Thursday, July 02, 2020
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Saturday, June 01, 2013
UHPA to NEA: "Thank you for trying to destroy our union"
By News Release @ 1:39 PM :: 3817 Views :: Higher Education, Labor

To NEA: Thank you for trying to destroy our union.

An Open Letter to the National Education Association in Washington, D.C.

From UHPA May 31, 2013

Mr. Dennis Van Roekel


National Education Association (NEA)

Dear Mr. Van Roekel:

We’d like to thank you for trying to destroy our union.

The University of Hawaii Professional Assembly (UHPA) is a small union here in Hawaii. We have nearly 4,000 members who are the faculty of the University of Hawaii. In contrast, NEA, based in Washington, D.C., has three million members.

You threatened to destroy us (“decertify” is the technical term) when you visited last June if we ceased our relationship with NEA. Despite this, in February we voted to disaffiliate from NEA. We concluded NEA focuses on teachers, not professors; we weren’t getting good benefit for the money we send you, without even being full members of NEA. And we just didn’t think your suggestion that D.C. types lobbying on our behalf would go over well with our state legislature.

Our members have been bombarded with visits by your staff from the Mainland since our vote. Our members have also been deluged with calls from phone banks of Mainland volunteers and letters from you and posters plastered on campus, asking UHPA members to demand reconsideration.  Please keep at it.

We welcome NEA staff as union tourists since the university is supported by our local economy. Stay at our hotels, eat in our restaurants, and rent our cars. Just remember to tip well.  When you are not busy, go to the North Shore, visit our national parks at Haleakala and Volcano and the U.S.S. Arizona.  And there are always our beaches.

Maybe learn some local history, such as how 120 years ago other folks from Washington who thought they had good intentions helped overthrow the monarchy at Iolani Palace.  Since you are using the dues we sent to Washington, it’s good to see the money coming back.  We are, however, disappointed that you have been sending your mass mailings out from D.C. You could have printed and mailed them here on the Islands, helping our economy and thus helping the university.

We realize you need our $686,649 in annual dues because your membership is dropping. NEA has been reorganizing and laying off staff. Your clout must be slipping.  President Obama sent Joe Biden, his Vice President, to your annual meeting last year.  I guess if you want to see Obama, you’ll have to come out here to Hawaii and wait in line with him for shave ice (it’s a local thing).

With a strong six-year contract in place, we tend to forget that UHPA leaders negotiated the contract without NEA help, and that 89% of our members stood up to the university administration when it thought we would cave in to a weak offer.

I must express my disappointment with your claim “With the recent loss of Hawaii’s longtime friend of public education, Senator Daniel Inouye, UHPA needs the support and resources of its national union more than ever.”  Mr. Van Roekel, I am sure you are a good man, but you are not Senator Inouye. The people of Hawaii mourn his loss, even as we all move forward; however, the NEA is no stand-in for our late Senator.

Finally, we continue our offer to collaborate with NEA in advocating for public higher education.  If you need help on this, we have some really sharp staff, a few of whom we hired away from NEA affiliates.

With aloha,

David Duffy, Ph.D.

President, UHPA

  *   *   *   *   *


274 Signatures as of June 1, 2013


We, the undersigned members of UHPA, urge the UHPA Board of Directors to rescind the vote to disaffiliate from the National Education Association (NEA).  We want our voices heard.  We want leadership that actively engages us in important decisions.

Why is this important?

  • The Board failed to respect us when they asked for our opinion on disaffiliation from NEA and then discounted the results.
  • Despite the year of discussion the Board had about disaffiliation, the Board failed to engage us in meaningful discussion until the eleventh hour, just two weeks before the Board's vote to disaffiliate.
  • The Board failed to recognize the devastating impact on some of us and failed to have a plan for meeting the needs of those who are negatively affected by the disruption of our insurance plans.
  • The Board failed to provide meaningful, concrete answers to the questions we have submitted following their decision.

The numbers just don't add up.  The money saved due to disaffiliation from NEA does not outweigh the benefits lost. 

We want and deserve:

  • Solidarity with the largest union of educators working to protect public education and our union rights;
  • A respected voice in Congress fighting for higher education funding supporting our faculty, our students and our programs;
  • A well established member benefits program that UHPA will not be able to duplicate as an independent union and one that is subsidized only by those who use it.

IHE: On Saturday June 1, the board of the Hawaii union voted to sustain its earlier decision and to end the NEA affiliation


TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


808 Silent Majority

808 State Update AM940


ACA Signups Hawaii



Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Life Advocates

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

American Mothers of Hawaii



Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Astronomy Hawaii

Audit The Rail

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii 

Blaisdell Memorial Project

Broken Trust 

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

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

CSIS Pacific Forum

DAR Hawaii

DVids Hawaii

E Hana Kakou Kelii Akina

E Māua Ola i Moku o Keawe

Farmers For Choice Hawaii


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

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



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


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

July 4 in Hawaii

Kahle v New Hope

Kakaako Cares

Kau TEA Party

Kauai Co GOP

Keep Hawaii's Heroes


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

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


National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

National Wind Watch

New Hawaiian

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


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Pacific Aviation Museum

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons 

Pro-GMO Hawaii


Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Republican Party -- Hawaii State

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Save Dillingham Airfield

School Choice in Hawaii

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

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

Truth About Trade & Technology - Hawaii

UCC Truths

Union Members Know Your Rights

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

Valor in the Pacific

VAREP Honolulu

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii