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In Memory of Tony Gill

IN MEMORIAM Tony Gill: A Friend and Advocate of UHPA, UH Faculty and the Labor Community

It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Tony Gill on Feb. 6, 2023, who represented UHPA for over 40 years, ending his hard fought and courageous battle to overcome cancer. He was 72. 

UHPA’s Attorney of Record

Tony, who was a founding partner with the law firm Gill, Zukeran & Sgan, was instrumental in guiding UHPA and its faculty members through difficult collective bargaining negotiations and representing UHPA as well as individual faculty members in contentious Hawaii Labor Relations Board hearings, in the state courts of Hawai‘i, and before both the Federal District Court and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Tony Gill

Champion of Public Employees

“Tony was a staunch advocate of UHPA and UH faculty members,” said UHPA Executive Director Christian Fern. “He meticulously pored over legal documents and developed articulate and strategic responses to support UHPA faculty members. No piece of information escaped his attention and his razor-sharp mind, and yet he always maintained a sense of humor even in the most trying times. He was a champion of fairness and equity, and he will be dearly missed.”     

Transformational Legal Figure in the Public Sector

JN Musto, UHPA’s former executive director who retired in 2015 after serving the faculty union for 35 years, said: “Tony will be remembered as more than the eldest son of Congressman and Lt. Governor Tom Gill.  Tony’s ideas, intelligence, and legal skills forged meaning into Hawai‘i’s public sector labor law that has benefited all public employees beyond just the employment conditions of the faculty members he represented at the University of Hawai‘i.  This malihini and the local boy formed both a professional and personal relationship that made us both more effective members of the labor union community.”

A Lifetime of Accomplishments

Tony’s influence left a lasting impact on faculty and the broader community. Some of Tony’s most notable events and accomplishments include:

  • Tom Gillʻs and Tony Gill’s defense of the arbitration and enforcement of the Unit 7 collective bargaining agreement before the Hawaii State Supreme Court that granted UHPA faculty member Alice Daeufer’s tenure. 
  • Tonyʻs appearance in Hawaii Federal District Court upholding the terms of the Unit 7  collective bargaining agreement and preventing Ben Cayetano’s unilateral implementation of the payroll lag on faculty members. 
  • Tony’s participation in the preparation of both the first and second UHPA faculty member strikes, and legal work protecting the rights of faculty members while they were out on strike from dismissal and retribution.  
  • Tonyʻs oral arguments before the U.S. Court of Appeals in the 9th Circuit in defense of having closed primary elections limited to the registered members of the candidates’ political parties. Unfortunately, he didn’t prevail, so Hawai‘i remains an open primary and you do not have to be a party member to vote in determining the party’s candidates.

A Great Loss For Us All

Tony is survived by his wife, Ashley Maynard, sons Thomas and Michael; sister Andrea, brothers Eric, Ivan, Tim and Gary. Information about a celebration of life service will be made available when details are finalized. 
Our deepest sympathy and condolences to the entire Gill ‘Ohana.