FULL TEXT: Hawaii Labor Relations Board's Response to the Supreme Court.
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HSTA petition 'flawed,' state says
SA: The state has called a Hawaii Supreme Court petition filed by the teachers union that seeks relief from the terms of an imposed contract "fundamentally flawed."
In a filing with the court Thursday, the state also said the Hawaii Labor Relations Board has "exclusive jurisdiction over prohibited practice complaints."
The labor board also argued, in a separate filing, that granting the teachers' petition would be inappropriate.
The filings were in response to an October court ruling that directed the state to respond to the union's request that teachers be restored to the contract terms they were under before a "last, best and final" offer was imposed in July 2011.
read … Flawed
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Hawaii State Teachers Association's Position on HLRB's Response:
From HSTA ContractfortheFuture.org November 9, 2012
Teachers have been denied a "prompt" decision from the HLRB as lawfully provided under HRS 377-9D. Over five months after the final hearing date, the labor board now says it has the discretion to respond when it's good and ready. Meanwhile, teachers are continuing to be deprived of exercising their constitutional rights to collective bargaining and prohibited from exercising their statutory right to strike.
Our motion for interlocutory relief was filed over a year ago to stop the forced contract take-aways at least until the labor board decided the legal issues. We sought relief from the deep cuts to our pay and health care premiums. We sought relief from the imposed furlough days for all public school teachers. The labor has failed to respond to our motion, and the Supreme Court ordered them to answer.
The labor board is telling the Supreme Court it has the discretion to take as long as it wants, possibly years, to render a decision. The labor board has offered no timetable. This position makes the statute virtually meaningless. Until we exhaust the HLRB process, we cannot even proceed to the court on the constitutional issues.
This could be a recipe for any governor to simply bypass good faith bargaining, impose his will over the contract terms, and rely on the appointed labor board to delay justice.
We cannot speculate on how or when the Supreme Court will react to the HLRB's response, but we hope the court will consider the harm caused by these delays.
Related: Hirono Joins HSTA Protest Against Abercrombie