UHPA’s Series of Requests to Meet Repeatedly Ignored; Prohibited Practice Complaint Filed
Date: August 6, 2018
Contact: Kris Hanselman
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Gov. David Ige and State Comptroller’s Inattention to University of Hawaii
Professional Assembly and U.S. Supreme Court Ruling
Result in Inaccurate Payroll Deductions for UH Faculty
UHPA’s Series of Requests to Meet Repeatedly Ignored;
UHPA Files Prohibited Practice Complaint with Hawaii Labor Relations Board
The University of Hawaii Professional Assembly (UHPA), the union that represents UH
faculty, filed a prohibited practice complaint against the governor and the director of the
Department of Accounting and General Services (DAGS) with the Hawaii Labor
Relations Board last Friday afternoon.
The filing urges Gov. David Ige and DAGS director Rod Becker to heed UHPA’s
requests for a “full, immediate, and effective” discussion on faculty payroll deductions to
meet the requirements of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling.
UHPA’s requests to meet with the governor and other government agencies to prepare
for the payroll deductions in anticipation of the U.S Supreme Court ruling on Janus v.
AFSCME began nearly six months ago, but those requests were continually ignored.
The lack of consultation resulted in payroll deduction errors in two consecutive faculty
paychecks within the last month.
When the U.S. Supreme Court issued its landmark ruling on Janus v. AFSCME in late
June, it came as no surprise. For months, there had been indications the justices would
rule in favor of a right-to-work environment in the public sector. This meant the State of
Hawaii, the employer of UH faculty, could no longer automatically deduct agency fees
from the paychecks of non-members — the equivalent of union dues from members.
Despite UHPA’s continuous outreach efforts, the governor’s office nor DAGS granted a
request for a meeting. As a result, the State of Hawaii was not able to meet its legal
obligations and this resulted in payroll deduction errors in faculty paychecks in July.
These errors have not yet been fully resolved.
“The payroll errors are the result of DAGS creating its own unilateral payroll policies and
procedures without consultation and prior planning with UHPA. This is a violation of
Hawaii’s collective bargaining laws,” Hanselman said. “In addition, DAGS has imposed
unrealistic deadlines on UHPA to support this system they created. We do not have
confidence that these kinds of errors will not continue in the future.”
After months of UHPA’s requests for a meeting, DAGS has suddenly requested a
meeting with UHPA for August 13 — nearly a month and a half after the initial error-plagued
faculty paychecks were issued.
“They are a day late and dollar short,” Hanselman said. “This crisis could have been
averted if the governor and his agencies collaborated with us at the front end, not after it
occurs,” said Kris Hanselman, UHPA Executive Director. “We believed the governor
would understand the gravity of this situation and do the right thing, the right way, but it
appears his administration did not take this U.S. Supreme Court decision seriously and
now we are having to spend time and resources to fix the problem to meet our
obligations to our members and our organization.”