HONOLULU (KHON2) — United Public Workers members in Maui County can expect compensation for working during the pandemic.
“The anxiety we went through day in and day out of are we going to take it home to our families, are we not,” said Kalani Werner, United Public Workers State Director.
UPW said it’s been disputing the contract for temporary hazard pay over the last two years.
“For which ever reason the employer took a position that it was going to suspend that part of the contract at the time,” Werner said.
However, the Maui County Council said it was assessing the pandemic situation before making a decision. Now, Maui County has settle with the union over temporary hazard pay for 700 UPW employees. The pay will be 20% of their hourly salary.
“We’re talking landfill workers, rubbish collection, your lights on the streets, the signals, everything to keep the roads up and open and to keep our parks clean and safe for the families,” Werner said.
UPW members in Maui County will receive compensation for 18 months worth of work. That’s based on when the pandemic began to when the cases started to plateau. The Maui County Council approved the settlement in the last council meeting, allowing the payment process to move forward.
“Our settlement funds are in that category as well as insurance and other major types of expenses that are county wide,” said Alice Lee, Maui County Council Chair.
UPW said the Maui County settlement is just the beginning. The union is working with other counties and the state to get other members hazard pay as well.
“We have everyone from our corrections officers all the way down to our paramedics, our EMTs working. We run state hospitals, the parks, waste water all these essential workers who didn’t have the option of teleworking,” said Werner.
The Maui County Council said UPW was the first union it settled with and is looking forward to going to the table with others.
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“We will continue on with the rest of the unions throughout the year and come to an agreement with them on what is a fair settlement,” Lee said.