Legislation to fund pay raises for government professional and scientific employees will be introduced by House Republicans during the Special Session scheduled to convene on October 28, 2013.
Ratified on October 11, 2013 by over 90% of the membership, the new contract calls for a 4% raise in the first year, a step movement in the second, and a 3.5% raise in the third and fourth years. It also calls on a 60/40 split on Hawaii Employer-Union Health Benefit Trust Fund health insurance premiums.
The contract covers the period of July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2017.
HGEA’s Unit 13 membership consists of approximately 8,100 professional and scientific employees.
“Why should our loyal government employees have to wait until the next Regular Session to receive the raises that were agreed to by the State? Since we are already coming in for a Special Session, we should take care of this right now.”, said Rep. Bob McDermott.
“A contract or promise delayed is a promise denied”, said Rep.McDermott, referencing the Governor’s explanation for a special session, where he has stated, “ a remedy delayed, is a remedy denied”.
The Hawaii State Legislature was called into Special Session by Governor Neil Abercrombie to consider a bill he proposed to extend the rights, benefits and obligations of marriage to same-sex couples. While he is authorized to call a Special Session, he does not have the legal authority to limit the number of bills introduced nor the subject matter to be addressed once it is convened.
“Funding this agreement right now is the right thing to do.”, said McDermott.