Decision pending by the Hawaii Labor Relations Board

The state blatantly disregarded the Hawaii State Teachers Association’s collective bargaining agreement and its grievance procedure in what amounts to a “willful and a clear cut prohibited practice,” the HSTA argued in a brief filed Wednesday with the Hawaii Labor Relations Board.

The HSTA and the State of Hawaii filed briefs this week to argue their positions regarding HSTA’s prohibited practice complaint (PPC).

HSTA filed a PPC with the Hawaii Labor Relations Board (HLRB) in October charging that the employer violated our collective bargaining agreement (CBA) by refusing to process our class grievances related to COVID-19 response and COVID-19 attestation program, or testing mandate.

We are sharing both briefs, which are public files, on our website.

HSTA’s brief states:

The Respondents fail to put forth a valid explanation justifying its willful and egregious conduct that strikes at the heart of collective bargaining, the CBA and its grievance procedure. Without the CBA and its grievance procedure, a union stands defenseless.

The Respondents’ actions and inactions in this case represent a full-fledged attack on collective bargaining itself as they continue to operate with blatant disregard for the constitutional right to collectively bargain and the valid and enforceable contract between the HSTA and the Respondents. If allowed to refuse to process grievances or follow the CBA at their whim as they have done here, collective bargaining will be turned on its head and the future of this constitutionally protected right as we know it will undoubtedly be in question. This cannot be allowed to happen.

… the HSTA properly filed two class grievances pursuant to the CBA’s grievance procedure alleging that Respondents violated various provisions of the CBA. At each step of the grievance, the Employer refused to take action, which rendered the HSTA’s class grievances as good as dead and the CBA and its grievance procedure meaningless.

On Nov. 12, the employer filed a motion to dismiss the case, and HSTA filed its opposition on Nov. 19. Oral arguments on the motion were made before the labor board on Nov. 24.

Both parties now await the HLRB’s decision(s) on the motion to dismiss and the PPC. Please check our Member Matters email newsletter for updates on these proceedings.