Hawaii's union gains among top in the nation, defying national trend

"The greater our numbers, the more effective we are."

Hawaii led the nation in increased unionization shares last year, a new report says.

According to The Center for Economic and Policy Research, Hawaii was up 1.8 percentage points from January to November 2018 based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

Hawaii also came in second regarding unionization rate in the public sector (up 6.1 percentage points).

“As we’ve seen income inequality grow in this country, we have experienced more people joining and supporting unions, which are one of the most powerful entities fighting for the middle class,” said Hawaii State Teachers Association President Corey Rosenlee. "The greater our numbers, the more effective we are in negotiating salaries and working conditions, getting support for public education, and working for real school improvement that impacts student achievement."

Hawaii is bucking the trend when it comes to union membership among public employees.

The report says union membership continues to decline nationwide, with "overall union membership rate declined by 0.2 percentage points between 2017 and 2018 to 10.5 percent of workers.

"Public sector unionization continued its fourth year at either a flat or declining rate, dropping half a percentage point, to 33.9 percent in 2018 . While the union membership rate in the public sector had been steady since the early 1980s, the rate has dropped 1.8 percentage points since 2014," it added.

Click here to view the full report on CEPR.net.