Thursday, July 09, 2020
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Friday, April 08, 2011
Abercrombie’s $100M omission: HGEA settlement tied to other secret labor agreements
By Andrew Walden @ 10:09 PM :: 8436 Views :: Energy, Environment

by Andrew Walden

Rep Cynthia Thielen calls it a “deceptive sleight of hand”

The Star-Advertiser April 8 says it is “a huge omission.”

The secrecy surrounding Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie’s giveaway of six hours per month—nine days per year--of paid “Comp Time” in the State and County HGEA contract is getting lots of media attention.  Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle says the Comp Time and the elimination of scheduled furloughs counterbalance the 5% wage cut and amount to a 1.5% raise.  The Grassroot Institute estimates the cost at more than $100M over the course of the contract.

But “Comp Time” is not Abercrombie’s only omission—in fact the HGEA settlement proposal is intertwined with two earlier secret labor agreements.

In his April 6 announcement, Abercrombie touted a contract clause including: “An equal contribution (50/50) for public workers’ health benefits between public employees and the State and county governments.”  He calls it an example of “shared sacrifice”: 

Since the beginning of our administration, we have talked about shared sacrifice as the pathway to changing Hawai'i.  Today, the Hawai'i Government Employees Association stepped forward to do their part by making a sacrifice to help all people of Hawai'i. In these worst of fiscal times, a new era of teamwork and hope has begun.

But 50-50 is merely a return to rules used under the Lingle Administration.  On December 23, 2010, Abercrombie signed a secret memorandum of understanding with UHPA, UPW, HGEA, and HSTA to give away an extra 10% starting March 1.  This agreement became public only because it was posted on the UHPA website.  The HGEA’s big 50-50 “sacrifice” is to give back something it has had for only six weeks. 

It gets worse.  The new HGEA contract has a “favored nation clause”—also not announced by Abercrombie.   The “favored nation clause” is known because a single-page contract summary was leaked to KHON last night by an anonymous source. 

The contact summary also indicates that “administrative time off with pay (is) to be used within the contract period.  In the event that an employee separates from service for any reason, any accumulated administrative time off will not be paid out.”  But “favored nation” means that if UPW or HSTA come away with a better contract—after the Legislature adjourns—their contract terms will apply to HGEA as well.  This entire exercise is designed to make it easier for Legislators to raise taxes by creating the illusion of “shared sacrifice”.  Will Legislators be tricked into “sacrificing” their political careers on November 6, 2012?     

The secret comp time was itself copied from another of Abercrombie’s secret labor agreements—a little noted deal to eliminate furloughs for 4,900 members of HGEA and UPW Bargaining Units One and Ten—in exchange for 88 hours of Comp Time—eleven days paid time off.  That deal was only discovered by Hawaii Reporter’s Greg Wiles because it was mentioned in a single line of the February board minutes of the Hawaii Public Housing Authority—posted on line March 17.

In spite of having never announced the contents of this labor agreement, Abercrombie saw fit to brag about it in a March 16 message touting his accomplishments in his first 100 days.  Among them he claimed to have: “cooperated with  public sector unions to put thousands of federally funded workers back on the job.”

This odd reference sent Civil Beat on a bureaucratic odyssey attempting to discover what Abercrombie was talking about.  After a week, Civil Beat received a message from Barbara Kreig, Deputy Director of the State Department of Human Resource Development:

"The statement in the press release referred to agreements the State Executive Branch negotiated at the Governor's direction with two unions, the United Public Workers (UPW) and Hawaii Government Employees Association (HGEA) to bring federally funded (and specially funded) State employees back to work from the furloughs.”

It turns out that the Abercrombie Administration did talk to the media about this earlier secret agreement, for some reason citing 1,200 workers, not 4,900.  But, just as with the HGEA settlement announcement, the Administration skipped any mention of Comp Time.   A February 3, 2011 AP article reports:

Furloughs for 1,200 state workers paid with federal funds are ending.

In its efforts to end all labor disputes held over from the Lingle administration, Gov. Neil Abercrombie's administration came to an agreement with the United Public Workers union on the matter.

"We wanted to end furloughs for the federally funded state positions," said Donalyn Dela Cruz, Abercrombie's spokeswoman. "We wanted to start off on a clean slate."

"The state did not save any money by furloughing federally funded workers," she added.

Paid time off as part of the HGEA negotiations came up in a March 22, 2011 KITV story by Daryl Huff:  

The proposal under consideration would allow each employee to use the time off like other leaves when it was convenient for the worker and managers….

It may be very difficult to get employees to give up five percent of their take-home pay without offering time off. Union leaders said many workers are comfortable with the furlough concept and enjoy the time off they got in return for the lower pay.

While the unions may be very “comfortable”, County Mayors are not.  In the KITV story, Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa voiced many of the same misgivings that he and Carlisle now express about the settlement today on the table.  Both are reporting they have yet to receive a full accounting of the proposed contact terms.  Abercrombie must win the support of at least one of the four mayors to agree to the settlement, yet he seems as secretive with them as he is with the public and the press.  



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 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