Monday, October 14, 2019
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Friday, February 12, 2016
Federal Court: Unions Can't Stop Maui Hospital Privatization
By Selected News Articles @ 2:30 PM :: 2869 Views :: Health Care, Labor

Unions Can't Stop HI Hospital Privatization

by Julie St. Louis, Court House News, February 11, 2016

HONOLULU (CN) - A federal judge has denied a last-ditch effort to halt privatization of three hospitals brought by local unions worried the plan will impair workers current contracts.

The United Public Workers, American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees, Local 646, AFL-CIO sued Governor David Ige in August 2015 claiming that when he signed HB 1075 into law as Act 103 months earlier it violates the contract clause of the U.S. Constitution. They sought to stop the implementation at least until their members' collective bargaining agreements expire July 1, 2017.

The hospitals in question are the Maui Memorial Medical Center and Kula Hospital and Clinic on the island of Maui, and Lanai Community Hospital - the only hospital on the nearby island of Lanai.

"Following such a transfer, the state will use public funds to pay for costs of operating these facilities, but the employees working in these facilities will no longer be public employees of the state of Hawaii who have civil service protections and public employee collective bargaining rights and the protections of existing collective bargaining agreements," the unions' complaint said.

The unions represent 1,500 members at Hawaii Health System Corporation-managed facilities, including the Maui public hospitals. The unions claimed the state "was well aware of financial problems at the Maui regional system at the time it entered into its binding, valid, enforceable contracts with UPW."

Hospital workers "were hired and retained in accordance with the merit principle through a statewide merit system," union officials said. Under this principle employees have reasonable job security and most senior employees are given higher priority within health care and other government entities to find other jobs when layoffs occur.

Ige did delay the final vote on the bill while trying to accommodate the concerns of current staff. Upon signing HB 1075 he stated that leadership of Maui health care facilities and the "unions representing employees of the facility or facilities shall meet to discuss the impact of a transfer on the employees and the feasibility of tampering the adverse effect of layoffs by amending the employees' collective bargaining agreements."

It also requires the private management firm to "offer all employees of the pre-transfer facility employment for a period of no less than six months after the transfer completion date," and states that "no employee of the (health care facility) who is separated from service as a result of implementation of an agreement and transfer under this part shall suffer any loss of any previously earned rights, benefits or privileges."

Even so, the unions countered with its lawsuit that "the Legislature could have made HB 1075 effective only upon expiration of the existing collective bargaining agreements."

Ige instead called the bill "a historic opportunity to transform the delivery of health care to the people of Maui." The bill's author, House Speaker Joseph Souki, called the bill "essential" for Maui residents.

"The financial situation for Maui Memorial was not sustainable for the short or long run, and what we are doing today will open the doors for a vital public-private partnership to keep Maui's hospitals open and to most importantly provide the appropriate and quality care for the people of Maui County," Souki said.

Maui Memorial Medical Center, the only non-Oahu hospital that provides a full range of cardiac services including open-heart surgery and angioplasty, lost more than $43 million in 2014.

At the time of the signing, Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa responded by releasing a statement saying, "The Maui Regional System Board has made its selection and I am confident that it was in the best interests of everyone in Maui County."

The governor, Hawaii Health Systems and the Maui region board of directors selected Kaiser Permanente to take control of the Maui facilities, signing an agreement on Jan. 14. Tuesday's court decision removed the final roadblock allowing for a transfer to Kaiser this July.

The agreement is projected to save the state an estimated $260 million over the next 10 years.

U.S. District Judge Helen Gillmor refused to block the privatization after discussion on Feb. 9. She has not issued a written ruling.

PDF: Injunction Denied

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

808 State Update AM940

ABCDEFG Blog

ACA Signups Hawaii

ACCE

ALEC

Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Life Advocates

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

American Mothers of Hawaii

AMVETS-Hawaii

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Audit The Rail

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii 

Blaisdell Memorial Project

Broken Trust

CAFR Hawaii

Castaway Conservative

Children's Alliance Hawaii

Children's Rights Institute

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Citizens for Recall

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

Coffee Break

Conservative Forum for Hawaii

CSIS Pacific Forum

DAR Hawaii

DeedySupport.com

DVids Hawaii

E Hana Kakou Kelii Akina

E Māua Ola i Moku o Keawe

Farmers For Choice Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Follow the Money Hawaii

Frank in Hawaii

Front Page Magazine

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Get Off Your Butts!

God, Freedom, America

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aganst Assisted Suicide

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crime Victims' Rights

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defending Marriage

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Families for Educational Choice

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Firearm Community

Hawaii Fishermen's Alliance

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii Meth Project

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Right to Life -- Big Island

Hawaii Right to Life -- Oahu

Hawaii Shield Law Coalition

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

Heritage Foundation

HI Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

HIEC.Coop 

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Homeless Crisis

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

Horns of Jericho Blog

House Minority Blog

House Republican Caucus YouTube

HPACC

Hump Day Report

I Vote Hawaii

If Hawaii News

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

Iowa Meets Maui

Jackson v Abercrombie

Jihad Watch

Judgepedia Hawaii

July 4 in Hawaii

Kahle v New Hope

Kakaako Cares

Kau TEA Party

Kauai Co GOP

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

KeyWiki

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Middle East Forum--The Legal Project

Mililani Conservatives for Change

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

Muslim Brotherhood in America

NAMI Hawaii

NARTH

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

National Wind Watch

New Zeal

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Northwest Economic Policy Seminar

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

Now What I Really Think

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

ObamaCare Abortion Hawaii

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

OurFutureHawaii.com

Pacific Aviation Museum

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons 

Pro-GMO Hawaii

P.U.E.O.

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Republican Party -- Hawaii State

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Salvage The Rail

Save the Plastic Bag

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

SIFE Remington

SIFE W. Oahu 

Sink the Jones Act

Smart About Marijuana--Hawaii

St Marianne Cope

State Budget Solutions Hawaii

State Policy Network

Statehood for Guam

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Harriet Tubman Agenda

The Long War Journal

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Truth About Trade & Technology - Hawaii

UCC Truths

Union Members Know Your Rights

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

Valor in the Pacific

VAREP Honolulu

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

Yes2TMT