Coming To Your Inbox This Week
On Saturday April 2, 2022, UHPA’s Board of Directors approved to send to the Faculty a financial offer from the State for review and consideration. The next step is a Faculty ratification vote. More information will be coming Tuesday to your inbox and the vote will take place later this week.
Watch for the State’s Financial Offer for Faculty
In March 2020, the pandemic immediately changed our lives and our State’s economy was sent into an unprecedented downward spiral. So much so that in April and May 2020, the leaders of the public sector unions were asked to meet with the Governor and his representatives to discuss the possible unilateral implementation of 20% pay cuts for all public sector employees, including faculty, in order to deal with the economic downturn and looming budgetary crisis.
2020: A Challenging Year
You may recall that 2020 was a tumultuous year for all public sector employees, characterized by the ambiguity of our leaders sending mixed messages about our on again-off again pay cuts, furloughs, layoffs/retrenchment, etc. During this time, there was no formal negotiation or consultation with UHPA to collaboratively find solutions to deal with the State’s budgetary deficits. UHPA pointed out that on top of unilateral implementation of furloughs violating our existing faculty contract and challenging its constitutionality, cutting salaries and wages of public sector employees will only hurt the State’s economic recovery.
The pandemic dragged on and in late 2020, after nine months of uncertainty, the State presented a formal offer in successor bargaining to be effective July 1, 2021. The State’s initial proposal was for Unit 7 Faculty to take a 9.3% pay cut over the next four years to June 30, 2025. The UHPA Negotiations Committee challenged and countered the Employer’s position and worked tirelessly to protect and ensure the financial stability for its members and reluctantly agreed to a two year contract with no pay increases through June 30, 2023. At the time, it was a reasonable concession to avoid and prevent the Employer from implementing more drastic actions such as furloughs or layoffs/retrenchment that would have impacted the quality of instruction and the livelihoods of all Faculty members.
A New Time, A New Financial Offer
Fast forward to today: the State coffers are now flush with cash due to the infusion of Federal stimulus funds and the State’s economy making an incredible turnaround sooner than expected. As a result, UHPA was approached by the State’s Chief Negotiator, Ryker Wada, with the full support of Governor Ige, to see if UHPA was open to enter into off-the-record mid-term bargaining to extend the current Unit 7 Agreement along with a proposed financial offer from the State. After several months of bargaining, the State proposed a final financial package similar to what was agreed to with the other bargaining units who had wage reopeners in their agreement. (Other unions, which negotiated a reopener for the second year of their contracts, are receiving some much needed financial offers from the State.)
UHPA Board Supports Proposal
Late last week, the UHPA Negotiating Committee thoroughly reviewed and analyzed the State’s financial offer to extend the duration of the Unit 7 Agreement. They voted in support of the State’s financial offer and recommended that it be sent to the UHPA Board of Directors for the Board’s review and consideration. On Saturday, April 2nd the UHPA Board of Directors unanimously agreed to accept the State’s financial offer and to submit the proposal to the Faculty for consideration with a recommendation to approve.
Ratification Voting Period Begins This Wednesday
Be on the lookout, Tuesday, April 5th, for the details on the financial offer to extend the current Unit 7 Agreement from June 30, 2023 to June 30, 2025. Ratification of the financial offer will commence at 12:00 p.m. noon on Wednesday, April 6th, and shall conclude at 12:00 p.m. noon Friday, April 8th. UHPA plans to release the results of the ratification later that afternoon.