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Thankful for the Value of Unions

Aloha UHPA Members:

Hawaii’s high cost of living can make living in paradise a living hell and a financial struggle for many in Hawaii. It’s not easy to make ends meet when wages are not commensurate with the high costs for housing, food, fuel, and other essentials.

But it’s fair to say that without unions and its engaged members, wages would be even lower, leading to the unfortunate reality of seeing more residents leaving our state in search of greener, less costly pastures. We can all be thankful for the positive presence of all labor unions here in Hawaii. 

Hawaii’s High Union Ranking

According to data compiled from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and by SmartAsset, Hawaii is ranked as one of the top 10 states with the strongest unions in 2022. This was based on total union membership percentage by state and the change in membership over the last four years. There was an important correlation to wages: those states with a higher number of union jobs in comparison to the total workforce also enjoyed higher wages.

Here are two key findings from the data:

  • States with higher union membership rates have higher wages. Six of the top 10 states have average worker wages that rank in the top fifth of states.
  • Although union members make up only about 10% of the nation’s workforce, it exceeds 20% in two states. In Hawaii, total union members in 2022 22.36% of the total workforce, and in New York, union membership was 22.24%.

Mahalo to all of our UHPA members for contributing to a better quality of life for all in our islands. 

And if you’re a faculty member who has enjoyed the salary increases and benefits of faculty members who are shouldering the responsibility of investing their own personal time in being active and involved in union activities, including contract negotiations through their membership in UHPA, please consider sharing the responsibility and becoming a UHPA member if you haven’t already done so. Our strength lies in the solidarity and unity of our membership and the purpose of pursuing a cause greater than themselves by serving for the benefit of all. 

Thankful to all of you in our UHPA ‘ohana,

Christian Fern
Executive Director