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It’s Not About Smoking!

The University of Hawaii (University) failed to convince the Hawaii Labor Relations Board (HLRB) to dismiss the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly’s (UHPA) charges about UH Manoa (UHM) bypassing UHPA on matters subject to negotiations.  The HLRB indicated there were significant issues raised by UHPA in their prohibited practice charge. These included UHM’s handling of a no-smoking policy that exceeds both state law and BOR policy and raise bargainable issues.  Further proposed changes to faculty five-year reviews referred to the Faculty Senate raise bargainable issues.

As soon as the hearing opened, the HLRB, having read the
parties’ pleadings, announced it was ready to rule against the University’s
Motion to Dismiss.  After a brief
discussion, the HLRB unanimously denied the University’s Motion to Dismiss and
set the case for full hearing at the end of May.  The HLRB wanted to hear full evidence on
whether UHM has been misusing faculty senates, has been taking inconsistent
positions between the UH system and campus, or has been failing to raise issues
with the union in a timely way.

The University is represented by Jeffrey Harris, Esq. of
Torkildson, Katz, Moore, Hetherington & Harris.  At the HLRB hearing, attorney Harris affirmed
he represented the University and the Board of Regents.

The University is seeking to have faculty evaluation
designated as an issue not subject to negotiations as faculty members are
aware this strikes at the issues of tenure, promotion, and contract renewal
by threatening faculty rights contained within the collective bargaining
agreement.

Further, the University asserts that campuses should be
allowed to establish their own policies and implementation even when the
subject matter has relevance to all BU07 members.  UHPA contends that such behavior invites
conflicting and contradictory positions being advanced by the University under
the same collective bargaining agreement.  This will create significant issues of inequity
and unfair treatment of BU07 members.

UHPA believes strongly that issues such as faculty
evaluation and no-smoking policies are system-wide issues that need addressing
by the University not delegated to a specific campus.  UHPA requested that President Lassner
negotiate on the immediate issue of no-smoking and tobacco use policies.  No response to the request has been received
by UHPA.  While UHPA does not support
smoking or use of tobacco products, UHPA does insist that its role as
exclusive bargaining agent be recognized to ensure that the interests of
faculty on all ten (10) UH campuses are addressed.