Thursday, October 17, 2019
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Sunday, July 10, 2016
$42 Million Bid May Stall Hospital Transition and Jeopardize Union Jobs
By Keli'i Akina PhD @ 5:23 PM :: 3004 Views :: Maui County, Health Care, Labor

$42 Million Bid May Stall Hospital Transition and Jeopardize Union Jobs

by Keli’i Akina, Grassroot Institute

The State has recently made progress towards saving Maui’s public hospital system while at the same time saving the jobs of union workers. However, the battle over severance pay may add a price tag which could sink the project.

Union leaders are demanding a $42 million severance package through Bill 2077 which they claim is intended to cover job losses. The United Public Workers (UPW) claims that approximately 500 employees would transition from the public to private sector and be stripped of their benefits under Act 103, which authorizes the state to transfer Maui Regional System facilities to a new management entity. They also claim that many of their employees will be forced to move to the mainland to find jobs.

This would be a valid argument if the workers were indeed losing their jobs and benefits. But in fact, Act 103 states the new management shall offer all employees of the pre-transfer facility employment for a period of no less than six months after the transfer completion date.

Attorney General Doug Chin added, “The reality is Kaiser needs people to work in the hospitals and it’s exactly the people in that limited population [employees within current public system]”. In addition, Act 103 states healthcare workers will keep their accrued benefits on top of what the new health care provider might offer.

The new hospital public-private partnership is estimated to save the state $260 million in costs over the next decade, according to Governor David Ige. However, these savings could disappear if the costs for the transition is too great.

Such an expensive and unnecessary severance payout could set a dangerous precedent for the Big Island and Kauai as they also consider saving their healthcare systems through a public private partnership. The high price for partnership could scare away investors in future projects that would otherwise greatly benefit local residents.

The $42 million payout could also impact the Employee Retirement System with new spiked pensions. This could add more debt to the already $8.6 billion in unfunded liabilities, and taxpayers will ultimately have to pick up the extra tab.

Moreover, there is an enormous cost to the extra time needed to administer the transition, which has come at a snail’s pace due to opposition from union leaders at the Hawaii Government Employees Association (HGEA) and (UPW). The public private partnership was on track for completion by July 1, 2016 but now the completion date is unforeseen.
The longer the transition is held off the longer Maui citizens will need to put up with a hospital system in limbo. When Chin was asked whether the transition could wait until the contract was over he said, “No… As we’re speaking right now money is being lost and programs are being lost.”

In the long run, the public private partnership will do more than just save Maui’s hospital system - it will save the jobs of union workers, something union leaders are jeopardizing.  The partnership will also provide a wonderful model to help save hospitals on other islands where citizens struggle to find access to proper care.

However, if the state opts to pay the $42 million severance package, the result will be a misstep in the transition process which could set a counter-productive precedent for decades to come. Hawaii’s people need strong leadership to ensure that our hospitals stand on a strong financial foundation and our citizens have access to quality health care.

---30---

Keli’i Akina, Ph.D., is a recognized scholar, educator, public policy spokesperson, and community leader in Hawaii. Currently, he is President/CEO of Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, a public policy think tank dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, free markets and limited, accountable government.--

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

808 State Update AM940

ABCDEFG Blog

ACA Signups Hawaii

ACCE

ALEC

Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Life Advocates

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

American Mothers of Hawaii

AMVETS-Hawaii

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Audit The Rail

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii 

Blaisdell Memorial Project

Broken Trust

CAFR Hawaii

Castaway Conservative

Children's Alliance Hawaii

Children's Rights Institute

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Citizens for Recall

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

Coffee Break

Conservative Forum for Hawaii

CSIS Pacific Forum

DAR Hawaii

DeedySupport.com

DVids Hawaii

E Hana Kakou Kelii Akina

E Māua Ola i Moku o Keawe

Farmers For Choice Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Follow the Money Hawaii

Frank in Hawaii

Front Page Magazine

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Get Off Your Butts!

God, Freedom, America

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aganst Assisted Suicide

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crime Victims' Rights

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defending Marriage

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Families for Educational Choice

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Firearm Community

Hawaii Fishermen's Alliance

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii Meth Project

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Right to Life -- Big Island

Hawaii Right to Life -- Oahu

Hawaii Shield Law Coalition

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

Heritage Foundation

HI Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

HIEC.Coop 

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Homeless Crisis

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

Horns of Jericho Blog

House Minority Blog

House Republican Caucus YouTube

HPACC

Hump Day Report

I Vote Hawaii

If Hawaii News

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

Iowa Meets Maui

Jackson v Abercrombie

Jihad Watch

Judgepedia Hawaii

July 4 in Hawaii

Kahle v New Hope

Kakaako Cares

Kau TEA Party

Kauai Co GOP

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

KeyWiki

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Middle East Forum--The Legal Project

Mililani Conservatives for Change

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

Muslim Brotherhood in America

NAMI Hawaii

NARTH

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

National Wind Watch

New Zeal

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Northwest Economic Policy Seminar

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

Now What I Really Think

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

ObamaCare Abortion Hawaii

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

OurFutureHawaii.com

Pacific Aviation Museum

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons 

Pro-GMO Hawaii

P.U.E.O.

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Republican Party -- Hawaii State

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Salvage The Rail

Save the Plastic Bag

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

SIFE Remington

SIFE W. Oahu 

Sink the Jones Act

Smart About Marijuana--Hawaii

St Marianne Cope

State Budget Solutions Hawaii

State Policy Network

Statehood for Guam

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Harriet Tubman Agenda

The Long War Journal

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Truth About Trade & Technology - Hawaii

UCC Truths

Union Members Know Your Rights

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

Valor in the Pacific

VAREP Honolulu

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

Yes2TMT