ERS Filing Sessions

If you are planning to retire this year, please refer to the schedule for individual counseling/filing sessions on the Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) website under Members Retirement Planning http://ers.ehawaii.gov/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Oahu-Fall-20151.pdf.

Employees wanting to request an individual counseling session on O‘ahu should call ERS at 586-1735, as the individual counseling sessions are filling up fast.  A registration form is also available on the last page of the ERS Counseling Appointments for Employees Retiring schedule.  On the form, please enter the last 4-digits of your social security number and your month and date of birth (the year is not required) and mail or hand-deliver the completed form to the ERS Office.  NOTE:  If it is too early to register for a session, please regularly check the ERS site for the schedule of sessions.

For neighbor island employees, please contact the neighbor island ERS representative for an appointment.  The ERS has scheduled pre-retirement workshops and informational sessions on the islands of Hawai‘i, Kaua‘i, Lāna‘i, Maui and Moloka‘i.  The pre-retirement sessions schedule and instructions to register on each island may be viewed at: http://ers.ehawaii.gov/members/planning-for-retirement.

Additional information regarding your retirement benefits is located on the ERS website at http://ers.ehawaii.gov/.  Should you have questions related to retirement, please contact ERS at:

O‘ahu – (808) 586-1735
Maui – (808) 984-8181
Hawai‘i – (808) 974-4077
Kaua‘i – (808) 274-3010

UHPA Testimony on Workload and Faculty Review

On behalf of UHPA, Executive Director J. N. Musto testified before the Board of Regents Committee on Personnel Affairs as it continued to consider changes in policies pertaining to workload and the periodic review of faculty. Testimony by UHPA ED Musto highlights the negotiating history and the continued obligation of the Board of Regents to negotiate with UHPA over the impact of such policies might have on faculty employment.  In his testimony to the regents, Dr. Musto emphasized that the first priority of any university is not just instruction, but rather “the retention, transmission and development of new knowledge” of which instruction, research, academic governance, student services, and service to the community at large are all a part.  He repeated UHPA’s commitment to work with the UH administration on all the campuses to see that teaching equivalencies for instructional faculty, development of departmental expectations and the continued implementation of the procedures governing 5-year faculty reviews continue all on the basis of the original agreements that were reached by the parties in 1986.  Dr. Musto concluded his remarks by pointing out that there should be a uniform system by which all faculty members are able to express to the students and the public the spectrum of work that they are engaged in as a part of this academic community; teaching research and service.

FacFAQs: Sabbatical Policy vs. Contract

Realizing she may never get timely information from her campus Human Resources office, Nora, a 9-month Instructional faculty member at ‘Āhinahina Community College, has decided to start researching Sabbatical information online herself. She noticed a discrepancy between policy and the UHPA faculty contract.

She discovers that Policy A9.400 states that faculty must return to service at UH for one year, with item 6 stating that “Employees who fail to return to service subsequent to a sabbatical leave or who do not complete one year of service subsequent to a sabbatical leave are required to reimburse the University all compensation received during the leave period,” and that faculty must sign a statement acknowledging this. Clearly, based on this policy, the return service must be one year regardless of the duration of the Sabbatical.

However, if the sabbatical leave period is only 6 months, the current contract only requires a return service requirement of 6 months.

Nora is puzzled. Which is correct?

 

Answer:
Thankfully, the UH administration is currently in the process of updating the Administrative Procedures, after working on the Board of Regents policies and the Executive Policies.  As it pertains to any policy issued by the administration or the BOR, the substance is always subject to the language of the collective bargaining agreement (i.e., the UHPA/BOR Agreement takes precedence when there is any conflict of “discrepancy.”)  In this particular case regarding sabbatical leave, it was more than a decade ago that UHPA negotiated the change from BOR policy currently in the contract so that the obligation to return was for not more than period of the leave.  The administrative policies simply haven’t caught up yet.

2015 Island Flex Open Enrollment

The 2015 Island Flex Open Enrollment period is scheduled from March 9, 2015 through April 30, 2015. Island Flex is a flexible spending program that allows employees to pay for eligible health care and dependent care expenses with TAX FREE money. Employees currently enrolled in Island Flex will need to re-enroll during the open enrollment period to continue participating in the program.

The state’s third-party administrator will be conducting informational workshops throughout the state.  Employees are invited to attend and may use up to 1½ hours of work time (this includes travel time) to participate.  View the flyer announcing the workshop locations:  http://www.hawaii.edu/ohr/downtemp/FlexFlyer.pdf

Should you have any questions regarding the Island Flex open enrollment, please contact Comprehensive Financial Planning, Inc. at 596-7006 or visit the website at http://www.compfinplan.com.  Neighbor Island employees may call toll free 1 (877) 550-5552.

MOA Regarding the Roles and Consultation Protocols Involving UH Administration, UHPA and UH Faculty Senates

UHPA and UH have reached settlement on a Memorandum of Agreement Regarding the Roles and Consultation Protocols Involving UH Administration, UH Professional Assembly, and UH Faculty Senates. The discussions between the parties generated much discussion on ensuring the agreement gave each respective party clarity in its role and engagement on various issues of importance.

UH requesting change in tenure dates. What do you think?

All Bargaining Unit 7 members will be receiving an email survey asking for feedback on this topic.  Click on the link below to view the letter from UH:

150130 Ltr Re Article XII

Absentee Voter Ballot Reminder – Deadline: August 2, 2014

 

If you have already registered to vote, you have the option of casting an absentee ballot. This is valuable if you know you cannot physically be at the polling place or you will be out of town for a conference or vacation that day. The absentee ballot allows you to vote before the Primary Election.

Complete Your Application

Your City or County Clerk’s office must receive your application no later than Saturday, August 2, 2014. This will allow time for processing before the Primary Election on Saturday, August 9, 2014.

Application Location
Absentee voter ballots are available at:

  • Satellite City Halls
  • Office of the City/County Clerks
  • U.S. Post Offices
  • All public libraries
  • All state agencies

For your convenience, you may also download a PDF form from the Office of Elections website at; http://hawaii.gov/elections/forms/absentee_application.pdf

Specify the address you would like your absentee ballot to be mailed. You may include a separate address to mail your General Election absentee ballot, if it’s different from the address for your Primary Election absentee ballot.

If there is a chance your ballot will reach your forwarding address before your arrival, please check the box marked “Hold for Arrival” on the Wikiwiki Absentee Application.

Once you receive your absentee ballot, be sure to complete it and mail it back right away as it must be received no later than the close of polls on Election Day.

You also have the option to go to walk-in polling sites with your voter absentee ballot. These polling sites are located at the City or County Clerk’s office. Please contact them for polling hours.

 

 

Deadline to Register for Primary Election: July 10, 2014

Simply go to the Office of Elections website, access the fillable PDF, print it out and mail it to your county office listed on the form. It will only takes a few minutes. You can access the Wikiwiki Voter Registration & Permanent Absentee form.

Absentee Ballot Bonus

The same form also has a section to request permanent absentee voter status. That means you can have your ballot mailed to you and you don’t have to worry about physically being in Hawaii to vote or having to go to the polling booths. So if you’re planning to be out of town this summer and will not be back before the Primary Election on August 9, 2014, be sure to request an absentee ballot.

Losing EUTF Health Coverage in Summer 2014

Employees separating from UH and losing Employer-Union Health Benefits Trust Fund (EUTF) health coverage have the following options:

  • Enroll in EUTF COBRA Continuation Health Coverage
  • Purchase health coverage through individual health providers (e.g., HMSA, Kaiser, etc), or
  • Purchase an individual plan through the Hawai‘i Health Connector.  Additional information may be found on the Hawai‘i Health Connector website at http://www.hawaiihealthconnector.com/, or by contacting the Health Connector Consumer Support at 877-628-5076 or individual health providers.  Individuals may also contact the EUTF for COBRA information at 586-7390 (Oahu) or toll free at 1-800-295-0089, or by e-mailing questions to eutf@hawaii.gov.