Public Workers Are Essential Workers
Governor's pay cuts off the table for now
May 14, 2020
The governor is backing off of his plan for pay cuts and furloughs at this time. HGEA Executive Director Randy Perreira explains that Ige was pushed into the decision by legislative leaders and economists who have maintained that pay cuts are unnecessary and counterintuitive to creating a better economic situation. Credit goes to legislative leaders including Speaker of the House Scott Saiki, Finance Chair Sylvia Luke, Ways & Means Chair Donovan Dela Cruz and Senate President Ron Kouchi.
Federal aid to states and local governments needed
For the long term, Hawaii will need much more additional federal aid to "right the ship." Our congressional delegation and national union, AFSCME, are working very hard to achieve that.
Reopening of Hawaii's economy
We are trying to get details from each jurisdiction on their plan to keep employees and the public safe as government offices reopen, however there is no uniformity. We have issues with Kauai County and the City & County of Honolulu that we are investigating and will take action on. The UH and the Judiciary are the current brights spots and are adopting methodical and safe plans. We are insisting on action plans that will keep employees and the public safe.
It's time to contact your legislators
Please contact your legislators to thank them for what they have done so far to push back on public worker pay cuts and to remind lawmakers of the importance of passing our funding bills before session adjourns. We anticipate our funding bills to be taken up later in May or June. Use the links below.
Tell Congress: Fund the Front Lines
Sample email text below
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Subject Line: Tell Congress: Fund the Front Lines
As each day passes, this crisis continues to threaten our families and communities. As public service workers, we risk our lives to provide essential services for our communities. We’re on the front lines of this pandemic and doing everything we can to protect our communities at all costs.
But without Congress’s help, we’re going to be thanked with pink slips.
Our state and local government budgets are reeling from this crisis. We need greater investment in our health care systems, our schools and our workplaces. We need to let the decision makers know that without us, we can’t fight this pandemic and re-open our economy.
Tell Congress to fund the front lines so that the essential services we provide can continue. We’re doing our jobs. We need Congress to do theirs.
Volunteers needed: State employees on Oahu
Hawaii’s unemployment rate is reported to be the highest in the nation. The Unemployment Insurance Division staff in HGEA Bargaining Units 3 and 13 are overwhelmed by 237,000 claims received and they are working seven days a week trying to get this resolved.
We are working with Senator Brian Schatz, leadership of the State House of Representatives -- Speaker Scott Saiki, Finance Chair Sylvia Luke, and Labor Chair Aaron Johanson -- to find a solution to this problem. HGEA, along with HSTA and UHPA, are calling on our members to volunteer to help process claims and get checks out quickly.