UHPA Members: Cancel Your Student Debt Once and for All

Register Now. Seating is limited.

Registration is required to attend. Follow the RSVP links below for your desired location.  These events are open to UHPA members only.  

CampusDate/TimeRSVP LInk
UH West OahuMonday, October 10, 2022, 10:00 a.m.Reserve Your Seat
UH ManoaMonday, October 10, 2022, 2:00 p.m.Reserve Your Seat
Kapiolani Community CollegeTuesday, October 11, 2022, 10:00 a.m.Reserve Your Seat
UH HiloWednesday, October 12, 2022, 10:00 a.mReserve Your Seat
Hawaii Community CollegeWednesday, October 12, 2022, 2:00 p.m.Reserve Your Seat
Zoom Webinar – open to all UHPA membersTuesday, October 11, 2022, 1:00 p.m.Reserve Your Seat

Eliminate crushing student debt

Freedom from student debt can be yours with the U.S. Department of Education’s new loan forgiveness up to $20,000 and the temporarily expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. Put an end to your monthly student loan payments. It’s like giving yourself a pay increase so that you can move forward with your life instead of being bound by debt hanging over you.

Time is of the essence

The deadline to apply for the temporary waiver for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program is Monday, October 31, 2022. University of Hawaii faculty who are employed over thirty hours are eligible to apply for the program as public employees. Even if you have applied before and were previously declined, you should apply again because the rules have changed.

UHPA is partnering with AFT (American Federation of Teachers), the national union that represents teachers, faculty in higher education, and those in other professions, to offer a series of informational workshops to help with the application process. 

Due to the short timeline and with the AFT Representatives here for only three days, we are unable to accommodate visits to every campus.  We are offering a Zoom meeting if you are unable to attend one of the meetings in person.  Please note that you must have a Zoom account to register for the Zoom webinar.  

What Weʻll Be Covering at These Sessions

The 90-minute sessions are free and are being presented as a benefit to UHPA members. Key topics that will be covered include:

  • An awareness of scams related to student debt relief, and action steps to take if contacted by scammers
  • Information about the Biden administration’s recent announcements regarding $10/$20k in broad-based debt relief
  • What borrowers should expect to access that broad-based debt relief
  • Information about Income-Driven Repayment plans, how they work, and why they are important to borrowers
  • Information about Public Service Loan Forgiveness and the Temporary PSLF Expansion (waiver)
  • A discussion of additional steps borrowers who have older FFEL loans, Perkins loans, and Parent Plus loans may need to take to access the above programs
  • An explanation of options and steps for applying to these programs before the October 31 PSLF waiver deadline (Summer, Studentaid.gov)

Fall 2022 Welcome to UHPA Members

Aloha Kākou and Welcome Back!

I hope you’re acclimating well to the demands of this new fall semester. I intentionally held off from sending you this communication last week because I know the first week of the semester can be overwhelming, but I wanted to officially welcome you back and give you a brief update on what lies ahead of us in the coming academic year.  

Hope You Had A Good Break

Although the pandemic is still with us, vaccinations and other mitigating tools and factors have allowed us to begin returning to the activities many of us enjoy, like traveling, so I hope that you were able to take advantage of the opportunities to enjoy some much needed rest and relaxation during the off-duty period this summer.

We’ve Been Working For You Over The Summer

While the summer months offer a brief break for many of you from teaching, research, and service, the business and operations of the University of Hawai‘i never stops. That means the work of UHPA also continues.  As you may know, it requires constant vigilance and relentless monitoring, analysis, and assessment of issues to ensure UHPA members can continue to teach, conduct research, and engage in service without distractions. Academic freedom for faculty and the principles and accomplishments of faculty that have made the University of Hawai‘i great can never be taken for granted.

Including Regular Meetings Related to Key Issues

Over the summer UHPA has remained active and busy in meetings with the UH administration over a number of issues impacting faculty.  From weekly meetings of the BOR appointed steering committee over the implementation of the SCR 201 recommendations, to participating and facilitating the “S” (i.e. Specialist) Faculty Workgroup meetings, to the filing of a prohibited practice complaint (PPC) with the Hawaii Labor Relations Board (HLRB) against the UH, and actively participating and assisting campaigns in the Stateʻs election campaigns for Governor and Lieutenant Governor during the primary election.  

We’re Hoping for the Best But Preparing For Adversity

Over the past year, we have seen unprecedented levels of threats to academic freedom, tenure, and even faculty classification from certain legislators and even from certain members of the UH Board of Regents. While the intensity of these threats may have waned during the summer months, they still remain at the forefront of conversations and discussions at the UH.  While they now lurk below the surface, we should not be surprised nor should we be ill-prepared if they rear their heads in the form of ill-conceived bills and resolutions from the legislature or findings from BOR permitted interaction groups. Please be assured UHPA stands ready to defend academic freedom and the contractual rights of our members. 

The General Election Gives Us Cause for Optimism

With the general election approaching in November, we are hopeful for a more collaborative and open State administration that already possesses a deeper appreciation for the UH and the significant and important role of the UH faculty.  There is no question that the Legislature will undergo changes and there will be new members and new committee assignments occurring before the next legislative session. In the months ahead, we’ll spend time getting to know our elected officials better and ensure they have a deeper understanding, appreciation, and recognition of faculty.

We’re Best When We Work Together

We have all witnessed the power of SOLIDARITY in what we can do when we come together collectively as a whole.  We have demonstrated we can rise to whatever challenge is before us and be a force to be reckoned.  UHPA will continue to keep members informed of new developments, provide timely and pertinent and relevant information, provide the highest quality of representation to the membership, and provide recommendations on how to get involved so that we can continue to have a positive impact on the University of Hawai‘i and our State.

Mahalo nui loa,

Christian Fern

2021-2025 Unit 7 Contract Now Available

The 2021-2025 Unit 7 contract has been printed and will be mailed to all UHPA members to their private residences starting next week.  If you donʻt receive your hard copy of the 2021-2025 Unit 7 contract within the next couple of weeks, please contact UHPA at 808-593-2157 (Ext. 221) or email UHPA at feedback@uhpa.org.

For UHPA members and non-members, an electronic version of the 2021-2025 Unit 7 contract is now available on the UHPA website with members having access to a searchable PDF version.

The UHPA Negotiating Team thanks all of you for your overwhelming support during this recent negotiations.

In Solidarity.

Political Action Fund Objection

The University of Hawaii Professional Assembly (UHPA) has an active Political Endorsement Committee that has participated in state & federal elections through political endorsements, contributions to candidates and independent expenditures on behalf of our endorsed candidates. The UHPA Board of Directors has taken action to allocate from the dues of all UHPA Active members an amount of $5.00 a month to be placed in a Political Action Fund. The Fund will be subject to the accounting requirements and used for purposes consistent with the Hawaii State Election and Federal Election laws.

Our policy allows Active members of UHPA to object to the $5.00 per month allocation to the Political Action Fund. This will not lower their total dues, but it will not add to the total amount of funds allocated for partisan political purposes with respect to candidate endorsements and contributions. If an Active member chooses to object to this funding, they will not be allowed to vote on any recommendation for candidate endorsements made by the Board of Directors.

The request to withhold funding from the Political Action account must be made each year. If you do not wish to contribute to the “candidate endorsement” fund for fiscal year 2022-2023, then you must sign, date, and return an UHPA Allocation Objection Form by September 16, 2022.

The UHPA Board of Directors has taken this action in response to the strong feelings held by some members that the union should not participate in making candidate endorsements or political contributions. However, we believe it is essential for a public sector union to maintain a political presence since the fundamental work of our bargaining with the State of Hawaii is ultimately subject to legislative approval.

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We’re Standing Firm for Sylvia Luke

In the world of Hawai‘i politics, election campaigns are generally civil. However, that rule goes out the window when a candidate is threatened and is at risk of losing. There is a no-holds-bar attack on leading candidates to thwart their progress in the polls.

Unfortunately, we see this happening now with TV ads attacking Sylvia Luke, who is leading in the polls for lieutenant governor. It’s not surprising that this type of messaging would emerge in the final weeks leading up to the primary election on August 13.

Influencing Those Who Are Undecided

According to a recent poll commissioned by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Sylvia Luke is leading with 21% of voters, followed by Keith Amemiya with 19% and Ikaika Anderson with 18%. Since the poll has a 5.6% margin of error, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser characterized the results as essentially a tie among these three Democratic candidates.

While the current negative campaigns may not be directed or approved by opposing candidates, the intention of those instigating these messages is to create distraction and plant seeds of doubt in a leading candidate, especially for those who are yet undecided.

How the undecideds vote can determine who will be Hawai‘i’s next lieutenant governor. According to the same Honolulu Star-Advertiser poll, 38% of Hawai‘i’s Democratic voters were undecided at the time of the poll. The door is wide open.

Standing by Our Endorsement

UHPA’s board of directors endorsed Sylvia Luke for lieutenant governor, and stand by the decision. Her decade of experience as chair of the House Finance Committee gave her insights into how state government works. She has a proven track record of getting things done.

  • During the pandemic, as UH faculty rapidly pivoted to remote and hybrid learning to ensure students could earn their degrees. This was in part backed by Sylvia Luke, who ensured government operations could continue without interruption.
  • When we saw our state’s unemployment rate skyrocket from 2% to nearly 22% in just five months during the early stages of the pandemic, Sylvia Luke also stepped forward to provide support for the thousands of Hawaii residents who lost their jobs and had to painstakingly navigate the unemployment insurance application process. UH faculty and support from other public-sector union members volunteered their time to ensure families could get by during that challenging period.
  • Syliva Luke also witnessed firsthand what was occurring in the Senate, with constant meddling and micromanagement by certain senators. She was able to mitigate some of the effects of those decisions by taking action in the House. We need state leaders like Sylvia who understand the role of UH and the importance of the legislators sticking to their role and not trying to run the university.

Vote for Sylvia Luke

Read more about our endorsement of Sylvia Luke.which UHPA announced in March and watch the YouTube of the announcement

When Will You Receive Your Pay Increase and Bonus?

Thanks to the UHPA Negotiating Team, and all of you for your overwhelming support, we’re happy to announce when the newly-contracted pay increases and retroactive bonus payments will be referenced in your paychecks.

According to UH Administration, all 11-month faculty are tentatively scheduled to receive their 3.72% salary increase on their July 20, 2022 pay date while all 9-month faculty are scheduled to receive their 3.72% increase on their August 20, 2022 pay date.

All eligible faculty, including eligible retirees, are tentatively scheduled to receive the 1% one-time lump sum payment on September 20, 2022 based on your annual base salary.

Both the pay raise and the bonus are in accordance with Article XXI, Salaries, of the 2021-2025 Unit 7 Agreement

In Solidarity.

Last Chance to Book the Aulani Resort Special

Rooms Added to A Previously Sold-Out Offer

As per previous years, we had a huge response to UHPA’s Disney Aulani Weekend offer and it in fact was sold out shortly after our monthly round-up newsletter was sent.

We asked the folks at Disney to give us a few extra room nights for those that may have missed the opportunity.  We’re happy to announce that as of right now, we’re not sold out and you can make a booking.

If you missed out, now is your chance. Do not wait as this too will sell out quickly.

Want to stay longer? You can reserve dates up to 5 days before or after our special rate days as long as those dates include our special rate days.

Recent Supreme Court Rulings: Hard-Hitting Reminders to Vote

The recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings regarding women’s reproductive rights and gun control have stirred a range of emotions across the nation.

In a historic and unprecedented decision Roe v. Wade has now been overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court and a woman’s right to seek an abortion is no longer a federal constitutional right. Who would have thought a constitutional right that has existed for women the past 50 years would be immediately swept away?

Nothing is Sacrosanct

The overturning of Roe v. Wade sets a dangerous precedent. There are already discussions about setbacks on the horizon with plans for the U.S. Supreme Court to revisit rulings on rights relating to access to contraceptives, LGBTQ+ rights, same-sex marriages, etc.  

The U.S. Supreme Court, now controlled by a majority of right-wing judges, appears to be not stopping only at social issues. It has already begun to prohibit gun control laws in such states as New York, claiming that any law that attempts to provide some measure of public safety is inconsistent with the historical intent of the Constitution over the right to bear arms, as stated in the Second Amendment.

Dystopian America

There is a gnawing question among those who feel they are in a dystopian movie: how can all of this be happening in America? There is a sense of incredulity and resignation.

 
It’s easy to get caught up in all the vitriol, but there is also an inner desire to find deeper meaning and purpose in all of this as a form of consolation. If there is one important lesson we can extract from these recent decisions is this: We must own the responsibility of what we’re experiencing and whom we put into office. Elections are a serious matter and the only way to make our voices heard. 

Owning Our Future

It is clearly evident that those whom we put in office, starting at the top with our U.S president, can alter our lives, our childrens’ lives, and the lives of future generations to come. Those in office can set into motion decisions that have serious impacts and consequences on individual rights that will continue long after they have left office. They have the power and authority to appoint justices that can upend long-standing laws seemingly overnight.  Our fate and our future rests in their hands as they redefine society and direct us to abide by their new rules. 

Upholding Our State Constitution 

In Hawaii, there may also be a sense of complacency as the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision is not expected to have any impact on state law.  At least for now. 

We need to prepare and seriously focus on our upcoming state elections this year and recognize the Supreme Court’s rulings and the power they hold as a cautionary tale. Voter apathy has no place in this scary new world. We must engage, participate, and make our voices heard and votes count. Otherwise, one day we could be facing unprecedented and surprising challenges to our own state constitutional rights here in our State where we call home.

Guide To Voting in the 2022 Primary Election

The August 13, 2022 Primary Election will be the second election year Hawai‘i will experience an ALL MAIL-IN Ballot election and same day voter registration.  That said, there are exceptions to every rule.  In order to accommodate the needs of all of Hawai‘i’s people there are Service Centers and Ballot Drop Box locations on every Island.  We have outlined a step-by-step voter information guide for all UHPA members to provide quick access to information, registration forms and contact information to ensure you have every opportunity to participate in the 2022 election process.

  1. You can vote if you are: 
    •  A U.S. Citizen (US nationals DO NOT qualify)
    • 18 years or older
    • A resident of the State of Hawai‘i
  2. Are you a registered voter?
    • Confirm your voter registration is active
      • You will need your driver’s license and the last four digits of your of your social security
  3. If you need to register to vote:
    • The Voter Registration Application may be used for first time registration, name change, address change, and signature update.
    • You need to update your voter registration if
      • You moved after the 2020 election
      • Changed your name
    • Download and mail in your registration files  or 
  4. Wait for your ballot in the mail which should arrive around July 26
  5. Fill out your ballot. 
  6. Ballot must be received by 7:00 pm August 13, 2022