News

HGEA Negotiations Update - Favored Nation Status

February 24, 2012

This is an update regarding the progress in implementing the “favored nation” provision of our negotiated settlement with the various employers. Under the favored nation agreement, if a non-HGEA bargaining unit receives a negotiated settlement more favorable than the 5% pay cut and the 50%/50% split in the EUTF medical premiums contained in the settlement of Units 2, 3, 4, 6, 8 and 13, then HGEA members of these same bargaining units would be entitled to the equivalent of the more favorable agreement provided to that bargaining unit.

The United Public Workers (UPW) negotiated a settlement for Unit 1 employees, which provides 5% labor savings to the employer through 13 days of directed leave without pay this fiscal year and 13 days of directed leave without pay during the next fiscal year. While the Unit 1 5% labor savings in the form of 13 leave without pay days is equivalent to the 5% temporary pay reduction HGEA agreed to, HGEA bargaining unit employees are only receiving 9 days of leave per year in the form of Supplemental Time Off. Because of our favored nation provision, we expect that HGEA employees are entitled to 4 additional days of leave per fiscal year.

Also, with the UPW Unit 1 agreement there is no reduction to their salary schedule. With the HGEA settlement, the employer insisted on a temporary pay cut and reduction to the salary schedules, which negatively affects overtime, temporary assignment, some differential pay and vacation payout for those retiring or leaving state service. With our favored nation status, we expect the employer to replace the HGEA salary schedules with the salary schedules in effect on June 2009 rates. Employees are still subject to the 5% temporary pay reduction, but premium pay and other compensation adjustments will be paid according to the June 30, 2009 salary schedules.

Regarding the EUTF, while UPW Unit 1 employees began paying 50% of their EUTF premiums in December, for the previous five months (July-November 2011) Unit 1 employees had to pay only 40% of the medical premium cost. In comparison, HGEA employees have paid 50% of their medical premiums since July 2011. With our favored nation status, even though Unit 1 employees took 1 additional day of leave without pay because they received more employer paid medical premiums than HGEA, we know that the UPW Unit 1 agreement regarding the EUTF is still more favorable and we expect to be treated similarly.

In addition, under the Unit 1 settlement, some UPW employees paid 100% by federal funds or from non-general funds are exempt from the 5% labor savings. With favored nation status, we expect to be treated similarly.

As we have reported previously, meetings have been held with the state Office of Collective Bargaining and the Department of Human Resources Development. Since then, we have also met with representatives from the City and County of Honolulu. Informal discussions have been held with the University of Hawaii, Department of Education and the Judiciary.

As a result of these discussions, effective March 1, 2012, the salary schedules for the State Executive Branch, Judiciary, University of Hawaii, Department of Education and the City & County of Honolulu will be replaced with the salary schedules in effect on June 30, 2009. It is important to note that the restoration of the salary schedules does not mean that employees will receive a pay increase.

Employees shall continue to receive a five percent (5%) reduction to their basic rate of pay. However, those employees who receive premium pay such as overtime, call back or temporary assignment will be paid based on the June 30, 2009 salary schedules.

In addition, state employees paid 100% from specific non-general funds in the following departments/programs will be excluded from the 5% labor cost savings:

Agriculture
Animal Quarantine Holding Facility (S316A)
Animal Quarantine Special Fund (S318A)
Irrigation System Revolving Fund (S320A)
Waiahole Water System Revolving Fund (S325A)

Accounting and General Services
Stadium Special Fund (S307M)
State Motor Pool Revolving Fund (S320M)
Sate Parking Control Revolving Fund (S317M)
Surplus Property Revolving Fund (S304M)

Business Economic Development and Tourism
Foreign Trade Zone Special Fund (S302B)
Natural Energy Lab Special Fund (S345B)

Hawaiian Homelands
All
HHL - Admin (S325I)
HHL - Operating (T905I)

Land and Natural Resources
Boating Special Fund (S359C)
Special Land & Development Fund (S316C) (S318C)

Transportation
All
DOT Admin (S001D)
DOT Airports (S004D)
DOT Harbors (S040D)
DOT Highways (T931D)

These funds are identical to the UPW (Other Than General Funds) settlement excluding UPW employees from the 5% labor cost savings.

Although it has not been finalized, indications are that the employer recognizes their obligation to provide HGEA employees more leave and is not opposed to HGEA employees continuing to receive their leave in the form of Supplemental Time Off (STO).

At this time, there are still several outstanding issues that must still be resolved with the employers:

  • Additional Supplemental Time Off or STO for HGEA employees (from 9 days to 13 days per year). We expect to have this issue resolved soon.
  • Retroactive compensation adjustments for employees affected by the reduced salary schedule and/or the exclusion of employees in programs 100% Other Than General Funds.
  • Compensation to HGEA employees through increased EUTF premium payments (60%-40% split) by the employer as a result of UPW Unit 1 employees receiving more employer EUTF contributions for five months.
  • The State (Executive Branch) is reviewing whether other positions funded 100% from other than general funds in which HGEA employees work, but do not include any UPW employees, will be excluded from the 5% labor cost savings. This is the same review process used in the UPW agreement.
  • The State (Executive Branch) is also reviewing whether HGEA positions paid 100% by federal funds will be excluded from the 5% labor cost savings. Again, this is the same review process used in the UPW agreement.

As we are able to resolve outstanding issues regarding our favored nation status, we will provide regular updates to members via eBulletin and our HGEA website.

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