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Revised U.S. Ninth Circuit Court Order Further Narrows Injunction Delaying HHSC Maui Region Privatization Process

June 18, 2016

HGEA is aware of a revised U.S. Ninth Circuit Court order filed on Friday, June 17 that further narrows the injunction to temporarily halt the privatization process of the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation Maui Region.
 
View the revised order here.
 
While the order seems to limit application to UPW employees only, it also prevents the state from “closing the transaction.” We believe the State will interpret this to mean that preparations for the transition of HGEA bargaining unit employees can continue, but possibly not be executed until allowed by the court. Our HGEA attorneys interpret the language of the order to mean that the transition to Kaiser cannot be effectuated until the court rules to allow the transition.
 
The order remains in effect only to Sept. 30, 2016, as was the case with the earlier version. This means that unless the court acts sooner, the transition to Kaiser will take place on Oct. 1, 2016.
 
“We are in contact with our attorneys to determine the most effective legal path to protect HGEA member rights and interests,” HGEA Executive Director Randy Perreira said. “While we understand UPW’s efforts are looking to do the same, we are concerned of the potential influence this lawsuit and injunction will have on the Governor’s decision making regarding SB 2077. The bill was intended to allow for employees adversely affected by the transition to get the early retirement/severance option; this lawsuit should not change that.”
 
A veto of SB 2077 will hurt HGEA members. It is extremely unlikely that UPW members will get the benefit of both a successful lawsuit and the severance bill. From our discussion with State officials yesterday, it appears that resolution of the UPW lawsuit would result in the disqualification of UPW members from the provisions of the bill.
 
We cannot “join” the suit now — it is on appeal, so that is not an option. We will seek whatever legal action necessary, however, to protect our members’ interests so that we are not adversely affected by whatever the UPW does with its lawsuit.
 
We will continue to maintain contact with the Chief Negotiator and the HHSC to keep on top of what they will do to move the Kaiser transition forward.

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