Union Describes Details of New Contract

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BY JIM DOOLEY – The Hawaii Government Employees Association has released to its members a summary of the tentative contact agreement reached with Gov. Neil Abercrombie.

The summary was made available to union members with electronic passwords after HGEA officials said some news reports about the deal have been incorrect.


Ratification voting is scheduled later this month.

Here’s the union’s description of the contract:


  1. Salaries

  • Effective 6/30/2011, furloughs and all related wage reductions end.
  • 7/1/2011 through 6/30/2013, a 5% temporary across-the-board salary reduction is implemented based on salaries as of 6/30/2009. Salaries are restored to pre-furlough levels (6/30/2009 rates), effective 7/1/2013.
  • For the period effective July 1, 2011 through and including June 30, 2013, there shall be no step movements.

2. Non-General Fund Employees

  • At this time, the state has determined that all employees, regardless of funding source (federal, special, trust, revolving), will be subject to the 5% temporary across-the-board salary reduction during the period 7/1/2011 through and including 6/30/2013.


  • Effective 7/1/2011 through 6/30/2013, the Employer shall pay a specific dollar amount equivalent to fifty percent (50%) of the premium rates established by the EUTF for any health benefits plan, including administrative fees.

  • The 50% split shall apply to premium increases.

4. Supplemental Time Off

  • Effective 7/1/2011, through 6/30/2013, employees shall receive six (6) hours per month of supplemental time off with pay that must be used within the contract period. In the event an employee separates from service for any reason, any remaining supplemental time off cannot be cashed out.

  • Each jurisdiction shall consult with the union on their implementation plan for the supplemental time off.

  • Employees will be given flexibility in determining when supplemental time off will be taken.

5. Duration

  • The agreement covers a two year period, effective 7/1/2011 through and including 6/30/2013.

6.  Favored Nation Status

As the first union to settle, HGEA receives favored nation status. As such, the employer provides assurance that all public sector bargaining units shall be subject to 5% wage reductions. With favored nation status, if another union negotiates a more favorable settlement, the employer will provide the same to HGEA bargaining units.

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Some critics of the deal, including Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle, have argued that the addition of six hours of paid time off per month – the equivalent of about nine days per year – means the pay cut is really about 3.5% instead of the 5% figure cited by Abercrombie and the union.

Besides the new pay rates and extra time off, the new contract requires union members to pay 10 per cent more for health insurance – the section in the summary titled EUTF.

The state now pays 60 per cent of those costs into the Employer-Union Trust Fund (EUTF) and union members 40 per cent. The new deal changes the ratio to 50-50.














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Jim Dooley joined the Hawaii Reporter staff as an investigative reporter in October 2010. Before that, he has worked as a print and television reporter in Hawaii since 1973, beginning as a wire service reporter with United Press International. He joined Honolulu Advertiser in 1974, working as general assignment and City Hall reporter until 1978. In 1978, he moved to full-time investigative reporting in for The Advertiser; he joined KITV news in 1996 as investigative reporter. Jim returned to Advertiser 2001, working as investigative reporter and court reporter until 2010. Reach him at Jim@hawaiireporter.com


  1. While to say that public employees will pay 10 percent more under the proposed agreement may be technically acurate in one sense, I don’t think this accurately represents the impact to the workers involved. To illustrate, if health insurance premiums cost $1,000 per month, currently employees pay 40 percent or $400. Under the proposal, the employees will pay 50 percent or $500. This is a 25 percent increase over what they pay now.

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