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UH faculty paychecks reduced almost 7 percent

January 16, 2010
The Maui News

HONOLULU (AP) - University of Hawaii professors on Friday received paychecks that were reduced by almost 7 percent, according to the labor union that represents them.

J.N. Musto, executive director of the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly, said in a statement that its members paychecks were 6.7 percent lower than usual.

Union spokesman Nathan Hokama said professors had contacted union officials to report the lower paychecks.

A university spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment.

The university's actions follow recent declarations by President M.R.C. Greenwood that pay cuts would be imposed in order to help the institution stabilize its finances. Gov. Linda Lingle ordered cuts to university funding over the last year to help close the state's budget gap.

The union's contract with UH expired late last year, but union officials contend a provision keeps it in force until a new agreement is reached.

''We believe playing by the rules and honoring your word is important in collective bargaining,'' Musto said in the statement.

Greenwood has contended the old contract is no longer in force.

After she announced earlier this month that paychecks would be unilaterally reduced, the union filed papers on Jan. 7 with the state Circuit Court requesting a temporary restraining order to block the pay cuts.

Musto said the court has not yet responded.

''We have faith in the justice system,'' he added. ''We will continue to pursue redress from the courts for this action by the UH administration.''

Greenwood has said the university will oppose the union's request for a court order halting the cuts.

The union represent about 3,600 faculty members who teach at the UH system's 10 campuses.



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