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HOU FIN SB 2990 SD2 HD1 Family Leave

The House Committee on Finance
Wednesday, March 28, 2018
4:00 PM, Conference Room 308

RE: SB 2990 SD2 HD1 Relating to Family Leave

Attention: Chair Sylvia Luke, Vice Chair Ty Cullen and members of the Committee

The University of Hawaii Professional Assembly (UHPA) urges the committee to support SB 2990, SD2, HD1. SB 2990 SD2, HD1 is designed to establish a paid family leave special fund with a paid family implementation board tasked with developing the appropriate family leave model and implementation plan.

The UHPA and UH Board of Regents 2015-2017 contract established a joint labor-management committee to assess the needs of Childcare and Childcare Leave in the University of Hawai‘i System. The Committeeʻs findings were presented to the labor-management negotiating teams in the last round of negotiations, and highlighted the following deficiencies:

  • ● There is no family leave beyond using sick leave, state unpaid leave, federal FMLA unpaid leave
    ● There is no policy for relief or adjustment of duties during pregnancy or after the birth of child
    ● There is discrimination/negative implications for faculty and staff that are choosing to expand their family or nursing mothers
    ● There is no consolidated online resources describing childcare leave options (no coordinated effort) to make it easy for someone to determine their benefits, thus decisions about leave are made on an ad hoc and case-by-case basis.
    ● Faculty and staff have to advocate for their needs regarding family leave, since there are no clear policies in place.
    ● There is a severe lack of access to lactation facilities on campus.

The UHPA membership is diverse and with faculty members ranging from their 20ʻs well into their 80ʻs. In addition, the faculty member bargaining unit is now over 50% female, and 30% of the membership are under the age of 45. More senior faculty find they are caring for aging family members without the support that may be demanded for time away from their employment.

Many of these issues identified in the joint committeeʻs report will be addressed with the passage SH 2990, SD2, HD1. Paid family leave can serve as a tool to both recruit and retain employees at the University of Hawai‘i, and all other state agencies.

The implementation of a paid family leave recognizes the urgency to address a significant problem for employees, employers, and families in a high cost state. UHPA urges the committees support for SB 2990, SD2, HD1.

Respectfully submitted,

Kristeen Hanselman
Executive Director