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StarBulletin.com

Board tells state to talk with union about layoff


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POSTED: Friday, September 25, 2009

The Hawaii Government Employees Association says it has won a a victory before the Hawaii Labor Relations Board in its efforts to negotiate with the state on impending worker layoffs.

The union announced yesterday on its Web site that the board ruling does not halt the layoffs, but requires the state to consult with the union regarding the layoffs.

“;The Lingle administration is ordered to provide the HGEA with documentation ... of the procedures and guidelines followed, and the factors and criteria considered by each named respondent in making their determination of which positions/employees would be subject to RIF,”; the HGEA said.

The state did not respond to requests for comment.

The union maintains that the state has violated its contract by not fully consulting with it regarding the layoffs scheduled for Nov. 13.

“;The HLRB decision verifies that the state again violated our contracts and the collective bargaining law,”; said a union spokeswoman.

“;Our reason for bringing forth this complaint to the HLRB was to address the manner in which the RIF was being conducted, as it was clear that the employer was violating the collective bargaining law,”; said Jodi Endo Chai, HGEA communications officer.

Gov. Linda Lingle started the process in August of laying off 1,100 state workers to save money. At the time, Lingle said the layoffs, or reductions in force, were needed to help balance the state budget.

At the same time, she said she would start planning to lay off a second round of state workers “;in order to realize additional savings in the cost of running state government.”;