UH faculty union holds
strike authorization vote

With wages remaining the stumbling block, the union representing University of Hawaii faculty decided yesterday to hold a strike authorization vote at all campuses in March.

The board of directors of the UH Professional Assembly was set to issue a 10-day strike notice tomorrow with state Labor Relations Board.

Last April, the union and state negotiators reached agreement on a two-year contract that settled everything but wage increases. The union had agreed to hold off any threat of a strike until after the beginning of this year as talks continued on wages.

UHPA is seeking a 6 percent pay hike, retroactive to July 1, 2003, and an 8 percent increase this coming July 1.

The state has offered no wage increase in the first year and a 2 percent hike in the second.

"We have pretty much come to the conclusion that zero and 2 will not make it," Lynn Yankowski, a professor at Maui Community College, said Saturday.

The union maintains raises are overdue for the faculty that adds millions of dollars of research money to the state's economy.

The faculty staged a 13-day strike in 2001.


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