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Come to State Convention!
Collective Bargaining
Report of the Nominating Committee
From the President (Melvia Kawashima)
League Self-Study
Proposed State Program 1975-77
Proposed State Budget and Goals 1975-77
Action Classified Directory

Collective Bargaining

Personnel costs make up 85% of the total state budget. A major reason for this high percentage, of course, is that government generally provides services, and people are needed to deliver services. These personnel costs include salary, retirement plan, health plans, vacation, and sick leave. Since the proposed 1976 budget is three times the amount 10 years ago, an obvious place for government to take a hard look is at the government employee sector. This sector will be the focus of the Personnel Costs Panel at the State Convention May 16 and 17. The following is some background information on, collective bargaining, taken from the CORE (Governor's Ad Hoc Commission on Operations, Revenues & Expenditures) Report.

Collective Bargaining. Approximately 35,000 employees in state and county governments are covered by the collective bargaining law. There are 13 bargaining units. About 4,000 employees are excluded from collective bargaining units, of which 2,600 are part-time workers -- largely student helpers. Actually about 1,400 state officers and employees are excluded from collective bargaining by the law. Eleven of the 13 units include both state and county employees, while the policemen and firemen are in units for county employees' only.

Wage increases during the period 1972-74 ranged from 11.3% for firefighters to 29.3% for Department of Education educational officers on a 12-month schedule, which was the highest among the 13 bargaining units. The UH faculty are still negotiating an agreement, Among the 6 Units with agreements through 1976, the 1974-1976 percentage increase ranged from 7 to 14%

Legislative appropriations for collective bargaining agreements for the 1973-75 biennium totaled $85.7 million, which included $9.9 million for retroactive increases for fiscal year 1973. $72.6 million was to come from the general fund.

In some instances, the wage and salary increases were in lieu of incremental or longevity step increases; in others, they were in addition to incremental steps.

Legislative approval is limited to cost items defined as wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment, the implementation of which requires an appropriation by the legislature. If rejected, all cost items are returned to the parties for further bargaining.

How do public employees fare? Generally, government tends to pay more than the private sector for white collar and low skill blue collar jobs and less for skilled blue collar and top executive posts. Government pay increases have kept pace with the rest of the economy. The private sector has determined that the growth in productivity matches the growth in compensation. This comparison has not been made in the public sectors

CORE recommends: The prevailing wage principle, based on the private and federal government sectors in Hawaii, should be used in setting and negotiating compensation levels.

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