UH faculty union will fight 6.6 percent pay cuts
Ka Leo News Desk
University of Hawaii President M.R.C. Greenwood said that the university will
implement a 6.6 percent pay cut to most UH faculty members’ salaries beginning Jan. 1
and continuing until June 30, 2011, and the UH faculty union responded that it will take
UH to court if necessary to protect the existing contract.
The University of Hawaii Professional Assembly’s contract ended in June but
because of an “evergreen clause” the contract remains in effect until a new one is
“We are poised to take the necessary and deliberate action needed to ensure the
UH keeps its word by honoring the contract,” UHPA said in a statement on its website.
“UHPA will take action to protect the rights of the faculty and to preserve a legitimate
collective bargaining agreement in whatever court or venue is necessary.”
UHPA said in the statement that UH actions are “not only a breach of contract,
but also shows blatant disrespect for the negotiated agreement and the faculty. UHPA is
notifying other public sector unions about this because it sends a chilling message to all
unions that at any time the State can renege on its negotiated agreements. This mocks the
collective bargaining process and puts every agreement in jeopardy.”
UH responded in a Dec. 29 statement that the university “strongly disagrees” that
moving forward with the final formal offer is a breach of contract. UH said the university
is following the law and that UHPA is wrong about their interpretation of language in the
Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).
UHPA argues that arbitrator Mario Ramil decided in collective bargaining that the
current contract will remain in effect until a new one is negotiated.
But UH said in the statement under the CBA negotiations are at an impasse after
15 months and negotiations for a new contract “shall be as provided by law.”
“With negotiations at an impasse, and no resolution to the budget crisis, we must
move forward with the implementation of our final formal offer,” UH said in the
UHPA advised faculty to reject the UH administration’s “last best final offer”
(LBFO) made on Sept. 15 of 5 percent pay cuts, and faculty did so by an 86 percent
majority in October.
UHPA responded with a counteroffer to take 5 percent pay cuts if their pay is
restored after two years and they are given 7.5 pay increases for each of the following
two fiscal years after June 2011.
Greenwood said in a Dec. 28 letter to faculty members that the university is going
forward with the 6.6 percent faculty pay cuts, or the equivalent of 5 percent pay cuts
concentrated into 18 months instead of two years. Under the final offer faculty pay will
be restored to current pay in June 2011. The contract would cut the salaries of lecturers
and those hired after Jan. 1 by 5 percent. The contract will not affect faculty who retire by
June 2010 and faculty who are not paid by appropriated funds.
Greenwood said in a statement that she supports increased pay for faculty but
“until the economy improves and UH funding is stabilized, we simply do not have the
money to meet the expectations of UHPA.”
“I remain committed to working with the leadership of UHPA and the faculty to
reach a mutually acceptable settlement that responsibly addresses the university’s critical
economic challenges and the longer term need for competitive faculty salaries,”
Greenwood said in the statement.