[ TEACHER STRIKE ] UH facultyTHE UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII Professional Assembly rejected the state's final contract offer after an hour of mediation this morning, making it likely that faculty at UH and community colleges statewide will hit the picket lines at dawn tomorrow, the union said.
Union members will go on strike
tomorrow unless a last-minute
deal is reached
By Treena Shapiro
The faculty union's collective bargaining committee discussed its position by conference call last night. "Their basic reaction was if this is the final offer of the employer then we're on strike," said UHPA executive director J.N. Musto.
Musto said both sides made adjustments to side issues, but no changes were made to salary increases.
The faculty has been offered what amounts to a 9.72 percent pay raise, including merit pay. That's short of the 12 percent across-the-board increase the union has sought, Musto said.
Call 956-4560 on Oahu or
UH strike information
1-866-898-5161 toll-free from the neighbor islands.
On the Web: www.hawaii.edu/strike
Musto and the state's chief negotiator, Davis Yogi, exchanged contact numbers and could discuss their final positions today. However, no formal negotiations are planned.
Yogi said it's premature to break off informal conversations. "Talks are ongoing and we'll see if we can resolve this before tomorrow," he said. "We had our conversation, so I know what I need to do."
A strike will affect the UH system's 47,000 students, as well as 300 elementary through high school students enrolled at the UH Laboratory School.
UHPA Associate Executive Director John Radcliffe said there will be pickets at every gate on every campus from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., as well as at every campus event, including athletics tomorrow and Friday. At campuses with night classes, pickets may stay out until 8 p.m.
Although the university administration has informed students that they must report to class in the event of a strike, Radcliffe said many students have called to ask how they can join picket lines.
"Students have been extremely supportive, and for that we are very, very grateful," he said. As for the rest of the students, Musto said, "It's very easy for them to do what comes naturally -- don't go to class."
For those who choose to enter campus, the university has advised allowing extra time to get through the campus parking areas.
The strike could also affect construction work at UH campuses if trade union members decide not to cross the picket lines. Ongoing construction projects on Oahu include a roofing project at the UH-Manoa College of Business Administration and renovations to Hawaii and Crawford halls. At Windward Community College, humanities and student service facilities are under construction, and a nearby state courthouse project also could be affected because it shares an access road with the school.
The university administration informed contractors that the campuses will remain open throughout the strike. "They are expected on the job site," said UH spokesman Jim Manke.
All UH campus facilities will remain open in the event of a strike, and at this point all events will go on as scheduled.
>> UHPA Web site
>> State Web site