The legislative process can require quick action as the dynamics change regarding specific pieces of legislation.
And now the next hearing where faculty voices are needed is scheduled for Tuesday, February 17, at 8:30 a.m. The House Committee on Labor and Public Employment will again hear proposed legislation that is harmful to public employees including faculty.
The following bills are scheduled to be heard:
- HB 1715 Employees Retirement System; Service Retirement Credit
This will change the age and service time requirement for employees hired after June 30, 2009. The age of retirement will be 65 with 10, 15 or 30 years depending on certain elements. It also diminishes retirement benefits for current employees by changing the age and service credit basis dependent on employee classification in the system.
- HB 1723 Relating to Public Employees
This will prohibit bargaining over the employers contribution to the Employer-Union Trust Fund. It will cap employers contribution to health benefits to 55% of the benefit cost. Currently faculty members have a 60-40 split with the employer paying 60%.
- HB1725 Relating to the Hawaii Employer-Union Health Benefit Trust Fund
Prohibits EUTF from providing prescription drug coverage. Allows
EUTF to have a prescription benefits paid by the employee. The impact
of this could be to increase premiums since access to prescription
drugs often prevents other costly services like surgery. Finding an
insurance carrier may be difficult because there needs to be assurances
that a large number of employees will participate.
- HB 1726 Hawaii Employer-Union Health Benefit Trust Fund: Group Life Insurance Prohibited
Employers are prohibited from contributing to any Group Life Insurance for employees. Employees can be offered a program paid for by the employee. A fee for being allowed to provide insurance will be charged to the insurance carrier and given to the state general fund.
- HB 1727 Hawaii Employer-Union Health Benefit Trust Fund: Dental-Vision Prohibited
Employers are prohibited from contributing to any Dental-Vision insurance plans. Employees can be offered programs paid for by the employee.
Tips for Testimony
Testimony can be submitted less than 24 hours in advance of a hearing. It will be placed in the Committee record but may not be acknowledged at the hearing.
Testimony is placed on the Legislative Web site after the hearing adjourns.
At the top of your testimony place the Committee name, date and time of the hearing. Include the measure number and title.
It is good to have separate messages for each bill that is being heard. It makes it appear that there are many voices. It also allows different arguments to be asserted.
It is good to sign your statement “respectfully submitted” with your name, position or title and organization you represent. In most cases you will be signing your testimony as a faculty member from a specific campus.
The hearings are public so faculty are encouraged to attend.
Email your statements in opposition to these bills to the committee at LABtestimony@Capitol.hawaii.gov.
Please use a private/personal email address.
Send a separate copy of your testimony or concerns to UHPA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you want to read these bills go to the hearing notice and click on the bill no.