District.

Keohokalole received his Bachalor of Arts degree in Journalism from the Universityof Hawai‘i at Mānoa and continued on to receive not only his JD from the William S. Richarson School of Law at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa but additionally a Certificate in Native Hawaiian Law.  Upon graduation he was hired as an Assistant Faculty Specialist by the William S. Richardson School of Law and joined UHPA in 2013.

We worked well with Jarrett as a Representative and have already engaged with him in identifying the issues to be present in the 2019 legislative session.

UHPA Stands in Solidarity with Hotel Workers

UHPA stands in solidarity with the hotel workers who have been without a contract and believes the request of the 2,700 hotel workers on Oahu and Maui for fair wages and better working conditions is fair and reasonable.

Last chance: Disney’s Aulani Resort offer expires Oct 2

Our 5th Annual UHPA Aulani Resort Experience is shaping up to be more popular than ever.  There are only a handful of rooms available.  This is your absolutely last chance to get a fantastic rate for a great family weekend.  You can book your stay for up to 5 days before or 5 days after our allocated days of Nov 1-3. This means you can stay at the Aulani either the weekend prior or during Nov 1-3!

This offer is available to UHPA Members only while supplies last.

 

Get a discount on your next vehicle

UHPA Members now have access to an exclusive automotive purchase program via the JN Group that includes guaranteed discounts on your next vehicle (either new or pre-owned) purchase.

Not a member yet? Join now via this instant membership online form.

Are you already a member but can’t access the content? Click here to troubleshoot or just call our office.

UHPA Members can stay at Disney’s Aulani Resort on either weekend

Our 5th Annual UHPA Aulani Resort Experience has an added bonus this year: you can book your stay for up to 5 days before or 5 days after our allocated days of Nov 1-3. This means you can stay at the Aulani either the weekend prior or during Nov 1-3!

There are only a limited number or rooms available. Booking early gives you the best choice of the best rooms. This offer is available to UHPA Members only while supplies last. If you want the best choice of rooms, book now.

 

UHPA Making Sure Your Dues Deductions are Accurate

The last four faculty paychecks illustrated the problems within DAGS and the ongoing issues when a state agency doesn’t know UHPA and takes some authority away from UH payroll. A brief recap of the mistakes that UHPA identified and ensured there were corrections.

Pursuant to the U.S. Supreme Court Janus v AFSCME decision effective June 27, 2018, dues deduction from nonmembers were to end. On July 5, the Department of Accounting & General Services (DAGS) deducted dues from UHPA nonmembers and no dues deduction were made from members. The dues from nonmembers, which were inappropriately deducted, were deposited to an escrow account established by UHPA. UHPA notified DAGS of their error. DAGS was unable to refund dues from nonmembers deducted from July 27 – June 30. UHPA prepared checks for the refund and checks were mailed to all nonmembers on August 3.

On July 20, DAGS again deducted union dues from UHPA nonmembers. The nonmembers’ dues portion was deposited into the UHPA escrow account. Refunds were made by DAGS with the Aug 5 pay check. UHPA members’ dues deduction was deducted as SD725 and SD726 to correct the mistakes made earlier.

UHPA identified further issues with the August 5 payroll, for those UHPA members whose monthly salary ended in an odd amount, $1.00 was added to the dues deduction instead of $.01. The $.99 correction was made by DAGS on Aug 20.

On August 20, UHPA noticed that 9 month faculty received their negotiated pay increase but DAGS did not recalculate the dues. You will see the DAGS correction on your Sept 5 pay check.

The series of incidents have been frustrating for both UHPA staff and members affected by DAGS’ mistakes. UHPA filed a Prohibited Practice with the Hawaii Labor Relations Boards seeking to remedy these problems and ensure the State is compliant with their obligations under the Hawaii collective bargaining law. UHPA is seeking a resolution that will establish a clear procedure that ensures accuracy for dues collection by DAGS.

New Notification Requirements for Placement on Administrative Leave with Pay

Many faculty members who were placed on administrative leave with pay were subject to ongoing 30 day extensions without being informed of the need for the extensions.These situations often were a result of administrative investigations based on workplace violence or Title IX. complaints. Investigations were ongoing for substantial periods of time with no information forthcoming on the status of the activities. These extended periods of time can have negative consequences on a faculty member’s work and standing within the academic community.

Under a new Memorandum of Understanding faculty members shall receive the rational and supporting facts for the extension. The information shall include the anticipated end point of the investigation. This helps ensure that investigations are dealt within the proper timeline often prescribed within UH administrative policy.

The MOU modifies Article XVIII, Section B.6 Disciplinary Actions.

UH-Manoa Periodic Review Due Dates Extended

The UHPA and UH-Manoa have jointly extended the due date for notification of faculty up for 5-year review this academic year from Saturday, September 1st to Friday, September 7th.  In addition, the due date for “academic profile” will be moved from Saturday, December 1st to Monday, December 3rd.

A Different Take on the U.S. Supreme Court “Janus” Ruling

By Lynne Wilkens, UHPA President

This past week’s U.S. Supreme Court decision on Janus v. AFSCME (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees) has created a stir across the nation.

The ruling overturns the Supreme Court’s 1977 ruling on Abood v. Detroit Board of Education that has served as a precedent for more than 40 years. Janus serves as a new landmark case and is causing concern over the loss of employee rights and a weakened collective voice in the workplace. There has also been not-so-subtle gloating about renewed power for employers with a legal way to defund and cripple unions.

Backers of Mark Janus, the Illinois child worker, argued collective bargaining is inherently political in nature. Therefore, union members should no longer have to pay member dues because any assertions by unions violate the First Amendment rights of its members.

Yet in Hawaii, there is a different tenor and tone in response to Supreme Court’s decision. Over the past 18 months, the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly (UHPA) armed its members with accurate information to brace them for the anticipated ruling and will continue to update its members as the new law is implemented in our state.

Hawaii embedded collective bargaining in its statutes to “promote harmonious and cooperative relations between government and its employees and to protect the public by assuring effective and orderly operations of government.” This establishes joint decision-making between government and its employees to create a win-win environment that supports Hawaii’s cultural values, our economy and our future.

University of Hawaii faculty members know that with UHPA as their designated union, they can speak with a strong, unified voice to negotiate with the UH administration and governor at the bargaining table. As a unified group, they can persuade legislators to release funds for wages in ratified contracts. All of this may seem overtly political because of the way the faculty contracts are approved and funded.

Under the Janus ruling, UHPA will continue to ensure contracts provide equitable and satisfactory terms of employment for all faculty, regardless of whether they are union members. However, support for grievances and other services will no longer be available to non-paying members. This is fair for the paying members.

Some UHPA members may not want to give up 1% of their salaries for agency fees. But we believe the majority of the members want UHPA’s representation and are willing to pay for it.

The broader community also benefits from a healthy equilibrium of power in the workplace. There is a UH professor who generates $35 million in non-state research funding and 450 jobs. This is only possible because the 4,000 faculty members at the 10 University of Hawaii campuses across the state represented by UHPA can focus on quality teaching, research, and community service due to the good contract they have in place.

Take away faculty’s voice and rights, and these community benefits also go away. Faculty members will not stay at the UH if they are treated unfairly, especially if they are offered a much more attractive compensation package from another university — another type of brain drain.

UHPA has a solid record of effective representation of UH faculty over the past 40 years. The union provides significant value for the dollar in contract negotiations, grievance settlements, and representation of faculty interests. This high-performance service has only been possible because of the collaboration between UHPA and its membership and we are confident this partnership will continue to play a vital role in the future.

Lynne Wilkens is president of the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly’s board of directors.