Details of HGEA deal still need fine-tuning


POSTED: Tuesday, October 06, 2009

The state and the largest public worker union continue working out details on a new contract. Both sides said Friday that a deal appeared imminent, but as of yesterday, officials said some details still needed to be hammered out.

“;The parties are still working on contract language,”; the Hawaii Government Employees Association said in an e-mail statement. “;For HGEA's civil service bargaining units, agreements have to finalized with multiple employers — the state, the counties, the Judiciary and Hawaii Heath Systems Corp.”;

Gov. Linda Lingle also said there were a “;couple of issues”; that needed to be worked on, and she was hopeful an agreement could be reached by the end of the week.

There was no word from the state's four county mayors.

At least one of the mayors must agree to the contract. Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann said last week the mayors wanted to review the most recent proposal and decide together whether to approve it.

Hannemann is in Florida this week attending a conference on transportation. Messages left with his office were not returned yesterday.

A settlement with HGEA is expected to include furloughs amounting to a pay cut for the 29,700 state and county workers represented by that union.

After the HGEA contract, the state still would have to settle pending contracts with the United Public Workers Union and the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly.

The Hawaii State Teachers Association agreed last month to a new contract that includes 34 furlough days for teachers over the next two years — a pay cut of about 8 percent.