Monday, November 16, 2009

Speaker Say's Statement on Governor's Furlough Proposal

"I commend the Governor for advancing a proposal to reduce the number of furlough days for teachers. Implementation of the proposal apparently requires amendment of the teachers' collective bargaining agreement and an appropriation by the Legislature. The former, amendment of the agreement, requires approval by the parties to the negotiations, comprised of the HSTA representing teachers, and the Governor, Board of Education, and Superintendent of Education, collectively representing the State. By law, the Legislature is not a party in negotiations. In contrast, an appropriation requires legislative approval and, equally as important, the Governor's commitment to allot the appropriated funds to the Department of Education. Consequently, the proposal in effect requires the approval of the parties to the negotiations as well as the House and Senate.

As stated in my letter, dated November 6, 2009, to the parties, if they come to an agreement that requires legislation, I will do my utmost to have the House consider the proposal expeditiously.

If the parties agree relatively soon on a proposal that is ratified by the teachers and also agreeable to the House and Senate, then I will strongly recommend that the House convene in special session. I emphasize that such agreement will be a pre-condition to convening a special session."


Doug said...

In its current statutory form, the Hawaii Hurricane Relief Fund may not be used toward collective bargaining cost items.

Given that fact, the Lege would have to convene and amend the HHRF law BEFORE any renegotiation of a contract that would depend upon those funds. The Speaker's demand for a ratified contract to happen first is illogical.

True, or false?

James Gonser said...

The Governor proposes to use $50 million from the Rainy Day Fund, not Hurricane Relief. It is true that the statute on the Rainy Day Fund prohibits use of the money for collective bargaining cost items.

Good point on what needs to happen first - ratification or amendment. I believe there is also a question on whether the decision to use instructional days for the furlough days is part of the actual contract. Anyone care to weigh in?