Categorized | Opinions

Stene: Union’s status quo is unsustainable

(Reader Opinions Disclaimer: This column allows members of the community to share their opinions and views, which do not necessarily reflect those of Hawaii 24/7, its staff, sponsors or anyone other than the writer. Hawaii 24/7 reserves the right to refuse any column deemed to be misinformation, of an unethical nature, a personal attack, or a blatant commercial pitch.)

Aaron Stene | Special to Hawaii 24/7

I am very annoyed by the United Public Worker’s (UPW’s) slickly produced ads that state health care is people. Yes, health care is people, I get it. However, the overhead cost of these same people is strangling the hospitals to death. I don’t see the unions, such as the UPW, helping matters by reducing that overhead cost. All I see is the UPW filing lawsuits to keep the status quo.

The status quo is unsustainable. Kona Hospital, which is the only critical medical facility in the Kailua-Kona area, is experiencing operating losses in the millions of dollars. The taxpayers have covered these loses thus far. This cannot continue.

The saving grace for the future of our hospitals is partnering with a privately run entity, such as Queens or Kaiser. This doesn’t fit into the UPW’s plans though, as they believe their members needs supersede the needs of the overall community.

If UPW did more to reduce the overhead personnel costs at these hospitals, then I would view these ads a bit more favorably. However, the UPW wants to file lawsuits to protect their interests instead of being part of the solution.

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