Attorney General Doug Chin and the United Public Workers union on Wednesday filed a joint status report in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals as required by a prior court order in United Public Workers v. Ige.
The report states that the parties are having productive conversations regarding a possible resolution and that Governor Ige is asking the 9th Circuit to allow transition activities to resume at the affected Maui hospitals – Maui Memorial Medical Center, Kula Hospital and Lānaʻi Community Hospital. The Attorney General notes that the UPW does not oppose Governor Ige’s request.
“Governor Ige’s top priority is to protect patients in the Maui region hospitals. To my mind, the hospitals, unions, Kaiser and other stakeholders are all hopeful that discussions with UPW might lead to an agreement without court intervention,” said Attorney General Chin.
In 2015, the state legislature passed a law ending the Hawaiʻi Health Systems Corporation’s delivery of health care services at the three Maui facilities and transferring service delivery to a private operator.
Earlier this year, the Hawaiʻi Health Systems Corporation board and its regional board signed an agreement to transition the Maui hospitals to a new Kaiser entity, Maui Health Systems.
United Public Workers sued to stop the transition from taking place.
On February 19, 2016, United States District Court Judge Helen Gillmor ruled in favor of the State, and UPW appealed to the federal 9th Circuit Court.
On May 17, 2016, the 9th Circuit Court ordered the State to temporarily stop all activities related to the transition until Sept. 30, 2016, unless sooner terminated by the Court.
“By agreement, we are asking the 9th Circuit to let transition activities with Kaiser resume, but to not allow the State to unilaterally change the status of UPW’s members affected by this transition, or to close the transaction, while the parties negotiate,” Chin said. “Ultimately, the State is committed to an orderly and safe transition to Kaiser’s operation of the Maui region hospitals.”
The parties asked the Court to require a further joint status report on June 30, 2016.