§89-2  Definitions.  As used in this chapter:

     "Appropriate bargaining unit" means the unit designated to be appropriate for the purpose of collective bargaining pursuant to section 89-6.

     "Arbitration" means the procedure whereby parties involved in an impasse submit their differences to a third party, whether a single arbitrator or an arbitration panel, for an arbitration decision.  It may include mediation whereby the neutral third party is authorized to assist the parties in a voluntary resolution of the impasse.

     "Board" means the Hawaii labor relations board created pursuant to section 89-5.

     "Collective bargaining" means the performance of the mutual obligations of the public employer and an exclusive representative to meet at reasonable times, to confer and negotiate in good faith, and to execute a written agreement with respect to wages, hours, amounts of contributions by the State and counties to the Hawaii employer-union health benefits trust fund, and other terms and conditions of employment, except that by any such obligation neither party shall be compelled to agree to a proposal or be required to make a concession.  For the purposes of this definition, "wages" includes the number of incremental and longevity steps, the number of pay ranges, and the movement between steps within the pay range and between the pay ranges on a pay schedule under a collective bargaining agreement.

     "Cost items" means all items agreed to in the course of collective bargaining that an employer cannot absorb under its customary operating budgetary procedures and that require additional appropriations by its respective legislative body for implementation.

     "Day" means a calendar day unless otherwise specified.

     "Employee" or "public employee" means any person employed by a public employer, except elected and appointed officials and other employees who are excluded from coverage in section [89-6(f)].

     "Employee organization" means any organization of any kind in which public employees participate and which exists for the primary purpose of dealing with public employers concerning grievances, labor disputes, wages, hours, amounts of contributions by the State and counties to the Hawaii employer-union health benefits trust fund, and other terms and conditions of employment of public employees.

     "Employer" or "public employer" means the governor in the case of the State, the respective mayors in the case of the counties, the chief justice of the supreme court in the case of the judiciary, the board of education in the case of the department of education, the board of regents in the case of the University of Hawaii, the Hawaii health systems corporation board in the case of the Hawaii health systems corporation, and any individual who represents one of these employers or acts in their interest in dealing with public employees.  In the case of the judiciary, the administrative director of the courts shall be the employer in lieu of the chief justice for purposes which the chief justice determines would be prudent or necessary to avoid conflict.

     "Exclusive representative" means the employee organization certified by the board under section 89-8 as the collective bargaining agent to represent all employees in an appropriate bargaining unit without discrimination and without regard to employee organization membership.

     "Impasse" means failure of a public employer and an exclusive representative to achieve agreement in the course of collective bargaining.  It includes any declaration of an impasse under section 89-11.

     "Jurisdiction" means the State, the city and county of Honolulu, the county of Hawaii, the county of Maui, the county of Kauai, the judiciary, and the Hawaii health systems corporation.

     "Legislative body" means the legislature in the case of the State, including the judiciary, the department of education, the University of Hawaii, and the Hawaii health systems corporation; the city council, in the case of the city and county of Honolulu; and the respective county councils, in the case of the counties of Hawaii, Maui, and Kauai.

     "Mediation" means assistance by a neutral third party to resolve an impasse between the public employer and the exclusive representative through interpretation, suggestion, and advice.

     "Strike" means a public employee's refusal, in concerted action with others, to report for duty, or the employee's wilful absence from the employee's position, or the employee's stoppage of work, or the employee's abstinence in whole or in part from the full, faithful, and proper performance of the duties of employment, for the purpose of inducing, influencing, or coercing a change in the conditions, compensation, rights, privileges, or obligations of public employment; and except in the case of absences authorized by public employers, includes such refusal, absence, stoppage, or abstinence by any public employee out of sympathy or support for any other public employee who is on strike or because of the presence of any picket line maintained by any other public employee; provided that, nothing herein shall limit or impair the right of any public employee to express or communicate a complaint or opinion on any matter related to the conditions of employment. [L 1970, c 171, pt of §2; am L 1977, c 159, §16; am L 1980, c 252, §1; am L 1981, c 180, §2; am L 1984, c 254, §3; am L 1985, c 251, §3; gen ch 1985; am L 2000, c 253, §93; am L 2001, c 90, §8; am L 2002, c 232, §5; am L 2005, c 245, §§3, 8; am L 2007, c 294, §2; am L Sp 2008, c 5, §1; am L 2010, c 106, §2; am L 2011, c 43, §1]


Attorney General Opinions


  Cost items are those that require new or additional appropriation for implementation.  Att. Gen. Op. 72-10.


Case Notes


  Dates upon which plaintiffs were paid not a "cost item" as that term is defined in this section.  125 F. Supp. 2d 1237.

  "Impasse" means failure after good-faith negotiations.  56 H. 85, 528 P.2d 809.

  Though designated as an "incumbent" employee, plaintiff was "essential employee" where plaintiff:  (1) received notice by same means as essential employee; (2) was prohibited from striking; and (3) was subject to discipline for not working if scheduled to work during a strike.  87 H. 191, 953 P.2d 569.

  Where plaintiffs failed to demonstrate that bargaining over pay dates was one of the core subjects of collective bargaining that triggers a violation of article XIII, §2 of the Hawaii constitution, and failed to provide the supreme court with their collective bargaining agreement to support their contention that pay dates are bargainable, and these pay dates were not specifically incorporated into their contract, the Act 355, L 1997 amendment to §78-13 to unilaterally alter the "traditional practice" of being paid on the fifteenth day and last day of the month did not violate their right to collectively bargain pay periods.  111 H. 168, 140 P.3d 401.