Old friends met to end UH strike
By Jennifer Hiller and Kevin Dayton
Advertiser Staff Writers
The agreement that ended the University of Hawai'i Professional Assembly strike began with an e-mail from John Radcliffe, associate executive director of the faculty union, to his longtime friend Gov. Ben Cayetano.
|||UH make-up days
The University of Hawai'i's Manoa campus has scheduled extra class days to make up for days lost to the strike. The campus will be open all Saturdays and Sundays April 21 through May 6. The two-day study period, May 3 and 4, will be canceled and these days used as class days as well.
Here is the schedule of make-up days:
U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie, a good friend of Cayetano and Radcliffe, also offered help. Cayetano, who served in the state Senate with Abercrombie, suggested a meeting Tuesday.
The group that gathered in Cayetano's fifth-floor conference room Tuesday morning included UHPA President Alexander Malahoff, Radcliffe, Abercrombie, state chief negotiator Davis Yogi and state budget director Neal Miyahira.
Missing from the meeting was J.N. Musto, UHPA's executive director. Musto had pointedly and publicly criticized Cayetano and his administration in the weeks leading up to the strike.
"It's hard to negotiate with yours truly when somebody comes to the table who thinks you hate haoles. The guy said that publicly. You can't negotiate with people like that," Cayetano said.
For his part, Musto said Cayetano has repeatedly referred to UH faculty members as "not our kind of people."
During the meeting with the governor, Musto remained at the mediator's office to work out details of the contract language. When Cayetano held a televised 10 p.m. press conference to announce a settlement, the agreement hadn't actually been reached, Musto said.
"It almost broke down afterward," he said. The two negotiating teams stayed with the mediator until 12:40 a.m. yesterday to work out the details.
Tuesday marked the first meeting between the governor and the UHPA negotiating team, and afterward Cayetano seemed confident that major issues had been resolved. "I feel pretty good about what happened. It's the first time I've felt good about the talks," he said. "There was movement on both sides."
For his side, Cayetano said the state got a key reform that he has demanded from the start: merit pay.
And the faculty union came away with a 12 percent settlement package that was nearly the amount it had requested and addresses the workload at community colleges and a pay raise for lecturers the most emotional and contentious issues in negotiations.
|||Contract at a glance
The terms of the University of Hawai'i Professional Assembly's contract include:
1. On Aug. 1, a flat dollar amount ($2,325) for all faculty the first year of the settlement. For someone earning $57,000, this is equivalent to a 4 percent raise.
2. On Aug. 1, 2002, a 6 percent across-the-board raise on all campuses.
3. A 1 percent merit raise in each year of the settlement years.
4. The UH allocates $1 million per year to expand the teaching equivalencies in the community colleges.
5. Lecturer pay increased by 3 percent each year of the contract.
6. Faculty overload rates increased by 6 percent.
7. Some $3.07 million in compensation for faculty who were on strike to cover health-fund benefits and for overload work necessary to save the semester. All striking faculty will receive about $1,040 for make-up work caused by the strike.
8. Innovative intellectual property language on patents that provides for a new formula for sharing of proceeds by the university and faculty members.
9. There will be no payroll lag. The issue will be determined by court challenges under way.
10. No change in Employees Retirement System credit or health fund calculations for faculty who teach for nine months; 12 months pro-ration to continue as before.
"I don't think it ever had to be this hard," Musto said. "But it was. We were true to all of the principles that we stood for and achieved what we needed. What we wanted to do is stop the bleeding." Throughout the strike, professors were most vocal about the financial and physical deterioration of the university and the lack of competitive salaries to be able to hire new faculty members.
The state also agreed to pay its share of health benefits for professors for the full month of April. That had been a hotly contested issue earlier that went to court, but the agreement to continue the health benefits was brokered by Abercrombie.
All striking faculty also will receive approximately $1,040 for the make-up work necessitated by the strike. The money will be distributed in the mid-May paycheck and will go only to faculty members who honored the picket lines for the duration of the strike.
In the wake of the strike, the university heads into an all-out sprint to the end of the semester. To make up for the eight missed class days, the Manoa administration has scheduled classes on weekends and the two "dead" days just before finals. Class will be held every day from now until May 11.
Stephen Young, a sophomore business major, wasn't happy to hear about the provision to hold Saturday and Sunday classes. "I don't agree with that," Young said. "They took time out of our school, not the other way around."
Many students, such as Eva Hang, a junior majoring in accounting and management information systems, returned to campus yesterday to find a mountain of work waiting for them. Hang has one test, three projects due and one presentation to make by Friday. "I knew the strike was going to end soon, so I tried to keep up," she said. "It's actually a lot of work."
Linda Arthur, associate professor of family and consumer sciences, e-mailed her students every other day during the strike to keep them up to date on what they should be reading, but said students have fallen behind in the hands-on work they do in her costume classes. "A lot of them are coming back today because they're panicked," she said.
Make-up schedules have not yet been released for the Hilo, West O'ahu or community college campuses. Because the community colleges already hold many night and weekend classes, their semester may have to be extended beyond May 13.
Vocational programs such as cosmetology and airplane mechanics that require hundreds of hours of class time have already fallen far behind in the semester, and UH President Kenneth Mortimer said they are working with the licensing agencies to either move the exam dates or make exceptions for students to take tests before completing their class hours.