HNA asks court
to force union
into arbitration

The Hawaii Nurses Association filed a petition in state Circuit Court yesterday requesting that HNA's collective bargaining organization be ordered to participate in arbitration.

The Hawaii Nurses Association is the professional organization representing nurses, while the union side handles all salary and benefit negotiations on behalf of the nurses with employers.

HNA said in the petition that the union has refused arbitration over various financial and budgetary issues that have arisen between the two sides.

According to HNA's petition, the union is required under HNA articles of incorporation to participate in arbitration. HNA said it notified the union of that obligation.

Officials at HNA could not be reached for comment about the petition, which comes days after the union filed a lawsuit against HNA in federal District Court alleging HNA officials failed to adequately manage and account for union dues collected from its members and have interfered with union decisions.

The union also is asking the court to declare that it is autonomous in decision making and financial matters.

Sue Scheider, collective bargaining organization director, said the union had been expecting the petition from HNA.

"It follows on the heels of our previous response to them that these issues they raised are not properly subject to arbitration under our governing documents," Scheider said. "The appropriate place to resolve the dispute is in federal court because federal labor law applies."


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