Hawaii teachers union takes labor dispute to Supreme Court

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August 31, 2011

By Tyler Millhouse

Honolulu, Hawaii: On August 29, the Hawaii State Teachers Association asked the State Supreme Court for a writ of mandamus ordering the Hawaii Labor Relations Board to rule on the Association's petition. The petition asks that the teachers' original, pre-July 1 contract be reinstated.[1]

In late June, Governor Neil Abercrombie (D) abandoned negotiations (effective July 1) and imposed the state's "last, best and final offer," citing a deadlock with the union. Although the move is permissible under federal law when negotiations have reached an impasse, the union challenged this characterization and filed a complaint against the Governor for engaging in prohibited practices. On August 15, after a struggle over how to resume negotiations, the union filed a separate ethics complaint against the Abercrombie for contacting the HLRB directly with his appeal for mediated talks.[2][3][4]

The HLRB's proceedings in the dispute are expected to resume on Tuesday. The HSTA's Supreme Court petition can be found here. (dead link)[1]

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