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UHPA news from week of 11/23-11/30

Bargaining Update

Mid-Term Bargaining and Proposed Furloughs

Following the meeting held on Monday, November 16, 2020 with UHPA’s Negotiations Committee and Chief Negotiator Ryker Wada, other State representatives from DHRD and B&F, and University of Hawaii officials, a follow-up letter with numerous questions was sent to Chief Negotiator Wada from the UHPA Negotiations Committee.  To date, Chief Negotiator Wada has not responded to the letter and no future meetings are currently scheduled.

Successor Bargaining

The UHPA Negotiations Committee met with Chief Negotiator Ryker Wada, other State representatives from DHRD and B&F, and University of Hawaii officials on Monday, November 23, 2020.  The Employer and UHPA exchanged their contract proposals and each side was able to present a summary explanation over their proposals.  The Employer and UHPA are scheduled to meet again on Monday, November 30, 2020.

Retirement Incentive

As of Friday, November 27, 2020, UHPA still has not received any formal response from the State’s Chief Negotiator Ryker Wada, Governor David Ige, and the State’s Attorney General over the draft Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) negotiated between the UHPA Negotiations Committee and the UH Administration over the proposed retirement incentive for Faculty members who retire between December 15, 2020 through June 30, 2021.

Fall 2020 Virtual Campus Visits

Over the past month, UHPA has been holding its Fall 2020 Campus Visits and on Tuesday, November 24, 2020 UHPA completed its final visit with UH-Manoa.  Due to the pandemic, all campus visits were done virtually via Zoom the Faculty participation was the highest it has ever been on every campus.  While we do miss the face-to-face campus visits with UHPA staff, it was such a pleasure to see the increase in registration and on-line participation.  

I would especially like to recognize Kathy Yamashita and Peter Kay of the UHPA staff who planned and organized these virtual meetings, UHPA President Ashley Maynard for her presence at every meeting, and for each of the Board Members that represented their campus.  Overall, the Fall 2020 virtual campus visits were a tremendous success in terms of member participation and engagement. We truly appreciated the opportunity to listen, hear, and learn about what is happening, developing, and occurring at each campus.  

Disturbing trend of incorrect information being spread on campus

Unfortunately, a large amount of the concerns that were shared by the membership at all campuses was both troubling and disturbing.  This pandemic has not been easy on everyone, especially Faculty who have undergone so many changes, directives, requirements, expectations, etc. as it continues without recognition or appreciation.  

Each visit confirmed UH officials are using the pandemic as an opportunity to instill fear and uncertainty, instill divisiveness, and deliver incorrect information and innuendoes to Faculty who are diligently carrying out their duties to support students and their respective campuses.

UHPA recognizes the pandemic has created incredible hardships for everyone, but our members continue to put the interests of their students and campuses first.

Common concerns on all campuses and UHPA’s response:

  1. The threat of having their 11-month position be reduced to 9-months based on projected revenue shortfalls.  As explained by UHPA, any reduction of an 11-month position to 9-months by the Employer must be for a business and operational reason due to a change or modification of the position’s assigned duties and responsibilities and not for budgetary reasons or fiscal exigency.  If you are experiencing this situation, UHPA recommends that you contact UHPA via email at feedback@uhpa.org or call the office at (808)593-2157 and leave a message for any of our professional staff.
  1. The Employer seeks volunteers to teach classes for free.  As explained by UHPA, the Employer cannot assign classes to any Faculty and not compensate the Faculty member in accordance with Article XXI, Salaries, of the 2017-2021 Unit 7 Agreement.
  1. Furloughs are a done deal and that furloughs will be implemented on Faculty in the near future.  As explained by UHPA, the Employer’s authority to implement furloughs are not covered under the 2017-2021 Unit 7 Agreement and the UHPA has not agreed to the Governor’s request to engage in mid-term bargaining to negotiate and authorize furloughs.  
  1. A retirement incentive will be offered to Faculty.  As explained by UHPA, there is a proposal agreed upon by UH and UHPA on the Governor’s desk to provide a retirement incentive for UH Faculty.  However, to date, the Governor has not formally denied or approved any retirement incentive for UH Faculty.
  1. The UHPA knows about our campus plans and we have communicated and consulted with UHPA.  While there are some campuses who have initiated consultation with UHPA on various matters, it would be best to have Faculty contact UHPA via email at feedback@uhpa.org or call the office at (808)593-2157 and leave a message for any of our professional staff to validate and/or confirm these general statements.

We encourage all Faculty to contact UHPA to seek advice and information via email at feedback@uhpa.org or call the office at (808)593-2157 and leave a message for any of our professional staff especially during these unprecedented times.

Mahalo for attending!

UHPA thanks all the Faculty who took the time out of their busy schedules to attend their respective campus visit and thank you for all the hard work and dedication you have shown through your actions and outcomes over this past year.  UHPA recognizes and appreciates the work that you do that keeps our University moving forward, successfully, and stronger than ever. 

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