From UPW April 16, 2020
TO: Ryker J. Wada, Director, Department of Human Resources Development
RE: STATE OF HAWAII/DHRD/CONSULTATION REGARDING SUSPENSION CHAPTER 89. HAWAII REVISED STATUTES, COLLECTIVE BARGAINING PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT, LETTERS DATED APRIL 5, 2020 (AND ADDENDUM) & APRIL 13, 2020
Dear Mr. Wada:
In accordance with Section 1 of the Unit 1 and 10 collective bargaining agreements, the United Public Workers reviewed and investigated the proposal cited above.
In recognizing the fluid nature of these trying times, we appreciate the collaborate posture taken by you and your staff in ensuring that the UPW has been kept updated with the actions being taken and/or contemplated by the Executive Branch in its response to COVID-19.
During our joint discussion on April 7, 2020, you clarified that the suspension of Chapter 89, HRS was limited by this proposal to only address the redeployment of employees who had previously been determined as employees not performing an essential work function and were not able to telework.
We can all agree that while dealing with a novel virus that has impacted our families, our communities, and our daily lives both personally and professionally, it has compelled all of us to establish a new normal. The insidious nature of this virus requires decisive and aggressive action, which is why we are in full support of the proclamations put forth by Governor lge and four Mayors to stay at home and shelter in place. As expressed on April 7th, this proposal is contrary to those proclamations.
In prioritizing the health and safety of our members, and in consideration of their loved ones and the community at large, the UPW disagrees with the redeployment of employees at this present time. Placing more employees back into the workforce may serve to negate any progress we have made to fight against the transmission and spread of the coronavirus. It bears noting that the State, as is the case with the nation, is severely lacking in proper protective equipment. This further places employees at greater risk. If maintaining social distancing and engaging in proper personal hygiene in the workplace was sufficient, there would not have been a need for stay at home/shelter in place orders.
Please note that we have still not received a response to the question posed as to whether employees who are redeployed are still eligible to benefit entitlements provided by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. We await your response.
Dayton M Nakanelua
UPDATE: April 23, 2020 UPW Letter to Ige Opposing Pay Cuts