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NEWS RELEASE — January 6, 2010

In response to UH President M.R.C. Greenwood’s denial of UHPA’s class grievance yesterday, UHPA hand delivered a letter to Greenwood this afternoon informing her that faculty are willing to resume negotiations. UHPA would like President Greenwood to personally participate in the negotiations process and that the discussions be under the auspices of Carol Catanzariti, the federal mediator who has been appointed by the Hawaii Labor Relations Board to oversee the negotiations.

We appreciate President Greenwood’s willingness to continue to seek an agreement with the faculty, and believe it’s important for her to be present at these meetings,” said J.N. Musto, UHPA Executive Director and Chief Negotiator. “With her involvement, we are hopeful that we can reach an agreement in an expeditious manner.”

President Greenwood has met once with the UHPA board’s executive committee, but to date has not participated in any collective bargaining sessions. 

Musto also encouraged Greenwood to invite to the meeting Howard Todo, UH vice president for budget and finance and chief financial officer, and Howard H. Karr and Dennis Hirota, UH Board of Regents chairperson and vice chairperson, respectively.

“I believe it’s important for all those charged with reaching an agreement to actually spend time in the same room listening to each other,” Musto wrote in his letter.

A letter received yesterday by UHPA from UH attorneys stated the issues raised in the grievance are not “arbitrable” under the existing contract and suggested that UHPA submit its concerns to the Hawaii Labor Relations Board.

UHPA pointed out that since the Hawaii Labor Relations Board has appointed federal mediator Carol Catanzariti to oversee the process of negotiations, it would be appropriate to request that the mediator convene and conduct the meeting.  Musto has already contacted Catanzariti let her know that UHPA’s collective bargaining committee is willing to meet as soon as she sets up the meeting.