Categorized | News

Mayors submit county collective bargaining package

all-county-seals

MEDIA RELEASE

(Tuesday, June 16, 2009) — The Hawaii Council of Mayors—Kauai Mayor Bernard
Carvalho, Jr., Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann, Hawaii Mayor Billy Kenoi, and Maui Mayor
Charmaine Tavares—have submitted the counties’ package to the governor for inclusion in the
formal employers’ proposal to the public employee unions.

State law requires that Hawaii’s public employers, which include the state, four counties,
judiciary, Hawaii Health Systems Corporation, and University of Hawaii, submit a single
employers’ proposal to bargaining units represented by the Hawaii Government Employees
Association and United Public Workers, whose agreements end this June 30. That state law
gives the state administration four votes and the counties one each, but prevents the state from
acting unilaterally by requiring that any public employer proposal have the support of at least
one county.

The county package will be submitted under the umbrella of the state-county employers’
proposal, but be specific to county workers. The Lingle administration is submitting a separate
package covering state employees. This will be the first time the state and counties have
submitted separate packages under the umbrella of one proposal to the unions.

Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann said, “The Hawaii Council of Mayors has been
united in our position on the labor pacts with the HGEA and UPW, and that’s why we decided to
pursue a separate track for the county governments. That noted, the submittal of our formal
employers’ proposal now enables the state and counties to begin negotiations with the unions on
new collective bargaining agreements, in accordance with state law and the provisions of our
existing pacts. We each submitted balanced budgets to our respective county councils for
review, and in so doing had anticipated certain conditions and costs that have enabled us to offer
a separate proposal covering county workers.”

County of Maui Mayor Charmaine Tavares said, “Since the counties receive revenue
from sources that differ from the state, it makes sense that the counties have a different approach
to some of the collective bargaining items. We prepared our budgets within our projected means
for fiscal year 2010 and we all realize that revenues may be quite different as we prepare fiscal
year 2011’s budget.”

“While we have areas of agreement with the governor, it is important that during this
round of negotiations we handle certain issues differently from the state,” said County of
Hawaii Mayor Billy Kenoi. “We appreciate the governor’s willingness to be flexible and to
work collaboratively with the counties as we navigate the economic challenges that confront all
of us.”

Mayor of Kauai Bernard Carvalho, Jr., said, “Each employer is attempting to make
the right decisions for their respective operations and our situations are all different. While we
want to protect our workers from financial hardship to the greatest extent possible, we also
recognize that tough fiscal decisions may need to be made in the coming months. The HCOM
package gives us the flexibility to deal with changing conditions as we move forward.”

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