9TH CIRCUIT COURT ALLOWS TRANSITION ACTIVITIES TO RESUME AT 3 MAUI HOSPITALS
News Release from Hawaii Attorney General June 17, 2016
Today the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit issued an order allowing transition activities between the State and Kaiser to resume at Maui Memorial Medical Center, Kula Hospital, and the Lānaʻi Community Hospital, according to the state Attorney General.
Despite the developments announced by the Attorney General’s office, those close to the situation say negotiations continue and the order still prevents the parties from actually closing the transaction. While the initial injunction was dissolved, it was replaced by a “narrow injunction.”
Two days ago, Governor David Ige and the United Public Workers union filed a status report with the Court saying the parties are in the midst of productive conversations regarding a possible resolution of a lawsuit brought by the union in United Public Workers v. Ige.
Governor Ige also asked the Court to let transition activities resume, and UPW did not oppose the Governor’s request, according to the AG.
Attorney General Doug Chin explained, “Allowing transition activities to resume is the best way to give everyone involved adequate time to prepare and minimize disruption in services. Governor Ige’s top priority is to protect patient care at the Maui region hospitals.”
In 2015, the state legislature passed a law ending the Hawaiʻi Health Systems Corporation’s delivery of health care services at the three Maui facilities and transferring service delivery to a private operator.
Earlier this year, the Hawaiʻi Health Systems Corporation board and its regional board signed an agreement to transition the Maui hospitals to a new Kaiser entity, Maui Health Systems. UPW sued to stop the transition from taking place.
On February 19, 2016, United States District Court Judge Helen Gillmor ruled in favor of the State, and UPW appealed to the 9th Circuit Court.
On May 17, 2016, the 9th Circuit Court ordered the State to temporarily stop all activities related to the transition until September 30, 2016, unless sooner terminated by the Court.
“Today’s order documents the parties’ agreement that while negotiations continue, the State will not unilaterally change the status of UPW’s members affected by this transition, or close the transaction,” Chin said. “Other transition activities, however, may resume. Ultimately, we all just want an orderly and safe transition to Kaiser’s operation of the Maui region hospitals.”
The Court ordered another joint status report on June 30, 2016.
PDF: Court Order
AG June 15, 2016: JOINT STATUS REPORT ASKS 9TH CIRCUIT TO ALLOW TRANSITION ACTIVITIES TO RESUME AT 3 MAUI HOSPITALS
MN: State, Kaiser committed to hospital changeover
SA: Ruling allows state to resume transfer of 3 facilities to Kaiser
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Maui Hospital: Blackmailed by 9th Circuit, State Begins Capitulating to UPW
MN: …A joint filing with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals by the state and the United Public Workers on Wednesday reports "productive discussions" on a possible settlement of a dispute stemming from Kaiser Permanente taking over operations of Maui County public hospitals.
The state also requested that the appeals court narrow an injunction it issued on May 17 and modified on June 2 that ordered a halt to activities related to the transition of Maui Memorial Medical Center and Kula and Lanai Community hospitals, which are operated by the quasi-government Hawaii Health Systems Corp. Maui Region, to Kaiser's Maui Health Systems. The switchover was to take place July 1.
The state seeks to allow continued transition work but would be prohibited from "unilaterally changing the public employment status or the rights and benefits of UPW's bargaining unit members . . . or from closing the transaction," the appeals court document said.
The joint filing said that the UPW would not oppose the proposal and requests that the appeals court order another joint filing no later than June 30….
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