Trouble in Paradise?

I don’t know for a fact that the collective bargaining agreement between the Hawaii State Teachers Association and its employees is about to expire, but circumstantial evidence suggests that it’s that time of year.

Suddenly this week, HSTA’s staff union made four complaints to the National Labor Relations Board. HSTA management is accused of unilateral changes to the contract and in the terms and conditions of employment, coercive actions and statements, and “refusal to furnish information.”

The latter charge is usually employed in an effort to get comprehensive data from management about the union’s financial status, so the staff union can make informed salary and benefit demands during negotiations.

Similar to NEA affiliates in California and Washington, HSTA rode out the post-recession years reasonably well, so I expect the same result: differences papered over with cash. These are all agency fee states, however, so the entente cordiale may be short-lived.

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