Agreement reached over Covid-19 impacts on promotion, tenure and renewal.

Agreement reached with President and Governor over Covid-19 impacts on promotion, tenure and contract renewal 

Last week the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly (UHPA) finalized a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with President David Lassner and Governor David Ige on addressing the possible negative consequences and impacts the unanticipated switch to on-line instruction due to COVID-19 may have on tenure, promotion, and contract renewal.  

Agreement result of combined efforts

These concerns were raised by UHPA Faculty Members who are serving on Temporary Work Group which was a combined effort of the UHPA and UH Administrators to discuss health and safety issues, as well as making sure Faculty Members received the required support, services, resources, etc. to help with the transition to on-line instruction and other conditions as they have arised.  The Faculty Members recognized how adverse and negative the Spring 2020 semester could have in the areas of tenure, promotion, and contract renewal processes which are based on face-to-face evaluations, peer evaluations, student evaluations, application deadlines, research endeavors, and other related measures.  

Exemplary decision making via the collective bargaining process

“The Temporary Work Group epitomizes the intent of Hawaii’s collective bargaining law, by providing for joint decision-making; having employees granted a right to share in the decision-making process; and having a venue to exchange ideas and information with administrators to help the government become more effective and responsive in these unprecedented times.”  Christian Fern, UHPA Executive Director

Highlights of the MOU

  1. Faculty Members employed during the Spring 2020 semester may elect to extend their probationary period for an additional year, but not to exceed eight (8) years;
  2. Faculty Members expected to undergo contract renewal in the Fall 2020 semester may elect to extend their contact and postpone their contract renewal by one year; and
  3. Faculty Members or Lecturers holding multi-year limited term contracts in Spring 2020 who are up for contract renewal and who are not being paid via extramural funds will be extended for one (1) additional year.

The temporary work group consists of Faculty Members and UH Administrators and has continued to meet on a weekly basis since Spring Break.  

Tenure and Promotions: UHPA’s Supporting Role

Congratulations to all University of Hawai‘i faculty who have recently been tenured or have been promoted!

UHPA recognizes your hard work and diligence. Your commitment to academic excellence is admirable and you deserve to celebrate this important milestone in your professional career.

It’s Based on Your Contract

The success of these faculty is based on the foundation established by UHPA in the UHPA-BOR Agreement. It’s important to point out that this is not a state statute. Unlike many other states, tenure is only possible because of the UHPA-BOR Agreement, not statute. The UHPA Negotiating Team makes sure that policies and procedures for tenure, promotion and contract renewal evaluations and recommendations are always included in the faculty contracts. View an entire section of the contract dedicated to this subject.

Did You Know…

Here are some other safeguards in the faculty contract to ensure you receive a fair assessment when you are being considered for tenure or a promotion.

  • The majority of bargaining unit faculty members must approve the policies and procedures of each respective department or division within the University of Hawai`i. UHPA must also approve any amendments.
  •  The written procedures for a department or division must include a secret ballot for final votes on faculty members being considered for tenure or contract renewal, and the faculty member who is voting must be a tenured Bargaining Unit 07 member.

Share This with Your Colleagues

Others in your department or division may not be aware of the role UHPA plays in establishing the framework for tenure and promotion. Please share this with information with them, and if they are interested in becoming a UHPA member to support themselves and fellow faculty, please direct them to this instant online membership form.

View the list of faculty who have been tenured or promoted.

HomeStreet Bank offers free financial education and resources

UHPA membership partner HomeStreet Bank sent us this information below which we believe will be of benefit to UHPA members.

Recognizing that members are dealing with financial concerns as well as physical and emotional, we have expanded the on-line member financial support services offered through the Inside Edge Program. In addition to the Inside Edge exclusive discounts on home loans and refinance loans to reduce monthly payments, your members now have access to expertly-crafted financial education and resources at no cost.

HomeStreet Bank is partnering with an organization called “BALANCE”:

Your financial wellness is important. HomeStreet Bank’s Inside Edge Program is partnering with BALANCE, a non-profit financial fitness program to provide you with free access to financial education and resources. It’s easy to set up an account and sign up under “employee” category to utilize online tools such as financial calculators and videos, and search for articles based on your current financial life stage or register for money-management webinars. We hope these online resources address some of the financial needs you may be facing during these uncertain times.

Click the button below for the UHPA Member-only content and follow the links to “Access free educational content”

 

Not a member yet? Join now via this instant membership online form..

Are you already a member but can’t access the content? Click here to troubleshoot or just call our office.

UHPA Open Letter to Hawaii State Legislators and our Faculty Members

The University of Hawaii Professional Assembly is grateful and offers our thanks to  our Hawaii State Legislators who approved the scheduled salary increases for all public-sector employees at the State Capitol today.

The previously negotiated 2% salary increase will go into effect on July 1, 2020 for 11-month faculty and August 1, 2020 for 9-month faculty.  In addition, the 1.2% salary increase for faculty pursuant to Article XXX, Duration of the 2017-2021 Unit 7 Agreement, which was to have gone into effect on January 2, 2020, will be retroactively funded with today’s vote.

We worked with our elected officials and provided all the relevant information they needed to help them make a conscientious decision, and we are grateful for the decision that they made.

Public-sector employees are the ones who are responsible to keep essential government services and programs in our state operating – even during an extremely dangerous worldwide pandemic.  The passage of this measure is especially critical now as we all work together to help reboot and rebuild our state’s economy.  The Legislators vote in favor of the salary increases reflects its commitment and support for the State’s economic stabilization, recovery, and resilience.  There is no question that our hard working and dedicated faculty play a significant role in the State’s stability, recovery, and resilience through its nationally recognized research programs, innovation, medical and technological advancements, and excellence in providing high quality post-secondary education to the next generation of leaders.

A big MAHALO to all the faculty members who reached out to legislators these past several weeks to share their personal stories and perspectives in support of salary increases for all faculty. We know public higher education is the equalizer that is sorely needed right now for our State and our Nation during these times. During the Great Recession, UH experienced a significant increase in student enrollment as individuals went back to school to learn new skills to help better prepare themselves for the demands of an ever changing and evolving work environment. We anticipate there will be even more of a demand for higher education across the county, as well as, locally as a result of this pandemic.

Thank you to all the faculty for your ongoing commitment to your students and our community. You make significant contributions to the stabilization and growth of our economy. UH faculty also continue to attract federal, private, and out-of-state funding, which is especially important with the constraints on the state budget to generate jobs and spawn new industries and applications.

Keep up the great work. And stay tuned for more updates.

Christian L. Fern
UHPA Executive Director

Adjustment to UHPA Statutory Dues Deduction

For most UHPA members, the scheduled Statutory Dues (SD 725) deduction for the May 20, 2020 payroll did not get processed.  UHPA was notified by the Hawaii Information Portal (HIP) Service Center that they had experienced an issue with their system configuration last pay period. Therefore, the missed deduction amount will be processed on the June 5, 2020 paycheck as a “SD 726” deduction along with your regularly scheduled deduction “SD 725” amount.  We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Please feel free to contact UHPA via email at feedback@uhpa.org if you have any questions or concerns.

Ethan Caldwell and Richard Rath Nominated as Faculty Stepping up to the Challenge of COVID-19

Submitted Nomination:

Name Ethan Caldwell and Richard Rath
Campus, Dept Mānoa, Department of Ethnic Studies
Category Dedication to teaching and their students
Why is this faculty member worthy of your nomination? Two Ethnic Studies faculty members, Prof. Ethan Caldwell and Prof. Richard Rath, have worked collaboratively with the students in their classes since late March to construct a well-used webpage (http://udigix.net/shaarli/) of resources in rapid response to the needs UH students and the larger community faced as a result of the crises brought on by the pandemic. In the month of April, the resources had 4,795 visitors with 67% spending time on the pages they visited. One user who is involved in UHM’s First Year Program said, “I’m so thankful for the ethnic studies department for making the site.” The resources were driven by what our UHM students, many of whom have lost their jobs and are struggling with housing and health issues, identified as useful for themselves and their communities. Based on the principles of mutual aid, the resources directed those who visited the pages to up-to-date information about a range of topics including how to access food and groceries, mental health resources, unemployment insurance, assistance for restaurant workers, and relief from student debt. The most visited resources cover mental health, food and groceries, work-related issues, safety, and supports for elders.
Any other comments? Both faculty members have also responded as individuals to the many concerns that have been raised and extended their own personal help to students who needed extra assistance beyond access to the resources on the website.

Please note that this published nomination has been minimally edited, if at all, and strictly reflects the views of the submitting author and not UHPA.

Do you know of other faculty worthy of nomination?

Fill the form below or open it in a new tab for easier use on a mobile device.

 

Farmers Insurance Hawaii reducing auto premiums in May

The below message was delivered to UHPA from Farmers Insurance Hawaii – we are publishing it with little to no editing as a courtesy to our members.

At Farmers Insurance Hawaii, we’ve been helping our Hawaii customers protect and prepare for the unexpected for 65 years. And during this challenging time, we continue our commitment to serve all our customers with aloha. 

In an effort to provide additional financial relief to our customers, Farmers Hawaii is providing a 15% reduction in May auto premiums. Customers will receive this monthly premium credit automatically and will not need to take any action. This is an expansion of our previously announced Farmers® Cares initiatives of a 25% premium reduction in April, offering additional flexible payment plans and pausing cancellations until May 22nd. 

If customers need additional assistance, please call the Farmers Hawaii Customer Care Team at 1-808-672-9569 during our operating hours (Monday – Friday 7AM-6PM HST & Saturday 7AM-2PM HST).

From everyone at Farmers Hawaii, we want to say mahalo for your business. 
We thank you for being a valued customer, and we are proud to serve you. Please stay safe and healthy!

As a reminder, Farmers Hawaii also provides the below online tools available for customers to help manage their auto insurance policy.

File Claims remotely – If you need to file a claim, you can do so online through www.farmershawaii.com or by calling 1-808-544-3999. 
24×7 online self-service for managing your accountwww.farmershawaii.com and our Mobile App equip you to handle many of your needs remotely. Should you need to access your ID card, review your policy documents, pay a bill or make policy changes you can do so using these self-service tools.
Other payment options:Over the phone:  1-888-437-3870  Mail in a payment via USPSVisit a MoneyGram counter at all Longs and WalMart locations in the state of Hawaii. There is a $1.99 fee for each transaction, and you must bring a valid I.D. and your policy number

Coronavirus-related assistance on mortgage or rent

Message from our benefits partner at HomeStreet Bank that may be of interest to those encountering challenges with rent or mortgage payments:

If you’re among those financially impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, you might be concerned about how to pay your mortgage or rent. As a result of the CARES Act, Federal and state governments have announced plans to help struggling homeowners during this time.

Major mortgage relief options during the coronavirus pandemic:

Mortgage forbearance

Forbearance is when your mortgage servicer or lender allows you to pause or reduce your mortgage payments for a limited period of time.  Forbearance doesn’t erase what you owe – you’ll have to repay any missed or reduced payments in the future – but it can protect your credit if you miss part or all of your payments during this period.

  • If you can’t pay your mortgage, or can only pay a portion, contact your mortgage servicer immediately
    • It may take a while to get your loan servicer on the phone due to the extremely high call volume they are receiving.
    • Have your account number handy.
    • You may need to explain why you’re unable to make your payment and provide details about your income, assets, and expenses
  • Once you’re able to secure forbearance or another mortgage relief option, ask your servicer to provide written documentation that confirms the details of the agreement.

NOTE:  If your mortgage is serviced by HomeStreet Bank and you have been impacted by COVID-19 and would like to request a payment forbearance or deferral, you may email loanservice@homestreet.com.  Please provide your full name, loan number, and a good contact phone number and they will reach out to you within 48 hours. You may also call 1-844-544-9071 to reach a dedicated Loan Counselor. Please be aware call volumes are high and hold times are longer than normal. The hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time.   

Protections for renters

The CARES Act provides for a suspension or moratorium on evictions if your landlord has a federally backed mortgage or multi-family mortgage, and you cannot be evicted for nonpayment of rent for 120 days beginning on March 27, 2020.  If the property you rent isn’t covered by the CARES Act, many states have suspended all evictions and foreclosures due to the pandemic.

Editor’s note:

This article was provided by HomeStreet Bank as a courtesy to UHPA members and has been published here with minimal, if any, editing- please contact them directly if you have any questions or comments.

Dr. Richard Jones Nominated as Faculty Stepping up to the Challenge of COVID-19

Submitted Nomination:

 

NameDr. Richard Jones
Campus, DeptUH-West Oahu
CategoryCreate bio-based products to reduce the spread of COVID-19
Why is this faculty member worthy of your nomination?Dr. Richard Jones, V.E.T.S. program director is collaborating with faculty, staff, students, and community partners to create 3D-printed face shield headbands and face masks in an effort to address a shortage and need for personal protective equipment (PPE) for Oʻahu’s front line medical workers. For the past 6-weeks, Dr. Jones has been busy supporting Queens-West Medical with their PPE needs.

I know Dr. Jones has been spending an average of 6-hours a day (six days a week since March 19, 2020) making sure the 3D-printers in the V.E.T.S. Lab at UHWO are functioning properly and resupplying the filament needed to create each item. So far, he has produced over 400 face shields headbands on the 3D-printers, 100 N95 Facsimile Face masks, and 40 pleated cotton surgical style masks. Dr. Jones has also donated 36 pairs of protective eye covers/safety goggles and loaned out his UV sanitizing cabinet for goggles and safety glasses. He continues to coordinate with Queens-West to make sure supplies are distributed quickly. Dr. Jones is worthy for this award due the endless time he has committed to helping others.

Please note that this published nomination has been minimally edited, if at all, and strictly reflects the views of the submitting author and not UHPA.

Do you know of other faculty worthy of nomination?

Fill the form below or open it in a new tab for easier use on a mobile device.

 

Malia Nobrega Nominated as Faculty Stepping up to the Challenge of COVID-19

Submitted Nomination:

NameMalia Nobrega
Campus, DeptDeanʻs office Hawaiʻinuiākea
CategoryProducing a daily show called Lei Anuenue, organizing speakers and interviewing them on fb live. Creating Hawaiian language and culturally based lessons for eveyone.
Why is this faculty member worthy of your nomination?Malia Nobrega Olivera has risen to the position of Director of Strategic Partnerships and Community Engagement & Loli Aniau, Makaʻala Aniau (LAMA), because of her 20+ years of experience in Hawaiian language, and cultural practice, and her broad social networks in local Hawaiian and global native communities. Her expertise bridges analog Hawaiian knowledge systems into digital mediums. Her work on Lei ʻĀnuenue is invaluable during this time when Hawaiians above all other communities are particularly vulnerable to the virus. The daily programs have been viewed between 5,000-10,000 times per session.
Any other comments?Mahalo for your work.

Please note that this published nomination has been minimally edited, if at all, and strictly reflects the views of the submitting author and not UHPA.

Do you know of other faculty worthy of nomination?

Fill the form below or open it in a new tab for easier use on a mobile device.