Union is a roadblock to better health care on Maui

We cannot have complete health care on Maui. Make no mistake, this is completely about Oahu keeping Maui medical money.

Banner Health would allow us to have complete health care on Maui. Our nurses and other hospital staff would have the pay, education and benefits they deserve. Banner is not union friendly. I find that good, as the Hawaii Government Employees Association is not Maui-worker friendly. HGEA also does not care about Maui patients.

To look at the big picture, you must sometimes dissect the picture piece by piece. Today I will discuss the union.

Let’s focus on the executive director of the HGEA. While he tries hard to hide his salary, it was $90,906 as of 2008, the last year I can find figures for. He has fought hard to cover up access to information about public employee salaries.

The HGEA executive director uses scare tactics within the union to make members fear Banner Health. This helps the Oahu HGEA workers. So, Maui union workers, think about this: The executive director is sending your jobs to Oahu. He enables Oahu HGEA workers to have enough patients. He doesn’t care about the health of Maui patients, which includes all Maui HGEA workers.

The HGEA executive director is extremely entrenched in Oahu politics, having huge conflicts of interest. Sadly, he is also on the “‘Task Farce’ to Reform the State Health Planning and Development Agency.” These are the people who block us from improving health care on Maui.

Jan Shields

Kahana / San Marcos, Calif.