The House Committee on Labor & Public Employment
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
10:00 a.m.

SB 638, SD 1, Relating to Collective Bargaining.

Dear Chairperson Nakashima and Committee Members:

The University of Hawaii Professional Assembly (UHPA) urges the committee to support passage of a proposed measure to allow graduate assistants the right to collective bargaining. These employees are essential to instruction and research that contribute to the overall success of the University of Hawaii. Graduate Assistants are employees in the full sense of the term with continuing access to positions based on job and academic performance. SB 638, SD 1 compromises the clear right to engage fully in collective bargaining by establishing a committee that could recommend restricting on employee rights for a select group.

UHPA supports the rights of graduate assistants to organize and collectively bargain. Such a right is consistent with the labor tradition in our state and is compatible with an academic environment whereby the majority of employees have access to representation.

UHPA urges the committee to defer this measure.

Respectively submitted,

Kristeen Hanselman
Associate Executive Director