Maui Business

AGREEMENT REACHED: for Maui Hospital Transition

August 12, 2016, 12:18 PM HST
* Updated August 15, 1:34 PM
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Maui hospital agreement reached.

Maui hospital agreement reached.

An agreement between the administration and the United Public Workers Union has been reached, allowing the Maui hospital to reengage in the transition process with Kaiser.

In making the announcement this afternoon, Governor David Ige said, “The agreement provides certainty to the people of Maui that they will continue to have access to high quality health care.”

He called it the “most complex transaction that the state has ever entered into.”

The state and UPW will jointly ask the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to lift its injunction and dismiss UPW’s lawsuits.

A few of the highlights from today’s announcement include the following:

  • The Maui Region Hospitals will be transferred from Hawaii Health Systems Corp. management to Kaiser not earlier than Nov. 6, 2016.
  • The Maui Region hospitals will be operated and managed exclusively by Kaiser.
  • UPW and bargaining unit employees will work under Kaiser supervision and direction, and will still be covered by the UPW collective bargaining agreements until those agreements expire on June 30, 2017.
  • Kaiser will offer to hire UPW employees for a period of 6 months, starting on July 1, 2017.
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UPW represents about 536 employees.

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The settlement agreement sought to resolve UPW’s lawsuit and class grievance against the state.

According to the Governor’s office, the union had sought to ensure that the collective bargaining agreement with the state was honored during the transition from state control to Maui Health System, a Kaiser Foundation Hospitals LLC (Kaiser).

The governor notes that while the transfer of the hospital management has been secured, some related issues remain. “In particular, the Hawai‘i Government Employees’ Association did not join the UPW lawsuit. Instead, the union requested severance and retirement benefits for its employees through SB 2077, which was passed during the 2016 regular session.”  Gov. Ige ended up vetoeing the measure based upon legal and fiscal concerns and offered a compromise measure, but the legislature subsequently overrode his veto, resulting in Act 1, Special Session 2016.

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“I pledged to work out an agreement with UPW because we need to honor our commitments to the Maui Region hospital employees. I am hopeful that we can reach a similar agreement for employees in those facilities who are represented by HGEA,” said Ige.

Maui Region Board chair Avery Chumbley expressed optimism earlier this week that the agreement was near.

At the time, he said if the injunction is lifted, Chumbley estimated that it may take eight weeks or more to go through the final process which involves technical training of staff in medical systems and equipment.

Full text of the settlement agreement is available HERE.

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