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Tuesday, August 06, 2019
840 Maui Hospital Workers Liberated from HGEA—UPW Next?
By News Release @ 5:46 PM :: 803 Views :: Maui County, Health Care, Labor

Maui Hospital Workers Liberated from HGEA—UPW Next?

Maui News Aug 6, 2019 (Excerpt)

 … Last August, the other union representing hospital workers, the Hawaii Government Employees Association with 775 workers, ratified a contract with Maui Health System with 92 percent approving, said union spokeswoman Caroline Sluyter last month. HGEA represented nurses at the three hospitals.

The contract was negotiated by HGEA and the United Nurses Association of California/Union of Health Care Professionals. Since then, UNAC/UHCP has taken over representation of the Maui Region workers formerly represented by HGEA, Sluyter said….

Michael Rembis, chief executive officer of Maui Health System, said Monday that Maui Health System was “surprised to see that UPW paid for a full-page ad in The Maui News as we are negotiating in good faith and have been good partners.”…

Rembis said Maui Health System is not a traditional Kaiser hospital. Contract negotiations for workers at the Maui County community hospitals are between UPW and Maui Health System….

(Translation: UPW is afraid of losing members just as the HGEA did.)

read … UPW places ad that is critical of current hospital management

  *   *   *   *   *

UNAC/UHCP Family Now Includes Kaiser Maui

VIDEO August 13, 2018: ‘Welcome New Maui Members

News Release from UNAC/UHCP

We are proud to welcome employees of Maui Kaiser Permanente into our union family. In a first for UNAC/UHCP, we will represent more than 840 members outside of California.

These new members joined us from another AFSCME International affiliate—Hawaii Government Employees Association (HGEA). Kaiser Permanente took over the Maui Health System, which had been privatized by the State of Hawaii. UNAC/UHCP President Denise Duncan, RN, and Executive Vice President Charmaine Morales, RN, traveled to Hawaii several weeks ago to meet the new members and showcase the benefits of UNAC/UHCP representation.

The Maui bargaining unit includes health care workers of all stripes—from nurses and pharmacists to clerks and technicians. By joining more than 32,000 sisters and brothers at UNAC/UHCP, the Maui Health System members gain significant strength in dealing with Kaiser Permanente.

This week, Lahela Aiwohi joined UNAC/UHCP as the Director of Representation for the Maui members. We’re delighted to have her on the UNAC/UHCP staff.

Please join me in welcoming our new members!

In unity,

Denise Duncan, RN

President, UNAC/UHCP

  *   *   *   *   *

Pharmacists at Kaiser Hawaii Choose to Build Power Through AFSCME

(Editor's Note: The pharmacists had too much self-respect to join HGEA, but now they are joining UNAC/UHCP.)

News Release from AFSME, June 12, 2019

More than 100 inpatient, outpatient and ambulatory pharmacists at Kaiser Hawaii in Honolulu recently joined UNAC/UHCP

With over 800 members in Hawaii already, the pharmacists decided to build power through AFSCME as they seek more accountability, respect and the resources they need to continue to provide exceptional care to their community.

Supporting their future AFSCME family members, pharmacists from Kaiser in California volunteered to help organize in Hawaii. Facing some of the same issues when they joined AFSCME in 2015, the California-based pharmacists could speak to how a union could help address these problems. 

“They wanted a union for all the reasons our other members do, starting with a way to protect their patients – in their case, against ever-growing, unsupportable workloads. They want security, better wages and benefits. They were so pro-union from the beginning of their campaign,” said Denise Duncan, RN, UNAC/UHCP president. “Then they talked to our southern California pharmacists, heard about the journey they’ve traveled, and saw where they need to be. Now that they’re UNAC/UHCP members, they’ve got a path to get there.”

The officers of United Pharmacists of Southern California (UPSC) sent them a congratulatory email, welcoming them to our union:

"We encourage you to stand together and stand strong. You will succeed based on your professionalism, integrity, unity and hard work. We are supporting you, along with 32,000 other UNAC/UHCP members," according to the email.

Jake Elsbernd, a pharmacist at Kaiser Hawaii, thanked his AFSCME family.

“We overcame the fear and made it happen. We couldn’t have done it without everybody’s participation and willingness to take this small step that’s going to turn into a lot of progress for pharmacy in our state,” he said. “Kaiser Hawaii pharmacists finally having a voice is going to make all the difference.”

Only a few weeks before that, UNAC/UHCP celebrated the opening of a Maui office. An open house was held on May Day/Lei Day, and UNAC/UHCP officers and staff from California joined the members of their newest chapter, United Nurses and Health Care Employees of Hawaii, at their new union home.

The newest members of UNAC will soon begin the process of negotiating their first contract by choosing their bargaining team, filling out bargaining surveys and going to the negotiating table.

  *   *   *   *   *

2011: VIDEO: Abercrombie squares off with Maui Nurses  “Listen carefully to the nurses in this video.  They are ready to dump the HGEA.  This is important because the HGEA control of HHSC workers including nurses is the only reason that HHSC has been prevented from privatizing its component hospitals.  If HHSC hospitals were privatized, nurses pay would be able to rise to the level of private hospital nurses instead of being controlled by a union with interests hostile to those of the nurses.”

2014: Hospital Reform? Randy Perreira Says "F*** You"

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