`Unworthy’

July 27th, 2011
By

One of the many political subtexts of the contract fight between Gov. Neil Abercrombie and the Hawaii State Teachers Association is that the HSTA was among the public-sector unions that backed Abercrombie in his primary campaign last year.

The HSTA and the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly went with Abercrombie — a veteran labor ally — over former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann in the Democratic primary, while the Hawaii Government Employees Association and the United Public Workers sided with Hannemann.

Wil Okabe, the HSTA president, referenced that history Wednesday in a statement critical of the state’s decision to bring on a private attorney to help respond to the union’s prohibited practices complaint.

It is surprising that our Democratic Governor would hire an anti-union lawyer to represent him and the State against teachers.

The State calls Robert Katz “qualified.”  If what you want is a lawyer with a long history of anti-union activities, who fought against Local 5 and hotel housekeepers, and has sought to restrict the rights of workers to a fair union contract… then Mr. Katz is indeed well-qualified.

Mr. Katz’s website boasts of experience to help employers effectively respond to union organizing campaigns and election petitions.

This turn of events establishes a pattern that we have long wished to deny – the Governor and his administration are behaving in a way unworthy of someone who came to unions a year ago asking for and gladly taking our help.

While we certainly don’t believe that supporting candidate Abercrombie would entitle us to special treatment at the bargaining table from Governor Abercrombie, we are surprised to find ourselves facing one of Hawaii’s preeminent anti-union lawyer as we struggle to protect our Constitutional rights to fair and honest collective bargaining.

3 Responses to “`Unworthy’”

  1. Chicken Grease:

    “I’m the governor. I’m not your buddy.” Might not be the ‘zact quote, but same taste, same shmells, bruddah.

    This is what unions need to understand. Why don’t they. What they need to comprehend even more is, eh! No month’ mahney alreadies.. What needs to be understood above all? That d’a purse strings so tight nowadays that the best performers in the public sector are the ones who should get rewarded. Benchmarks. Results. Everybody’s doing it. ‘Cept for the public sector, it seems. Job for life? Check. That hasn’t changed. Great pension that’s seemingly running out of money, yet, guaranteed for public sector retirees? Check. THAT hasn’t changed. Those haven’t changed for the MANY IN PUBLIC sector jobs minus newbies coming in to work in the public sector.

    Result-based grades for these workers. Indeed. Oh!? “What if everyone performs well?” Hahahahahah, don’t make a Grease laugh; ask yourself, is that happening right now? Oh, they’ll shape up. Yeah, right.

    State has no mo’ money to wantonly pay out because of union leanings. That the state, state workers, unions, whoever thought the state had unlimited funds ever was never fair to the taxpayer. The days of limitless funds are over. They need to see that. Neil does, and a Grease is glad he voted for ”im!


  2. Guido Sarducci:

    Abercrombie = Cayetano
    2011 = 1999
    We’ve been here before.


  3. Chicken Grease:

    You know? Both sides, Governor and union . . . their aim is to serve the public; that’s what gets lost, in general and especially when “d’ese nagociations” get underway. They wanted nice compensation, they shoulda’ went to go work in the private sector. What is this “don’t turn your back on a friend” c(apola? Hello!!!!! Taxpayers’ are in the room, too . . . don’t turn your back on US, either of you.


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