Six HGEA units receive two-year contract awards in arbitration


As teachers in the Hawaii State Teachers Association voted to their new tentative contract with the state, six Hawaii Government Employees Association units reached two-year contract awards through arbitration. The six bargaining units represent about 27,500 workers.

HGEA says two of their units are still in arbitration. Those units are Unit 6, department of education educational officers and Unit 14, state law enforcement officers and state and county ocean safety officers.

The HGEA contracts take effect July 1, 2017.

Like HSTA’s tentative agreement, the HGEA awards include raises and an increase contribution by the state or counties for their health insurance.

The pay raises range from 6 percent to 7 percent over two years. However, HGEA points out that raises for bargaining units with continuing step-movement plans will depend on when they receive their step movement and if it occurs during this two-year cycle.

Units included in this decision are as follows:

  • Unit 2, blue collar supervisors
  • Unit 3, white-collar employees
  • Unit 4, white-collar supervisors
  • Unit 8, administrative, professional and technical employees of the University of Hawaii and community colleges
  • Unit 9, registered professional nurses
  • Unit 13, professional and scientific employees

Contract arbitration is final and binding for the union and the state. Funding of the contracts will be decided by the state legislature and county councils.

This comes at a time when lawmakers are already working with less money as a result of the Council on Revenues’ latest prediction, so some programs will suffer in order for the state to pay for these new contracts.

On June 30, contracts for United Public Workers and University of Hawaii Professional Assembly are up for renewal.

Senator Jill Tokuda previously said the unions would have to reach an agreement by this week, so lawmakers can vote on the proposal before the end of the session. She estimates that those collective bargaining costs for all public workers unions can reach up to $200 million over the next two years.

Tokuda also pointed out that the latest prediction by the Council on Revenues already took out $250 million for the upcoming fiscal year.

UHPA, which represents about 3,600 University of Hawaii faculty members, rejected an offer Sunday. With no agreement in sight, any pay raises agreed upon will have to be funded by lawmakers at next year’s session.

UPW is also trying to reach an agreement with the state, but there’s no word on how negotiations are going.

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