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Friday, March 9, 2001

By Craig T. Kojima, Star-Bulletin
Student Edward Akana protests yesterday on Beretania
Street in front of the state Capitol in support of UH faculty,
who have been working without a contract since June 1999.

Faculty union
proposes decreased

Community college faculty
would teach one class less
per semester

UH students support faculty

By Treena Shapiro

The University of Hawaii's faculty union has raised new issues concerning the community colleges that could complicate its negotiations with the state for a new contract, according to the state's negotiator, Davis Yogi.

University of Hawaii

The union's proposal would decrease by one the number of classes that full-time community college faculty members must teach each semester, Yogi said.

"They want a pay increase and they also want less work, and the impact to students is going to be devastating," Yogi said.

The union, however, said yesterday that granting the community college faculty the three-credit-hour equivalencies would put them on equal footing with faculty on all other UH campuses.

The equivalencies are given to allow full-time faculty time outside the classroom to complete the requirements for continuing evaluation, tenure, promotion and reappointment.

But Yogi said the equivalencies could lead to even fewer course offerings and less tuition revenue unless the state spends $5 million to hire more lecturers to teach the classes. "This would cause the community colleges to run in the red or not have classes available," he said.

Yogi said the state's proposed salary increases would come to 10 percent for community college faculty over two years, with the possibility of a 1 percent increase in merit pay.

Yogi said he will have to review the community college proposals with the university, and expects to negotiate further with the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly before a strike authorization vote is taken at all 10 UH campuses March 19-21.

His biggest worry is for the students at community colleges, he said. "I feel for the kids," he said. "This really concerns me."

But Troy Baker, president of the Honolulu Community College student government, said students support the faculty's struggle for more pay. "I know that the students want the faculty to have a fair contract because they're already paid in the bottom 20 percent," he said.

But the prospect of even fewer course selections is troubling, too. "Any shortened course load would be detrimental to the students," he said. "We're already dealing with a shortage of faculty."

University of Hawaii

UH Professional Assembly

UH students
support faculty

Students protest and petition the
governor to avoid a faculty strike

By Lisa Asato

With the University of Hawaii faculty union heading into a strike vote next week, students protested yesterday at the state Capitol, backing their instructors.

About 100 students lined Beretania Street in front of the Capitol hoisting signs that read, "It's the students who lose," and shouting, "Save our semester!" Honking horns blared in reply.

Students planned the protest as part of a systemwide walkout to encourage negotiations between the state and faculty union members, who have been working without a contract since June 1999.

A strike at all 10 campuses could occur as early as April 2 if a tentative contract is not reached. That could mean graduation delays and having to repeat classes, students said yesterday.

Edward Akana, who marched to the Capitol from Honolulu Community College on Dillingham Boulevard, said there is more at stake than what the governor and teachers want. "Students will lose ultimately (if there's a strike)," said Akana, who expects to graduate in May.

Yasutoshi Hirayama said the strike threatens his full-time status at the Manoa campus, where he studies on a student visa. If the semester is canceled, he said he may have go back to Japan until his course work resumes next spring.

"To me it's serious, 'cause I want to get out," he said.

Also yesterday, student leaders presented the governor with 3,000 signatures asking him to "do whatever is necessary to reach a fair contract with the faculty union to avert a strike," said Troy Baker, Honolulu Community College student body president.

The governor was in a meeting at the time, but press secretary Kim Murakawa accepted the petitions on his behalf.

Vicki Whitehead, UH-West Oahu's student body vice president, was miffed. "By not coming out, he is saying this is not an important issue," she said.

Faculty members plan their own protest at the Capitol today. They are asking for a 12 percent raise over two years.

State negotiators have offered 6 or 7 percent over two years plus merit raises.

University of Hawaii

UH Professional Assembly

Ka Leo O Hawaii

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