HB 1182, Relating to Employees’ Retirement System

The House Committee on Labor & Public Employment
Thursday, February 9, 2017
8:30 am, Room 309

RE: HB 1182, Relating to Employees’ Retirement System

Attention:    Chair Aaron Ling Johanson, Vice Chair Daniel Holt and
                    Members of the Committee

The University of Hawaii Professional Assembly (UHPA) urges the committee to support passage of HB 1182, requiring the Employeeesʻ 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.

The recent decision by the ERS Board to reduce the assumed rate of return from 7.5% to 7.0% all at once immediately increased the unfunded liability by $1.7 Billion, and has forced the legislature to review the required contributions.  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 passage of HB 1182.

Respectfully submitted,

Kristeen Hanselman
Executive Director

HB 424, Relating to Collective Bargaining

The House Committee on Higher Education
Thursday, February 2, 2017
2:00 p.m., Room 309

RE: HB 424, Relating to Collective Bargaining

Attention:    Chair Justin Woodson, Vice Chair Mark Hashem and
                    Members of the Committee

The University of Hawaii Professional Assembly (UHPA) urges the committee to support HB 424 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. The physical conditions that students and employees experience influence recruitment and retention. For too long the need to remove impediments in procurement has languished resulting in repairs and replacement of buildings being delayed. The University President should have both the authority and the accountability for procurement.

UHPA urges the committee to support HB 424.                                                                     

Respectfully Submitted,

Kristeen Hanselman
Executive Director

 

HB 1155, Relating to the University of Hawaiʻi

The House Committee on Labor & Public Employment
Thursday, February 2, 2017
9:00 am, Room 309

 

RE: HB 1155, Relating to the University of Hawaiʻi

Attention:    Chair Aaron Ling Johanson, Vice Chair Daniel Holt and
                     Members of the Committee

The University of Hawaii Professional Assembly (UHPA) urges the committee to support HB 1155 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. The physical conditions that students and employees experience influence recruitment and retention. For too long the need to remove impediments in procurement has languished resulting in repairs and replacement of buildings being delayed. The University President should have both the authority and the accountability for procurement.

UHPA urges the committee to support HB 1155.                                                                     

Respectfully Submitted,

Kristeen Hanselman
Executive Director

SB 406, Relating to Collective Bargaining

   The Senate Committee on Judiciary and Labor
and
The Senate Committee on Higher Education and the Arts
Thursday, February 2, 2017
1:15 PM, Conference Room 224

RE: SB 406, Relating to Collective Bargaining

Attention:   Chairs Gilbert S.C. Keith-Agaran and Kai Kahele, Vice Chairs Karl Rhoads and Michelle Kidani and
                      Members of the Respective Committees

The University of Hawaii Professional Assembly (UHPA) urges the joint Senate committee to support passage of SB 406 that amends Section 89-6 of the Hawai‘i Revised Statute to create bargaining unit 15, allowing full-time graduate students employed at the University of Hawai‘i to collectively bargain.  

Graduate students are essential to instruction, research and mentoring undergraduate students that contributes to the overall success of the University of Hawai‘i. They are in the full sense of the term, employees, with continuing access to positions based on job and academic performance.

When representing faculty, UHPA has worked with graduates students, and on occasion, have provided guidance.  The current University of Hawai‘i policy governing Graduate Students does not provide the proper protections of this group of employees.  Collective Bargaining would allow this group the following:

  • Negotiation of grievance procedures with access to arbitration
  • Protection from arbitrary and capricious behavior
  • Negotiation of salary, wages and benefits

While UHPA is unable to represent Graduate Students, our experience indicates this group of student employees needs the ability to advance its interests in establishing appropriate conditions of employment and treatment in the workplace.

UHPA supports the passage of SB 406.

Respectfully submitted,

Kristeen Hanselman
Executive Director

HB 1277, Relating to Collective Bargaining

The House Committee on Higher Education
Thursday, February 2, 2017
2:00 p.m., Room 309

RE: HB 1277, Relating to Collective Bargaining

Attention:    Chair Justin Woodson, Vice Chair Mark Hashem and Members of the Committee

The University of Hawaii Professional Assembly (UHPA) urges the committee to support passage of HB 1277 that amends Section 89-6 of the Hawai‘i Revised Statute to create bargaining unit 15, allowing full-time graduate students employed at the University of Hawai‘i to collectively bargain.

Graduate students are essential to instruction, research and mentoring undergraduate students that contributes to the overall success of the University of Hawai‘i.  They are in the full sense of the term, employees, with continuing access to positions based on job and academic performance.

When representing faculty, UHPA has had to work with graduates students, and on occasion, have provided guidance.  The current University of Hawai‘i policy governing Graduate Students does not provide the proper protections of this group of employees.  Collective Bargaining would allow this group the following:

  • Negotiation of grievance procedures
  • Protection from arbitrary and capricious behavior
  • Negotiation of salary, wages and benefits

While UHPA is unable to represent Graduate Students, our experience indicates this group of student employees needs the ability to advance its interests in establishing appropriate conditions of employment and treatment in the workplace.

UHPA supports the passage of HB 1277.

Respectfully submitted,

Kristeen Hanselman
Executive Director