Hawaii Union Membership Should Be Voluntary, Not Mandatory

article top

BY RHONDA GLASS – With the impending contract deal that Gov. Neil Abercrombie has concocted with public union leaders, new questions arise and many remain unanswered.

The biggest question is why these unions have exempted themselves from making the same “sacrifices for the good of the state” that they coerced union members into accepting.


When we all took our pay cuts, our union dues remained undiminished.  Repeated requests for an explanation of this breach of contract – and a refund – have been “looked into” since last July, with no concrete results to date.

I recently asked an Hawaii Government Employees Association (HGEA) representative about several points of concern, including the retirement fund (ERS) that I am required, as a condition of employment, to continue paying into, even though it will no longer exist by the time I retire.  No response.

Since I am now taking home less money than I did when I first started my job, I wondered just how much more I will be required to “sacrifice”, and whether our union representatives are also making such sacrifices.  No response.

All I got from the union representative was a copy of the very newspaper article that prompted my inquiries in the first place.  What has this union done “for” any of us?  Not a single thing, it appears.

Lawmakers should repeal HRS Chapter 89, which grants these unions such power.

Union membership should be voluntary anyway, and government employee (taxpayer funded) unions shouldn’t exist at all.  Let’s do something truly good and restore the Right to Work for Hawaii ’s workforce.

Rhonda Glass is a resident of Kahului, Hawaii and a member of the HGEA