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Abercrombie on public employees

MEDIA RELEASE

The close of the fiscal year will result in changes to public employee wages and benefits.

Beginning Friday, the start of the new fiscal year, the Abercrombie Administration must implement the state budget as passed by the State Legislature.

This includes a 5 percent in temporary pay reductions from June 30, 2009 salaries and an equal contribution of health care benefits for state employees.

The following changes will take effect July 1, 2011:

* Hawaii Government Employees Association (HGEA) members – except for Unit 9, registered professional nurses – will receive a 5 percent temporary pay reduction and 50/50 share on health care premiums. The new contract was ratified by HGEA members in April 2011.

* Hawaii State Teachers Association (HSTA) members will receive the equivalent of a 5 percent temporary pay reduction and 50/50 share on health care premiums. Formal negotiations concluded and the state has notified HSTA members that it will be implementing its “last, best and final” offer to HSTA.

* Civil service employees who are excluded from HGEA bargaining units 2, 3, 4, and 13 and all exempt employees not covered by collective bargaining including the Governor’s staff will receive a 5 percent temporary pay reduction and 50/50 share on health care premiums. This was done by Executive Order of the Governor.

* The Governor, Directors, Deputy Directors and others whose salary is set by the Salary Commission will receive a 5 percent temporary pay reduction. This was done with the passage of Act 57. They will also pay 50/50 of their health care premiums.

* United Public Workers (UPW) Units 1 and 10 and HGEA Unit 9 members have not yet reached agreement with the employer on contract terms. Until there is an agreement reached on a new contract or a decision through arbitration, HGEA Unit 9 members and UPW members will receive wages and benefits at the same levels received from June 30, 2009.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie released the following statement on these changes:

“Over the past few years, government employees have been making large sacrifices to help the state through difficult fiscal times. We must never forget that public employees are our neighbors, friends, and family members. Public employees are a cornerstone of Hawaii’s working middle class who pay taxes like everyone else and who keep our economy and communities thriving.

“Government employees provide valuable services that have real impacts on people and businesses. That is why I have consistently opposed furloughs and periodic shutdowns of classrooms and government offices. Furloughs cost the public and public employees loss of critical services, productivity and morale.

“In working with public employees, I have confidence that our plans will lead to an economic recovery in Hawaii. But for the time being we are still in challenging fiscal times.

“Beginning on July 1, with the start of the new fiscal year, we must implement the state budget as passed by the State Legislature. This included 5 percent in temporary pay reductions from June 30, 2009 salaries and an equal contribution of health care benefits for state employees.

“This budget reflects the goal of shared sacrifice that we laid out in the very beginning of our administration. While some believe this is not enough and others feel it is too much, I believe these targets are a reasonable basis that recognizes the value of public employee efforts while living within our means.

“It is important to remember that the state budget reflects a 5 percent temporary pay reduction and 50/50 split on health care premiums and those cost reductions are to be distributed throughout all state agencies.

“In our continuing dialogue, we remain committed to our public employees, open with our public employee unions, and steadfast in facing our challenges together. We look forward to the start of the new fiscal year as we continue to build economic momentum, improve state government, and invest in Hawaii’s future.”

One Response to “Abercrombie on public employees”

  1. Ken Moskow says:

    “5 percent in temporary pay reductions from June 30, 2009 salaries and an equal contribution of health care benefits for state employees”.
    Unit 9 Nurses took a 5 % cut in 2009, and lost our “Step Movements”. The governor says “Temporary” pay reductions; his offer extends the 1st “Temporary” pay reduction another 2 years !

    The governor’s definition of tem·po·rar·y, [tem-puh-rer-ee]
    –adjective
    1.
    lasting, existing, serving, or effective for 2 or more years depending on how much money the State government wastes during any particular fiscal year or until woefully underpaid nurses go to arbitration or the public gets fed up with a Health Care System on the verge of collapse.

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