HSTA Files Against 'Take-It-Or-Leave-It' Tactics

The Hawaii State Teachers Association on Friday filed a formal complaint against Gov. Neil Abercrombie's collective bargaining team, citing bullying at the bargaining table and unsavory "take-it-or-leave-it" tactics, among others.

The union filed the 37-page legal challenge with the Hawaii Labor Relations board late Friday afternoon, two weeks after Abercrombie and Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi unilaterally imposed new employment terms on the state's 12,500 teachers.

The union lists several complaints against Abercrombie, Matayoshi, Hawaii State Board of Education Chairman Don Horner and other negotiators. Among the accusations:

  • Abercrombie established statewide employment policies through the Legislature — a practice that in the past has been ruled unconstitutional by the Hawaii Supreme Court;
  • Abercrombie and Matayoshi engaged in "unlawful direct dealing" with teachers after the union rejected the state's proposal;
  • Abercrombie unilaterally reneged on a former agreement about teachers' contributions to their state health benefit plans;
  • State negotiators prematurely declared an impasse on collective bargaining;
  • State negotiators repeatedly threatened the union with a significant budget cut from the Legislature if the state's terms were not accepted.
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