Tuesday, December 8, 1998

Judge to hear
union charges

The National Labor Relations Board
will go to bat on three 'meritorious'
charges against Bishop Estate

By Crystal Kua


The Kamehameha Schools Faculty Association has won a round with the National Labor Relations Board over unfair labor practice charges it filed against Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate.

"After an investigation . . . we have determined that some of (the charges) are meritorious," NLRB Officer-in-charge Tom Cestare said.

The board, in a complaint filed yesterday, sided with the faculty union by alleging that KSBE, the union's employer, engaged in unfair labor practices, violating federal labor laws.

The board said it will take three charges lodged by the union to a trial-like hearing before an NLRB administrative judge:

Bullet Union members were denied use of meeting rooms on campus.

Bullet Stipends for grade-level chairmen were eliminated.

Bullet Teachers were not given a 1.8 percent pay raise this school year.

Estate spokesman Kekoa Paulsen said estate lawyers were awaiting a copy of the complaint to review before deciding how to respond.

"It looks like we'll be heading for a hearing, but we're pretty confident our position in the end will be upheld," Paulsen said.

The faculty association lawyer, Dean Choy, said the complaint filed by the board is a victory for the union.

"I think it basically validates the faculty's stance that labor laws have been violated in regards to how they were treated after the faculty formed their union," Choy said.

"(Faculty members) were simply punished because they formed their union."

Paulsen said he doesn't see this development as a setback.

"Obviously, you don't want to be in a confrontational dispute with another part of the organization. They have their position and we have our position, and this is part of the process for resolving those issues."

The union filed five unfair labor practices charges.

A charge that language in a KSBE handbook was overly broad and infringed upon the legal rights under the labor laws -- rules prohibited faculty members from talking about the terms and conditions of their employment with others -- has been settled.

The estate has agreed to add a provision saying nothing in the handbook will limit employee rights granted by law, Choy said.

A charge that bargaining wasn't being conducted in good faith is pending action, Choy said.

"We've been trying to settle these charges," he said.

"We had hoped to reach agreement on the issues, and we may still be able to do that," Paulsen said.

Cestare said a settlement is still possible before the hearing, which will likely be in February.

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