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TV ad explains UH faculty union's rejection of contract


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POSTED: Thursday, October 15, 2009

The University of Hawaii faculty union is running a television advertising campaign to explain its rejection of a contract offer and the faculty's commitment to higher education.

The commercials started running Monday in newscasts on KGMB, KHON and KITV and will air during UH Wahine volleyball games.

“;Our message is simple. Preserving the quality of public higher education is at the top of our agenda and this TV commercial lays the foundation for the work that must take place following the UH faculty's rejection of the UH administration's last, best, final offer,”; Kristeen Hanselman, University of Hawaii Professional Assembly associate executive director, said in an e-mail.

Last week, UHPA said members voted overwhelmingly to reject a contract offer calling for a 5 percent pay cut and other concessions to help the university deal with budget cuts.

Hanselman would not disclose how much the union is spending on the commercials.

She said the ad, along with other union initiatives, “;encourages faculty to remain united as we prepare to present our case for funding of public higher education in the upcoming legislative session.”;

The campaign is also aimed at the public “;to help the community understand that this is not a simply an issue between faculty and our employer, but a broad public policy issue,”; Hanselman said in the e-mail. “;UHPA and its faculty members are advocating for long-term thinking. We are trying to pre-empt adverse circumstances at the state's higher-education level and the ensuring irreparable harm to the reputation of the UH as a first-rate research and teaching institution.”;

The visuals in the commercial consist of moving words reflecting the voice-over.

“;When the University of Hawaii administration takes the wrong direction for higher education, our students pay the price,”; a narrator says.

The spot continues noting that UH faculty have offered solutions, advocated for students and maintained high educational standards.

“;And although many of our ideas were rejected, our faculty stand united,”; the narrator says. “;We won't give up on higher education. Not now. Not ever.”;