UH classes resume tomorrow if faculty settlement reached
By Jennifer Hiller
Advertiser Staff Writer
As the University of Hawai'i faculty union and state negotiators inched "painfully close" to a settlement this evening, the university appeared ready to resume its regular class schedule tomorrow for the first time since the strike started April 5.
Even as negotiating teams worked into the evening to agree to a contract they can present to the 3,200 members of the University of Hawai'i Professional Assembly, union officials indicated that they are so close to a contract that they hoped to ask professors to go back to work tomorrow.
"We hope we'll be back tomorrow," said Alex Malahoff, UHPA president.
Members of the UHPA bargaining team spent the early evening calling their 24-member board to tell them about the negotiations. Even reaching a tentative agreement would send UH's 45,000 students and its striking faculty members back to school.
J.N. Musto, UHPA executive director, said he hoped to finish the negotiations tonight. "If there's a tentative agreement we will ask the faculty to go back to work," he said.
At 5:45 p.m., Musto said the union was hoping for a final face-to-face meeting with state negotiator Davis Yogi. The two sides have been working with a federal mediator, who shuttles back and forth between conference rooms with various offers and counterproposals.