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Contract Negotiations Update: Favored Nation Status - April 26, 2012

April 26, 2012

As shared in our last eBulletin on April 16th, we had requested that the employer give us a written proposal regarding the outstanding issues related to the “favored nation” provisions for Bargaining Units 2, 3, 4, 6, 8 and 13. We have finally received a proposal from the employer and while the details are still being worked out, here is a brief summary of the provisions:

  • HGEA employees will receive an increase from a 50-50 split to a 60-40 split in the employers’ share of EUTF premiums for four (4) months as a result of UPW’s Unit 1 employees receiving more employer contributions toward their EUTF premiums. Although Unit 1 employees benefited from higher employer contributions for five (5) months, their negotiated settlement included one additional day of unpaid leave (a total of 14 unpaid days in FY 2011-2012), which is roughly equivalent to the difference in employers’ EUTF payment between a 50-50 split and a 60-40 split for one month.
  • Additional time off of four (4) days per fiscal year will be given to HGEA employees (from 9 days to 13 days per year). Although conceptually, UPW Unit 1 employees’ leave time is department directed, HGEA employees will continue to be able to request time off at their discretion provided the time off is taken by the end of the contract period.
  • Positions funded 100% from non-general funds or federal funds in which HGEA employees work are exempt from the 5% salary reduction. Those employees will be "made whole" and have their pay restored retroactive to July 1, 2011. These exemptions apply to the State Executive Branch only.

Funding bills related to the EUTF will be considered in conference committee on Friday, April 27th at the Legislature. We had recently discovered that the Abercrombie administration was not supportive of the funding vehicles needed for the implementation of the HGEA favored nation provision. Fortunately, with the assistance of some of our friends in both the House and Senate, the bills are now on track to pass out of conference committee and be approved by the Legislature.

As mentioned earlier, there are details that still need to be worked out as we continue to actively pursue the implementation of the favored nation provision to completion. We will also continue to provide periodic updates to members via eBulletin and our HGEA website.

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