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Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Abercrombie imposes new contract terms for HSTA, UPW
By News Release @ 8:11 PM :: 6760 Views :: Energy, Environment

STATEMENT BY GOVERNOR ABERCROMBIE ON PUBLIC EMPLOYEES

News Release from www.Hawaii.gov/gov

Honolulu – The close of the fiscal year will result in changes to public employee wages and benefits. Beginning Friday, the start of the new fiscal year, the Abercrombie Administration must implement the state budget as passed by the State Legislature. This includes a 5 percent in temporary pay reductions from June 30, 2009 salaries and an equal contribution of health care benefits for state employees.

The following changes will take effect on July 1, 2011:

  • Hawai'i Government Employees Association (HGEA) members – except for Unit 9, registered professional nurses – will receive a 5 percent temporary pay reduction and 50/50 share on health care premiums. The new contract was ratified by HGEA members in April 2011.
  • Hawai'i State Teachers Association (HSTA) members will receive the equivalent of a 5 percent temporary pay reduction and 50/50 share on health care premiums. Formal negotiations concluded and the state has notified HSTA members that it will be implementing its “last, best and final” offer to HSTA.
  • Civil service employees who are excluded from HGEA bargaining units 2, 3, 4, and 13 and all exempt employees not covered by collective bargaining including the Governor’s staff will receive a 5 percent temporary pay reduction and 50/50 share on health care premiums. This was done by Executive Order of the Governor.
  • The Governor, Directors, Deputy Directors and others whose salary is set by the Salary Commission will receive a 5 percent temporary pay reduction. This was done with the passage of Act 57. They will also pay 50/50 of their health care premiums.
  • United Public Workers (UPW) Units 1 and 10 and HGEA Unit 9 members have not yet reached agreement with the employer on contract terms. Until there is an agreement reached on a new contract or a decision through arbitration, HGEA Unit 9 members and UPW members will receive wages and benefits at the same levels received from June 30, 2009.

Governor Neil Abercrombie, today, released the following statement on these changes:

Over the past few years, government employees have been making large sacrifices to help the state through difficult fiscal times. We must never forget that public employees are our neighbors, friends, and family members. Public employees are a cornerstone of Hawai'i’s working middle class who pay taxes like everyone else and who keep our economy and communities thriving.

Government employees provide valuable services that have real impacts on people and businesses. That is why I have consistently opposed furloughs and periodic shutdowns of classrooms and government offices. Furloughs cost the public and public employees loss of critical services, productivity and morale.

In working with public employees, I have confidence that our plans will lead to an economic recovery in Hawai'i. But for the time being we are still in challenging fiscal times. Beginning on July 1, with the start of the new fiscal year, we must implement the state budget as passed by the State Legislature. This included 5 percent in temporary pay reductions from June 30, 2009 salaries and an equal contribution of health care benefits for state employees. This budget reflects the goal of shared sacrifice that we laid out in the very beginning of our administration. While some believe this is not enough and others feel it is too much, I believe these targets are a reasonable basis that recognizes the value of public employee efforts while living within our means.

It is important to remember that the state budget reflects a 5 percent temporary pay reduction and 50/50 split on health care premiums and those cost reductions are to be distributed throughout all state agencies.

In our continuing dialogue, we remain committed to our public employees, open with our public employee unions, and steadfast in facing our challenges together. We look forward to the start of the new fiscal year as we continue to build economic momentum, improve state government, and invest in Hawai'i’s future.

###

Abercrombie is apparently responding to this morning’s Civil Beat article in which Kalbert Young stated that UPW would be getting a raise until negotiations are settled: UPW gets 8% Raise on Friday (and still getting 60-40 on Health Care)

Unanswered question: Does “UPW members will receive wages and benefits at the same levels received from June 30, 2009” mean that a pay cut to match furloughs will be imposed on UPW members?  Or is this an elliptical way of confirming Kalbert Young’s statement?

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