Contract Negotiations Update - Favored Nation Status - April 16, 2012
April 16, 2012
This is an update regarding the progress in implementing the "favored nation" provision of our negotiated settlement with the various employers.
As reported earlier, effective March 1, 2012, the salary schedules for the State Executive Branch, Judiciary, University of Hawaii, Department of Education and the City & County of Honolulu were replaced with the salary schedules in effect on June 30, 2009. The restoration of the salary schedules did not mean that employees would receive a pay increase on March 15th or 20th (the 5% temporary salary reduction is still in place for most), but it does favorably impact those who receive premium pay based on the salary schedule rates.
Since that time, we have continued to actively pursue the completion of the favored nation implementation, but have been met with a lack of commitment by the employer to be fair to the members.
As of today, the following issues still remained unresolved –
- Additional Supplemental Time Off or STO for HGEA employees (from 9 days to 13 days per year). While there is no resolution regarding this matter yet, we still believe the employer recognizes their obligation to provide HGEA employees with more leave time or STO.
- Retroactive compensation adjustments for employees affected by the reduced salary schedule and/or the exemption of federal, special or revolving funds from the 5% labor cost savings.
- Compensation to HGEA employees through increased EUTF premium payments (60-40% split) by the employer as a result of UPW Unit 1 employees receiving more employer EUTF contributions for 5 months.
- The State (Executive Branch) continues to evaluate and review whether other positions funded 100% from other non-general funds in which HGEA employees work, but do not include any UPW employees, will be exempted from the 5% labor cost savings. This is the same review process used in the UPW agreement.
- The State (Executive Branch) continues to evaluate and review whether HGEA positions paid 100% by federal funds will be exempted from the 5% labor cost savings. Again, this is the same review process used in the UPW agreement.
At this point, because the process has slowed considerably, we have made a request of the employer that they transmit a formal written proposal regarding the outstanding issues to the union. We have also begun internal discussions and some preliminary research in preparation for a legal challenge should that become necessary.
However, it remains our belief that coming to a resolution on this matter with the employer voluntarily is a more favorable path, but we will consider whatever options are available to us to get this matter favorably resolved.
We will continue to provide periodic updates to members via eBulletin and our HGEA website.