Thursday, August 27, 1998

Alumni groups say
keep Chun, bounce
Lindsey, Peters, Wong

By Craig Gima


Spurred by a rumor that Bishop Estate trustees plan to fire Kamehameha Schools President Michael Chun, two alumni groups have passed a statement of support that also calls for the removal of trustees Lokelani Lindsey, Henry Peters and Richard Wong.

The statement will be sent to the trustees, Gov. Ben Cayetano, the state attorney general, the other alumni association's regions, media groups and interested organizations.

A spokesman for the trustees said the board has no plans to fire Chun.

In a meeting last night, the Oahu region of the Kamehameha Schools Alumni Association voted to approve the statement. The Maui region passed the statement at its meeting Monday night after the rumors first started circulating.

The statement says the alumni "stand united and firm in our support" of Chun.

The statement goes on to say that the trustee's desire to fire Chun is a "disgusting act."

"We find that their (trustees) refusal to act responsibly on behalf of all beneficiaries in assuring us of the continued tenure of Dr. Chun is not in the best interest of the trust left by our beloved benefactress Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop," the statement said.

A $500,000 report authored by Peterson Consulting L.L.C. blamed Chun for problems at the schools.

Estate critics said the report was a waste of money and said the report did not address allegations of trustee Lindsey's micromanagement of the schools.

About 80 people attended the meeting, much more than the normal turnout, said Oahu region President Roy Benham.

The Oahu group also passed a resolution proposed by the 11 regional presidents of the Kamehameha Schools Alumni Association asking the trustees to recognize the students, parents and alumni as beneficiaries of the Bishop Estate trusts and to seek legal action to secure beneficiary status and the removal of Lindsey.

The resolution also asks the trustees to implement the recommendations in a fact-finding report by retired Circuit Judge Patrick Yim who was appointed by the Probate Court at the request of trustees to look into the management of the schools.

A motion to have the resolution include all Hawaiians as beneficiaries of the estate was voted down over concerns that passing it would make the resolution overly broad and lessen the chance of getting beneficiary status for alumni.

A motion to support another statement of support for Chun by the parent teacher association was also passed by the Oahu alumni.

Negotiators to meet
with teachers’ team

By Debra Barayuga


After months of getting Kamehameha Schools Bishop Estate to sit down at the bargaining table, Kamehameha teachers finally have their wish.

The Kamehameha Schools Faculty Association, which voted to unionize in March, received confirmation from the school's negotiating team that they will meet Sept. 3, said Larry McElhenny, president-elect of the faculty association.

The faculty association has been concerned about the length of time it took for school negotiators to come to the table and that they have on retainer labor attorney Robert Katz and labor consultant Michael McGuire.

Morale among teachers whose first day was Monday appears to be "good," said U.S. history teacher Roy Alameida. Kamehameha students began classes yesterday. "We're anxious to get back into the classrooms and meet our students for the new school year," Alameida said.

The association's representative assembly met at least six or eight times over the summer to develop initial contract proposals which McElhenny called "infinitely reasonable and nothing unusual."

He declined to be specific saying the faculty association feels strongly that "negotiations should take place at the negotiating table, not in the media."

One of the issues the association hasn't wavered from, however, is the teachers' right to speak to the media if they so choose. "It's been a real bone of contention," McElhenny said.

Faculty members when hired are required to take a confidentiality pledge that bars them from speaking publicly about the management of the schools.

The desire to form a faculty union was not based on wages or benefits, but because teachers wanted a larger role in decisions that directly affected them and the right to speak freely about school management. Among the top concerns involved year-to-year contracts.

While some still feel the situation at Kamehameha despite the attorney general's investigation remains status quo, McElhenny said there are positive indications that the environment is changing for the better at Kamehameha Schools. "Everybody's trying to do their best in general," he said.

One notable difference is that a majority of faculty members in May received letters of intent to rehire from the administration, Alameida said. "It relieved my mind."

Last year, some teachers were still receiving rehire letters a few days before classes began.

The faculty association has been working out the ground rules for the meeting with McGuire and continue to press for an on-campus meeting site, a request the school has repeatedly refused, McElhenny said.

The initial meeting in September will be held at the federal building in downtown.

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