Maui County Council Budget and Finance Committee Passes Funding Legislation for Unit 14 Ocean Safety Officers
May 11, 2016
After an initial deferral of the funding for Maui County Ocean Safety Officers' arbitrated pay raises, the Maui County Budget and Finance Committee held a hearing today and passed a resolution to add the funding for the award to the proposed county budget.
HGEA Executive Director Randy Perreira said, "We thank all of the HGEA members and supporters who were part of the statewide efforts that raised awareness for this critical funding legislation. We understand the concerns the Council has regarding the arbitration award process and appreciate the action taken today."
Members sent emails, made phone calls, and submitted testimony both written and in person. Today the Maui Councilmembers heard moving testimony from the lifeguards themselves and a man who was recently saved by them. On Monday a sign-waving rally on Oahu received good media coverage which also helped to raise awareness.
Ocean safety officers are part of HGEA's newest bargaining unit created by legislation in 2013 to recognize the special skills and training needed for ocean/water safety and state law enforcement officers. In 2015 the employer and union reached an impasse on contract negotiations and went into the final and binding arbitration process. In February 2016 an arbitration panel finalized a contract award for Unit 14.
Maui's funding vehicle still needs approval by the full Maui County Council. We will keep you updated on the next steps.
We are stronger together and can accomplish much when we participate in the political process. Thanks again.