NEA HIGHER EDUCATION DIRECTOR’S REPORT
Directors received a written report from NEA Higher Education Director Sally Pestana, which indicated that the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) have released a joint statement on the priorities for the Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. Those priorities are u access, affordability and diversity, v quality, accountability and student services, w academic freedom, and x teacher education (HEA Title II). Due to the Virginia Tech tragedy, an amendment was proposed to increase federal funding to provide for mental health services for higher education students and to assist postsecondary institutions to develop emergency response plans.
The 2008 NEA Higher Ed Conference will be held in Washington, DC on March 28-30. It will be a joint meeting with the AFT.
President Mary Tiles attended the Collective Bargaining Committee (CBC) meeting. The survey results on the UHPA website were reviewed and discussed. There has been a very high return—close to 1,000 faculty members responded to the last survey and there have been hundreds of written comments. Another poll about faculty retention and retirement will go out in the fall. UHPA, with the assistance of our consultant Peter Kay, is looking at methods of conducting web–based elections. Peter Kay is evaluating software to select which would best meet the conditions of our bargaining unit membership.
President Tiles reported on the Hawaii State AFL-CIO meeting that she had attended. A presentation by the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) was made in an effort to get financial support to expand their project in Hawaii. ACORN assists low income families to organize grassroots efforts to gain social and economic justice. AFL-CIO representatives also approved their budget and discussed this year’s legislative scorecard.
- UHPA received inquiries regarding the Employer’s contribution to the EUTF health premiums and the rates they would pay. UHPA has a “favored nation” clause in the contract that guarantees that faculty members will pay the rates equal to the lowest provided to any other public sector bargaining unit. Until all the other units have completed negotiations over new contracts, the EUTF is unable to determine the best employee rates. The contract language for Bargaining Unit 7 indicates that the Employer’s percentage rate and monthly contribution for benefit plans and their share of family dental cost shall not be less than the highest rate, monthly contribution, or share paid for any employee-beneficiary in any other bargaining unit. At this time HSTA had just completed its ratification process, and SHOPO had not settled its contract for the police officers. Executive Director J. N. Musto has written to the State’s Chief Negotiator indicating that UHPA expects that Bargaining Unit 7 faculty will have a rate adjustment once all the contracts have been completed, and he requested that the open enrollment period be extended beyond May 18th so that individuals could make an informed decision over which plan to choose based on the actual contribution they would have to make to the premium.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT
Executive Director Musto sent letters to Hawaii’s Congressional delegation requesting their assistance to stop the U.S. Department of Education from imposing new rules that would change accreditation requirements for postsecondary institutions. Copies of that correspondence were shared with UH academic senates. On May 9th the Hawaii Community College Senate unanimously passed a resolution that endorses the five key principles guiding accreditation that were developed by the Council of Regional Accrediting Commissions. Since the time of the Board meeting, UHPA has received a positive letter in response from Senator Inouye indicating that he would lead in Congress in resisting the efforts of the Secretary of Education to impose standards on universities through the accreditation process.
- Executive Director Musto informed Directors that the Legislature had passed the bill proposed by UHPA to require the UH Board of Regents (BOR) to disclose executive/administrative salaries, and proposed salary increases, at least six days prior to formal approval by the BOR. This would allow time for public comment and review of those salaries. UHPA also supported the passage of the bill that would require that the Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) to divest any holdings or investiments of companies doing business in Sudan as long as the Darfur crisis continues.
The bill implementing a new advisory board for the selection of new Regents was vetoed by the Governor but the Legislature then overrode the Governor’s veto. UHPA had taken no position with respect to this legislation, which would expand the Regents’ composition from 12 to 15. The All Campus Council of Faculty Senates is part of the new advisory board and they have selected UH-Manoa Professor and UHPA Director L. Thomas Ramsey as their representative.
UHPA has received a copy of Senate Concurrent Resolution #173 that was passed by the Legislature supporting international education. The resolution can be found on the UHPA web page under the section for the Legislature.
A summary of UHPA’s business and liability insurance was presented to the Board of Directors. Directors and officers liability coverage has been added.
An update was given on the planning for the construction of connecting UHPA’s office. Plans will be submitted to the City & County of Honolulu within the next month. Approval of a building permit and construction will probably take a year to complete.
Treasurer Ming-BaoYue informed Directors of expenditures that occurred since March. Directors passed a motion to receive the financial report for the fiscal period ending April 30, 2007 and to refer that report to the Finance Committee.
President Tiles reported that the Executive Committee has authorized a bonus for UHPA Secretary Rovena Varde in appreciation for her 20 years of outstanding service.
Directors were asked to consider the following actions:
A new three-year retainer agreement for the law firm of Gill and Zukeran was received. There was no change to the total retainer amount and the only changes were to the hourly rates. Each partner would have a $5 per hour increase and instead of having a set rate for the associate attorneys; language was changed to reflect that it would not be higher than the specified rate, meaning it could be lower. In the second and third years of the agreement, the hourly rates would be increased by another $5 per hour for each of those years, and if there is no renegotiation of the agreement, it would be renewed automatically for another three years with the same increases. Directors unanimously passed a motion to approve the 2007-2010 Retainer Agreement between UHPA and Gill and Zukeran. The new retainer begins on September 1, 2007 and extends to August 31, 2010.
Bids were taken to extend the phone and data lines between the Palm and Akala buildings of the UHPA offices. The project will activate all the phone lines, expand the Ethernet connections, change the entry door to a magnetic system, and replace the voice mail system, Directors were asked to approve the work proposed by the Executive Committee. Directors unanimously passed a motion to authorize the Executive Director to expend up to $10,000 to extend the telephone system, upgrade the door entrance, and to upgrade the Ethernet system through Integrated ComTel, Inc.
Executive Committee members reviewed the professional lobbying services of Radcliffe and Associates during the current legislative session and recommended that the contract, due to expire on June 30, 2007, be extended for one year. The Executive Director had negotiated a retainer rate $2,500 per month less than the current six month contract. Director Comcowich spoke against the motion. Directors passed the motion to approve a retainer agreement with John Radcliffe and Associates for a calendar year beginning July 1, 2007 at the rate of $5,000 per month.
Directors concurred with the recommendation of the Executive Committee that in order to be a viable organization UHPA needs to be involved politically. State law has been changed and requires that contributions to political action committees are identified by individual contributors. The Executive Committee recommended that there be an allocation of funds from statutory dues to a segregated political action fund. Non-members, who request in writing, will continue to receive rebates based on actual expenditures of funds for political purposes. In considering the recommendation of the of the Executive Committee the Directors were told that the proposal would not increase the total amount of dues currently being paid by individual members, which is based on one percent of the faculty member’s annual salary.
After a lengthy discussion, Directors passed the motion that UHPA shall allocate from dues revenue to a segregated political action fund (PAC) the sum of $5.00 per bargaining unit member per month. The PAC fund would be under the direction of the UHPA Board of Directors and its Political Action Committee. The fund would be used for no other purpose, and Hawaii law would regulate this sole source of funding for any UHPA political action. The fund would be used for Hawaii elections but not for federal elections. The fund would be subject to accounting controls
meeting the requirements of the Hawaii Election Commission, and would be subject to the rebate obligations for objecting non-UHPA members. UHPA members will be allowed to indicate that they do not want the $5.00 a month to be appropriated to the PAC fund and they would then not participate in the candidate endorsement process. In August, bargaining unit members will be sent the procedures and information about the PAC appropriation that will take effect on September 1, 2007.
Cindy Martin, the Director of Professional Development at Leeward Community College, spoke with Executive Musto and Associate Director Kardash at a special meeting for lecturers at Leeward CC. She indicated that it would be a very positive action for UHPA to financially support lecturers who wish to attend the annual Great Teachers Seminar held on the Big Island. For more information, go to http://www.greatteacher.hawaii.edu/. Although Leeward CC provides lecturers with professional development grants, not all campuses are able to give lecturers support. It is an opportunity for lecturers, and teachers and faculty from all levels, to develop their instructional skills. Directors passed a motion to approve $4,000 for lecturers, who were active members of Bargaining Unit 7 as of Spring Semester 2007, to attend the Hawaii National Great Teachers Seminar on August 5-10, 2007. Lecturers will be notified on the procedures for applying for grant support.
Chair Joseph Chernisky reported that Mr. Darrell Lim and his CPA associates met with the Finance Committee to review the auditor’s report that was done for the fiscal year ending August 31, 2006. He reported that UHPA is in full compliance with all accounting standards and received a “clean” audit.
Directors were given the projected budget for FY07-08 for their review, which would be considered for approval at the Board’s June meeting.
NOMINATIONS & ELECTIONS COMMITTEE
Chair Adrienne Valdez referred Directors to the written report of the Nominations and Elections Committee. Elected as delegates to attend the 2007 NEA Representative Assembly meeting are Jerome Comcowich (UH-Manoa), Ruth Horie (UH-Manoa), Thomas Jackson (UH-Manoa), Earl Nakahara (Honolulu CC), Sally Pestana (Kapiolani CC), Duane Stevens (UH-Manoa), Adrienne Valdez (UH-West Oahu), and Jeffrey Zuckernick (Kapiolani CC).
Faculty Representatives elected to two-year terms beginning June 1, 2007 to May 31, 2009 are Robert Dotson (PAU 007), Gaynel Buxton (PAU 008), Emily Kukulies (PAU 009), Cory Takemoto (PAU 011), Dennis Vanairsdale (PAU 017), Edward Coll (PAU 019), Richard Randolph (PAU 020), Candace Hochstein (PAU 021), Barry Nakamura (PAU 022), Stephen Herr (PAU 024), Aaron Bush (PAU 025), Robert Hochstein (PAU 027), Vincent Linares (PAU 029), Jean Shibuya (PAU 032), Mark Panek (PAU 034), Teresa Bill (PAU 041), Theodore Gonzalves (PAU 042), Ann Auman (PAU 047), Glenn Cannon (PAU 048), Justin Ota (PAU 049), Katrina-Ann Oliveira (PAU 059), William Albritton (PAU 060), James Douglas (PAU 064), Eric Szarmes (PAU 068), Michael Weinstein (PAU 072), Nicolaos Synodinos (PAU 079), Juanita Liu (PAU 081), Valerie Shearer (PAU 083), Horst Brandes (PAU 088), Todd Reed (PAU 089), Linda Cox (PAU 092), C. N. Lee (PAU 094), John Grove (PAU 106), Marshall Smith (PAU 108), Paulette Feeney (PAU 110), Amy Anderson (PAU 111), Leina’ala Seeger (PAU 117), Douglas Pyle (PAU 118),
Jerome Comcowich (PAU 119), Michael Cooney (PAU 120), Stanley Orr (PAU 123), and Mari Nakamura (PAU 124).
Elected to three-year terms on the UHPA Board of Directors beginning September 1, 2007 and ending on August 31, 2010 are Karla Hayashi (UH-Hilo), John Cole (Hawaii CC), Richard Randolph (Kauai CC), Brenda Cartwright (UH-Manoa Education, Business, Law, Architecture, and Travel Industry Management constituency) Robert Paull (UH-Manoa CTAHR and Natural Sciences constituency), Richard Nettell (UH-Manoa at Large), and James Tiles (UH-Manoa at Large). The UH-Manoa Social Sciences, Social Work, Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, and Arts and Science constituency remains unfilled.
Election of Officers and Members at Large
Due to the constitutional changes adopted, the election of officers and members at large was held. Congratulations to the officers-elect and members at large, who will take office on September 1, 2007. They are:
President…………………………. Joseph Chernisky, Leeward CC
Vice President………………….. Adrienne Valdez, UH-West Oahu
Secretary…………………………. Karla Hayashi, UH-Hilo
Treasurer………………………… Ming-Bao Yue, UH-Manoa
Members at Large……………. Joshua Cooper, Maui CC
Ruth Horie, UH-Manoa
Richard Nettell, UH-Manoa