2 Hawaii Mayors Seek Clarity on HGEA Contract
By Wendy Osher
Governor Neil Abercrombie announced a contract agreement yesterday between the state and the Hawai’i Government Employees Association, but at least two county mayors are seeking more information.
Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle said provisions that he could not agree with were not included in the Governor’s press release. “I need to find out in writing the truth and the whole truth about the provisions of the tentative agreement,” said Carlisle. “Once we have received all of the provisions in writing, we will need to determine the financial impact on the City,” he said.
Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa said he remained unclear about certain parts of the agreement. “I would like to meet with the governor and other mayors first to discuss it in detail,” said Arakawa. “We all want to work together on this, to do what’s best for the state and for the county,” he said.
Gov. Abercrombie said the agreement ends the two-day-per-month furloughs in the current contract. He said the deal is also expected to save the state $124 million over two years.
Under the agreement, there will be an equal 50/50 contribution from the government and public employees for public workers’ health benefits. The new contract also calls for a 5 percent reduction in base pay for public employees without furlough days or layoffs.
The agreement still requires a ratification vote by HGEA members.