by Andrew Walden
Internal communications from HGEA leaders to HGEA members confirm an issue raised by Honolulu mayor Peter Carlisle about paid time off being included in the tentative HGEA contract announced April 6. Speaking to reporters yesterday, Carlisle said he had concerns about terms of the labor agreement between the HGEA and the State—which may be imposed on counties as well. Carlisle said:
“During my discussions with Governor Abercrombie on the phone this morning regarding the HGEA tentative agreement, I was told about the 5 percent reduction in base pay and the 50/50 EUTF contribution. I was also told of other provisions that I could not agree with, including additional paid time off for government workers.
“The provisions that I could not agree with were not included in the Governor’s press release. I need to find out in writing the truth and the whole truth about the provisions of the tentative agreement. Once we have received all of the provisions in writing, we will need to determine the financial impact on the City.”
In messages being sent to the HGEA membership, HGEA bosses describe the tentative agreement as including “administrative time off.” This confirms the report in today’s Star-Advertiser, “Public workers would also get an additional six hours of paid time off each month, according to sources.”
This would indicate that the agreement does indeed include provisions Carlisle “could not agree with.” And he is not the only mayor with doubts. Hawaii News Now reports:
Big Island Mayor Billy Kenoi said that he is still engaged in conversation with all of the parties involved. Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa said he is unclear about parts of the deal and wants to meet with the governor and other mayors to discuss the details.
RELATED: State Reaches Agreement with HGEA--Mayors Kept in Dark
From HGEA Website: Tentative agreement reached for 2011-2013 contracts; Statewide ratification meetings to be scheduled
HGEA has reached a tentative agreement with the state and county government employers in the 2011-2013 contract negotiations involving Units 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9 and 13.
Today, HGEA negotiating teams for the seven bargaining units met to consider a proposal from the state and counties, and voted to bring this proposal to the membership for consideration. The unit negotiating teams have been meeting over the past few months in an effort to seek a voluntary settlement with the employers. Given the state’s financial situation and the actions by the State Legislature to develop a budget, your negotiating teams determined that the members should have the opportunity to vote on a proposal.
The tentative agreement includes administrative time off, a 5 percent wage adjustment and a 50/50 employer/employee premium split for the Hawaii Employer-Union Health Benefits Trust Fund (EUTF) benefit plans. The terms of the settlement are for the contract period of July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2013. This agreement is subject to a ratification vote by the membership of each bargaining unit. This contract is final upon a vote of approval by the membership.
While the parties have agreed to these parameters, there are details of the agreement that are being finalized (for example, jurisdictions and 24/7 operations) and will be presented to members at the upcoming statewide ratification meetings. Information about the meetings will be sent via eBulletin, posted on the HGEA website and distributed at worksites.
HGEA issued the following press release to the media late this afternoon:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 6, 2011
HGEA reaches tentative agreement with state and county employers
Over the past few months, HGEA negotiating teams, which are composed of rank-and-file bargaining unit members, have been working on behalf of their fellow members in an effort to reach a voluntary contract settlement with the employers. There is a tentative agreement on the parameters of the contract, but details are still being finalized with the employers.
HGEA will not comment publicly on the details of the agreement, as the union intends to first notify its membership and allow members to make an informed decision prior to ratification voting.
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