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HGEA wins prohibited practices complaint against Hawaii State Hospital

April 21, 2021

On April 20, 2021, the Hawaii Labor Relations Board heard HGEA’s Prohibited Practices Complaint against the Hawaii State Hospital and ruled in our favor. The case was over HSH’s failure to consult and negotiate with the union on terms and conditions of employment for HGEA members who will transfer to work in a new forensic/secured facility that is set to open in May of this year.

“The unilateral changes made to working conditions by HSH intentionally and willfully violated statutory and contractual rights of HGEA members in Units 3, 9 and 13,” said HGEA Advocacy Chief Stacy Moniz.

HGEA’s complaint states that HSH violated sections of Hawaii Revised Statutes Sections 89-3, 89-8, 89-9, and 89-13 by failing to conduct a formal consultation and negotiate with HGEA over its transfer of HSH employees (HGEA members) from a medical facility to a forensic/secured facility.

At the arbitration hearing, Moniz questioned HSH Hospital Administrator Ronald “Run” Heidelberg extensively about the hospital’s failure to engage in a meaningful consultation and negotiations with the union. Under direct questioning as to whether HSH consulted or negotiated with HGEA, Heidelberg said HSH did not and did not have the information necessary to do so and would have to do some research.

After Heidelberg testified, HSH conceded its position and orally agreed to stipulate to the following:

  1. HSH will immediately enter into a meaningful consultation with HGEA regarding the New Patient Facility.
  2. The parties will identify any issues subject to negotiations to obtain mutual consent.
  3. If HGEA believes that HSH engages in bad faith in the consultation and/or negotiation process the union may file another Prohibited Practices Complaint or pursue a grievance.

The Board decided that based on Heidelberg’s testimony it had enough information to accept the stipulation. The stipulation accepted requires that meaningful consultation and negotiations be completed before employees (HGEA members) move into the new facility. HGEA members will have a chance to voice their concerns through the formal consultation and/or negotiations process — a big win for HGEA members.

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