Legislative update February 12, 2021


We are in the midst of the 2021 Legislative Session, actively monitoring and testifying on a multitude of measures that impact our membership.  Two bills in particular, SB1328 Relating to Academic Tenure at the University of Hawai‘i and SB1394 Relating to the University of Hawai‘i were particularly concerning and were introduced by Senator Donna Mercado Kim.

There is a Legislative Hearing taking place on Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at 3:05 PM in the Senate Higher Education Committee on both of these bills.  UHPA has been engaged in numerous discussions and conversations with Senator Kim and the UH Administration on SB1328 and SB1394.  I am pleased to report that UHPA has confirmed that both bills will be deferred in Committee, preferring the introduction of a Senate Resolution that would seek to address the issues concerning the Legislature.  

UHPAʻs goal all along was to ensure that these bills, as drafted, did not move forward.  The fact that these bills are being deferred is a positive sign and hopefully something that we can build upon moving forward.

Testimony will still be accepted on both bills.  UHPAʻs testimony will focus on the following:


  • Recommend moving to a Senate Resolution to allow the stakeholders to address concerns raised by the Legislature 
  • Tenure (Articles X and XII) is a part of the UHPA-BOR Agreement and have been collectively bargained under Chapter 89, HRS, and is not provided via statutes.
  • Passage of such laws would violate the cornerstone of Hawaii’s collective bargaining law under Chapter 89, HRS
  • Article IV, outlines the the definition of teaching and outlines the responsibilities of faculty members UHPA represents (teaching, research and service)


  • Recommend moving to a Senate Resolution to allow the stakeholders to address concerns raised by the Legislature 
  • The aggregate data indicates that the University of Hawaii is exceeding the 25% outlined in the bill
  • Article III, Letters of Hire which outlines and defines the terms and conditions of employment 

UHPA will continue to keep you informed of important legislative measures that impact the University of Hawaii and the faculty that UHPA represents.  Look to our Monday Report emails for any updates.

Mahalo for your kōkua and all of the work you do!