July 26th, 2011

The state Attorney General’s office is turning to a private attorney who represented the University of Hawaii when it tried to implement its “last, best and final” contract offer on faculty in 2010 to help defend the state’s decision to implement a similar offer on teachers.

The AG has asked for a procurement exemption to pay $50,000 to Robert Katz, who the state says has unique expertise. Katz represented UH when it sought to implement a new contract after negotiations with faculty had stalled, a move challenged by the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly.

A court never decided whether UH had the right to implement the contract because the two sides reached a settlement.

Labor experts have said the state’s decision to implement its “last, best and final” offer on the Hawaii State Teachers Association could lead to a precedent-setting legal ruling.

The AG’s office, in its procurement exemption request on Monday, acknowledged the unique nature of the issue.

In our department’s memory, the only other time this issue was the center of a controversy was when UHPA sued the State (UH) and in that case Mr. Katz was the lead attorney representing the State.

3 Responses to “Expertise”

  1. Kolea:

    Wow, this choice says a lot about how low the administration has sunk. For friends of Labor, no Hawaii law firm has been regarded as more anti-worker over the past few decades than Torkildson, Jossem & Katz.

    Remember when Neil told the unions, “I am not your pal”? Or his famous, to the point, “F*** You!” letter? Well, here’s that message one more time, in ALL CAPS.

    (But, on a personal note, it is good to see the Governor has a new pal, to replace the old ones.)

  2. Chicken Grease:

    Niiiiiice to see the public school teachers on the ropes. What are they afraid of? If their lessons, if their ways and means are so righteous, if they allow their professionality to trump union rooolez, then, they should be more than willing to allow performance-based guidelines to determine their pay or if they get to keep their job (this goes for UH profs, too).

    The kids can’t learn? They’re aren’t doing their job well enough, you ask a Grease. Some of these teachers need to learn to kick out their “I get paid whether you kids learn or not” mentality (or mantra “taught” by their own union to chant?).

    Neil’s doing the right thing. Give it to ‘em, Gov’. Teach ‘em a lesson.

  3. Goober:

    Someone should,
    Stand Tough For Understanding.

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