University of Hawaii Professional Assembly (UHPA) Calls For UH Administration to Bargain
News Release from UHPA February 4, 2014
The University of Hawaii system has continued to disrespect the role of the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly (UHPA) as the exclusive bargaining agent for all UH faculty through an ongoing pattern of implementing policies at various UH campuses without negotiating with UHPA.
“We are concerned that these actions inherently weaken our status, weaken our union, and therefore, weaken our opportunities for future negotiations,” said Sharon Rowe, UHPA officer and professor at Kapi’olani Community College since 1989. “We would prefer to work cooperatively with UH administration rather than have them neglect the contract, which is state law.”
UHPA has taken a two-pronged approach to preserve faculty rights. In December 2013, the union filed a prohibited practice charge against the UH administration for bypassing UHPA and dealing directly with the Manoa Faculty Senate to deliberate and approve actions taken on faculty evaluations and a tobacco-free campus at UH Manoa.
Faculty senates at the various campuses were established by the UH Board of Regents and do not represent the statutory authority to represent the interests of UH faculty. By law, only UHPA has the sole jurisdiction over protecting faculty rights relating to academic freedom, tenure, intellectual property rights, workload determination, salaries and other issues. UHPA’s charter is to guarantee fairness and avoid faculty and economic abuse.
A Hawaii Labor Relations Board hearing is scheduled for tomorrow, February 5, at 9 a.m. at which the UH administration is expected to seek to have the prohibited practice charge dismissed.
In addition to the prohibited practice charge, UHPA issued a letter on Monday, February 3, to President David Lassner demanding to negotiate fairly on issues that impact all bargaining unit members on all campuses.
“There have been attempts to trivialize our charges by focusing only on tobacco use on UH Manoa campus,” added Kris Hanselman, UHPA associate executive director. “However, there is a much larger issue than a smoking ban. This is about addressing once and for all a pattern of introducing and implementing a wide range of policies that affect faculty at all 10 UH campuses without honoring the role of UHPA in the negotiation process.”
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About University of Hawaii Professional Assembly: The University of Hawaii Professional Assembly (UHPA) represents nearly 4,000 faculty members at 10 campuses in the University of Hawaii system statewide. It has been the exclusive bargaining agent for all UH faculty since 1974.
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