Your Faculty Voices Made All the DIfference

A total of 227 pages of passionate and explicit written testimony was submitted on SB 3269, SD1, and all testifiers were in opposition to the proposed legislation.  There was not even one written testimony that was submitted in support, including from past and present Board of Regent members who testified at the first hearing.  The strong outpouring of written opposition from the faculty definitely had a major impact since the bill had to be majorly revamped and reconstructed in order for the Senate Ways and Means (WAM) Committee to get enough support to pass the proposed legislation.  These significant and impactful events simply wouldn’t have occurred if not for the solidarity of the faculty across the system advocating against this bill.

Direct Attack on Faculty Thwarted

The Senate WAM, had to take a carving knife to the bill to get enough votes to keep the measure alive.  The committee voted to amend SB 3269, SD1, by removing Sections 2 and 3, which was the specific proposed legislation attacking and imposing harmful statutory language impacting UH’s Faculty tenure, 5-year reviews, and classification system.  

But they Keep Bringing Up the PIG

While the actions taken by the Senate WAM were beneficial, the WAM committee inserted a legislative demand on the UH Board of Regents and the UH President to follow and adhere to the recommendations of the Board of Regent’s Permitted Interaction Group (PIG) on Tenure and will provide funds to the UH for this specific endeavor to make sure their demands are met.  

Holding Up Funding Unless UH Follows It

The Senate WAM amended the bill by appropriating general funds in the amount of $37,951,232.00 for the different UH campuses only “IF” the BOR and the President discuss and adopt the PIG task force report and consult with Faculty and union to implement the recommendations.  Clearly stated as: We control the release of the general fund monies you need to operate the UH, and so you need to change the Faculty tenure and classification system as we say.

DMK’s Whims Hold The BOR Hostage 

At the February 17, 2022 UH Board of Regents meeting, the BOR voted to move forward on the recommendations contained in Senate Concurrent Resolution 201, SLH 2021, which was introduced by none other than Senator Donna Mercado Kim.  The proposed amendment to SB 3269, SD 1, now attempts to legislatively mandate that the BOR directly follow the recommendations of the Tenure PIG and not the recommendations of the Senate Concurrent Resolution 201, SLH 2021.  It’s ironic that the Senate WAM cannot accept a recommendation coming out of their own demands for: 1) the UH to examine and access the UH’s tenure system and; 2) adhere to the recommendations generated by its own resolution.  Furthermore, to legislatively demand and monetarily hold the BOR hostage until they disregard their own constitutional actions taken at their February 17, 2022 meeting is despicable.  Actions truly speak louder than words.  There is no doubt that their actions today speak volumes in their attempt to control and impose their will on not only the BOR but on the institution itself – thereby becoming the Supra Board of Regents.

Senator Brian Taniguchi – A Symbol of Righteousness

Of the eleven (11) WAM committee members in attendance today, there was only one Senator who stood against his colleagues and voted against the passage of this measure in its entirety.  UHPA thanks the Senator for his attempts to hold the bill in committee and appreciates his “NO” vote on the measure as the only Senator to speak up against the recommendations of his colleagues.

Big Mahalos for the Support of our Partners

A big shout out and thanks to our fellow unionized brothers and sisters across the State that submitted written testimony opposing the legislation including the members of the Hawaii Government Employees Association, the United Public Workers union, the Hawaii Cattlemen’s Council, Inc., the Hawaiʻi Library Association, the Hawaiʻi Farm Bureau, the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local #1 of Hawaii, and the Hawaii State AFL-CIO.  

UHPA also extends its appreciation and thanks to the State of Hawaii, Office of Collective Bargaining, and it’s Chief Negotiator Ryker Wada, the BOR Chair Randolph Moore, and UH President David Lassner, who all submitted written testimony in opposition to the proposed legislation.

Will SB3269 Live Thought It’s Next Step?

SB 3269 new Senate Draft 2 (SD2) heads to the Senate floor for its third (3rd) and final reading.  If the body of the Senate votes in support of the new SB 3269, SD2, it will remain alive and will be sent over to the House of Representatives at the 1st crossover.  UHPA will keep you apprised of the status and progress as updates become available.

In Solidarity We Stand!