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Friday, June 27, 2014
Abercrombie Rewards UHPA's Campaign Support with $32M -- 'Unprecedented' Early Contract
By News Release @ 5:11 PM :: 6283 Views :: Higher Education, Labor

Abercrombie buys UHPA: "I am confident that the faculty vote will be overwhelming..."

PR: Keoki Kerr, a reporter for Hawaii News Now, said: “Here you are making an unprecedented agreement a year before a contract is up, in a year when you are up for reelection . . .”

“That shows what a good job I’m doing,” Abercrombie interjected. (At buying votes.)

“But your critics might say it also shows you’re essentially throwing a political bone to a union that has supported you for a long time, when you might not be around to make that agreement in another year,” the reporter continued.

The governor replied, “Someone might say that, but I’ll leave the agreement to speak for itself. … We put this together in good faith. That’s what collective bargaining is all about: good faith.  (They vote for me and then this contract goes thru.  That's good faith.) 

“Whether such commentary is worthy will be able to be judged by the faculty vote. … I am confident that the faculty vote will be overwhelmingly in favor of this agreement because it’s in the best interest of everyone.  (He is confident that he has bought the faculty vote for himself.)

“If someone wants to bring politics up, let me put it this way: I believe best politics is always good politics.  (Yeah, I'm buying votes.  Whatabouddit?)  If you do good things for good people, you know, in a good faith way, that speaks for itself. I believe the politics of this agreement will ring across the state as, ‘This is the way it should be done.’”  (He believes he will win because of this.)

Star-Adv: "I want to make clear, crystal clear, that this agreement had as one of its premises during the discussions and negotiations that we not adversely affect tuition for the students," Abercrombie said at a press conference.  (He then started laughing uncontrollably and was ushered from the room by worried-looking handlers.)

2010: $126M Giveaway: Abercrombie quietly boosts spending on Public Employees’ Insurance

read ... Judged by the Faculty Vote

  *   *   *   *   *

Two-Year Tentative Agreement for University of Hawaiʻi Faculty To Help with State Budget Projections and to Keep Tuition Affordable

Unprecedented Agreement Accommodates Hawaiʻi Revised Statute Requirements for Collective Bargaining

News Release from UHPA June 27, 2014

Gov. Neil Abercrombie, University of Hawaiʻi (UH) Interim President David Lassner, the UH Board of Regents, and the University of Hawaiʻi Professional Assembly (UHPA) Board of Directors, have reached an agreement over the terms of a faculty contract that will succeed the current contract set to expire on June 30, 2015.  

This is the first time a public sector successor contract has been reached a year in advance of the expiration date of a current Agreement. Past negotiations with UH administrators have been contentious; however, this year all the parties were motivated to reach an agreement prior to the expiration of the current contract.  

Gov. Abercrombie initially reached out to UHPA to consider working on an early agreement last summer because public higher education remains one of his priorities.

“The University of Hawaiʻi is one of the state’s most precious resources,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “Faculty members provide quality higher education and retraining that prepare local residents to take their place in society and the local economy. They also attract funding to conduct internationally renowned research that helps to enrich the education for our students, create jobs in our islands, and improve the quality of life throughout the world. When we meet the needs of the UH faculty, they are able to focus on their work and serve others in our community.”  

The UHPA Board of Directors unanimously voted in favor of ratifying the tentative agreement and recommend ratification by the faculty. An electronic ratification vote is being conducted among the nearly 4,000 Bargaining Unit 7 members across the 10 UH campuses statewide. Faculty have until August 25th, the first day of the fall semester, to vote. The two-month voting period will provide time to address any questions faculty may have regarding the new contract. “Ratification of the new, two-year contract is a win-win for everyone; the citizens of our state, students, faculty and the UH administration,” said UHPA President David Duffy.

"The University is pleased to have reached this early agreement with UHPA leadership and for the support of the Governor and his administration,” said UH Interim President David Lassner. “The salary and benefits provisions in the tentative agreement are consistent with those in the settlements of other public unions, including HGEA, UPW and HSTA, for the same two-year period.”  

The early agreement accommodates the requirements of the Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes regarding collective bargaining. Under the statutes, contract negotiations must begin 90 days before Feb. 1, 2015 and the start of the 2015 Legislative Session. The tentative agreement must then be approved in the next legislative session, which ends in early May 2015, a month before the current faculty contract expires on June 30, 2015.  

J. N. Musto, UHPA Executive Director and Chief Negotiator stated that, “The new UHPA/BOR Agreement will make budgeting more predictable, create stability for faculty employment, and relieve downward pressure on tuitions by using general fund support for the salary increases.”  

Musto noted that the successor contract will not go into effect if the legislature does not appropriate general funds for faculty salary increases before the July 1, 2015 effective date of the contract.  

Highlights of the tentative agreement include an across-the-board 4 percent increase for all UH faculty and lecturers on July 1, 2015 and another across-the-board 4 percent increase the following year. It will also address minimum salaries and the increased employer contributions to the health insurance premiums provided through the Employer-Union Health Benefits Trust Fund.  

In addition, the parties have agreed to establish three working task forces that will begin upon ratification of this Agreement to address issues of workforce housing, childcare and child care leave, and distance and online learning. It is the mutual hope of the union and the UH administration that these task forces may lead to solutions that could be applied beyond just the university.  

# # #

HNN: "If it's ratified, the agreement would cost $32 million over two years, a cost that needs to be approved by the Legislature."

  *   *   *   *   *  

men around podium With UHPA’s J.N. Musto, Gov. Neil Abercrombie and V.P. of Community Colleges John Morton.

Working together with our faculty

From UH President Lassner

This is a very happy day for the university. Governor Neil Abercrombie, the University of Hawaiʻi Professional Assembly (UHPA) and UH announced a tentative two-year agreement for UH faculty at a news conference at the governor’s office.

The tentative two-year agreement is unprecedented in that a public sector contract agreement has never before been reached a year in advance.

For the university, this provides stability, an understanding of the financial commitments, but also understanding that we’re working together with our faculty to advance this institution.

Thank you to Regents John Holzman, James Lee, V.P. of Community Colleges John Morton, UHPA’s J.N. Musto and Dave Duffy and Gov. Neil Abercrombie.

We all worked together to come to an agreement that I think everyone is really quite pleased with, and we’re looking forward to support from the state legislature.

  *   *   *   *   * 

2010: $126M Giveaway: Abercrombie quietly boosts spending on Public Employees’ Insurance

2015-2017 Tentative Agreement

File 2015-2017 Agreement
Includes the table of contents, articles, and reference sections (incorporated changes from TAs) in the 2015-2017 Agreement.
Page Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) re 2015-2017 Tentative Agreement
File 2015-2017 Tentative Agreement
Includes all articles and references.
Folder 2015-2017 Tentative Agreement - Individual pdfs

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