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DATELINE: July 15, 2016, Honolulu, Hawaii
CONTACT: Kelsey Meehan, (808) 591-9193,kmeehan@grassrootinstitute.org

State lawmakers to return Monday to discuss wasteful $25 million union deal


Grassroot Institute President Dr. Keli’i Akina available for interviews on why Hawaii taxpayers shouldn’t foot the bill for redundant payouts.

HONOLULU, HAWAII — (July 15, 2016) — Legislators will convene on Monday, July 18th for a special session to determine whether $25 million in severance pay will be paid to union employees transitioning to new employment in a private hospital system.

Grassroot Institute President Dr. Keli’i Akina is available to comment on why this is a bad idea, and why taxpayers should not be forced to make redundant payouts.

“Hawaii taxpayers should not be forced to pay an extra $25 million for this union deal. The law requires Kaiser to rehire existing workers and retain them for at least 6 months,” Akina said. “This is not a situation in which thousands of workers are losing their jobs and need help making it through tough times. Their jobs are intact, and legally more secure now than before. This is an extravagant waste of taxpayer dollars at a time when the state faces significant financial burdens.”

Grassroot Institute’s take on SB 2077:

  • The Maui Hospital transition will continue whether the veto stands or not. Why should Hawaii taxpayers be on the hook for $25 million – or any other amount – of unnecessary costs?
  • Kaiser Permanente, as new management, will pay most employees salaries or wages equal to or higher than what they are presently paid by HHSC. [1]
  • Kaiser offered 1,538 jobs to HHSC Maui Region employees, of which 95 percent accepted. [2]
  • A large majority of HHSC’s Maui Region employees will not face economic hardships, according to Governor Ige.

[1] http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2016/bills/GM1338_.PDF
[2] http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2016/bills/GM1338_.PDF