§89-11 Resolution of disputes; impasses. (a) A public employer and an exclusive representative may enter, at any time, into a written agreement setting forth an alternate impasse procedure culminating in an arbitration decision pursuant to subsection (f), to be invoked in the event of an impasse over the terms of an initial or renewed agreement. The alternate impasse procedure shall specify whether the parties desire an arbitrator or arbitration panel, how the neutral arbitrator is to be selected or the name of the person whom the parties desire to be appointed as the neutral arbitrator, and other details regarding the issuance of an arbitration decision. When an impasse exists, the parties shall notify the board if they have agreed on an alternate impasse procedure. The board shall permit the parties to proceed with their procedure and assist at times and to the extent requested by the parties in their procedure. In the absence of an alternate impasse procedure, the board shall assist in the resolution of the impasse at times and in the manner prescribed in subsection (d) or (e), as the case may be. If the parties subsequently agree on an alternate impasse procedure, the parties shall notify the board. The board shall immediately discontinue the procedures initiated pursuant to subsection (d) or (e) and permit the parties to proceed with their procedure.
(b) An impasse during the term of a collective bargaining agreement on reopened items or items regarding a supplemental agreement shall not be subject to the impasse procedures in this section. The parties may mutually agree on an impasse procedure, but if the procedure culminates in an arbitration decision, the decision shall be pursuant to subsection (f).
(c) An impasse over the terms of an initial or renewed agreement and the date of impasse shall be as follows:
(1) More than ninety days after written notice by either party to initiate negotiations, either party may give written notice to the board that an impasse exists. The date on which the board receives notice shall be the date of impasse; and
(2) If neither party gives written notice of an impasse and there are unresolved issues on January 31 of a year in which the agreement is due to expire, the board shall declare on January 31 that an impasse exists and February 1 shall be the date of impasse.
(d) If an impasse exists between a public employer and the exclusive bargaining representative of bargaining unit (1), nonsupervisory employees in blue collar positions; bargaining unit (5), teachers and other personnel of the department of education; or bargaining unit (7), faculty of the University of Hawaii and the community college system, the board shall assist in the resolution of the impasse as follows:
(1) Voluntary mediation. During the first twenty days of the date of impasse, either party may request the board to assist in a voluntary resolution of the impasse by appointing a mediator or mediators, representative of the public from a list of qualified persons maintained by the board;
(2) Mediation. If the impasse continues more than twenty days, the board shall appoint a mediator or mediators representative of the public from a list of qualified persons maintained by the board, to assist the parties in a voluntary resolution of the impasse. The board may compel the parties to attend mediation, reasonable in time and frequency, until the fiftieth day of impasse. Thereafter, mediation shall be elective with the parties, subject to the approval of the board;
(3) Report of the board. The board shall promptly report to the appropriate legislative body or bodies the following circumstances as each occurs:
(A) The date of a tentative agreement and whether the terms thereof are confidential between the parties;
(B) The ratification or failure of ratification of a tentative agreement;
(C) The signing of a tentative agreement;
(D) The terms of a tentative agreement; or
(E) On or about the fiftieth day of impasse, the failure of mediation.
The parties shall provide the board with the requisite information; and
(4) After the fiftieth day of impasse, the parties may resort to such other remedies that are not prohibited by any agreement pending between them, other provisions of this chapter, or any other law.
(e) If an impasse exists between a public employer and the exclusive representative of bargaining unit (2), supervisory employees in blue collar positions; bargaining unit (3), nonsupervisory employees in white collar positions; bargaining unit (4), supervisory employees in white collar positions; bargaining unit (6), educational officers and other personnel of the department of education under the same salary schedule; bargaining unit (8), personnel of the University of Hawaii and the community college system, other than faculty; bargaining unit (9), registered professional nurses; bargaining unit (10), institutional, health, and correctional workers; bargaining unit (11), firefighters; bargaining unit (12), police officers; bargaining unit (13), professional and scientific employees; bargaining unit (14), state law enforcement officers; or bargaining unit (15), state and county ocean safety and water safety officers, the board shall assist in the resolution of the impasse as follows:
(1) Mediation. During the first twenty days after the date of impasse, the board shall immediately appoint a mediator, representative of the public from a list of qualified persons maintained by the board, to assist the parties in a voluntary resolution of the impasse.
(2) Arbitration. If the impasse continues twenty days after the date of impasse, the board shall immediately notify the employer and the exclusive representative that the impasse shall be submitted to a three-member arbitration panel who shall follow the arbitration procedure provided herein.
(A) Arbitration panel. Two members of the arbitration panel shall be selected by the parties; one shall be selected by the employer and one shall be selected by the exclusive representative. The neutral third member of the arbitration panel, who shall chair the arbitration panel, shall be selected by mutual agreement of the parties. In the event that the parties fail to select the neutral third member of the arbitration panel within thirty days from the date of impasse, the board shall request the American Arbitration Association, or its successor in function, to furnish a list of five qualified and experienced interest arbitrators from which the neutral arbitrator shall be selected. Within five days after receipt of the list, the parties shall alternately strike names from the list until a single name is left, who shall be immediately appointed by the board as the neutral arbitrator and chairperson of the arbitration panel.
(B) Final positions. Upon the selection and appointment of the arbitration panel, each party shall submit to the panel, in writing, with copy to the other party, a final position that shall include all provisions in any existing collective bargaining agreement not being modified, all provisions already agreed to in negotiations, and all further provisions that each party is proposing for inclusion in the final agreement; provided that such further provisions shall be limited to those specific proposals that were submitted in writing to the other party and were the subject of collective bargaining between the parties up to the time of the impasse, including those specific proposals that the parties have decided to include through a written mutual agreement. The arbitration panel shall decide whether final positions are compliant with this provision and which proposals may be considered for inclusion in the final agreement.
(C) Arbitration hearing. Within one hundred twenty days of its appointment, the arbitration panel shall commence a hearing at which time the parties may submit, either in writing or through oral testimony, all information or data supporting their respective final positions. The arbitrator, or the chairperson of the arbitration panel together with the other two members, are encouraged to assist the parties in a voluntary resolution of the impasse through mediation, to the extent practicable throughout the entire arbitration period until the date the panel is required to issue its arbitration decision.
(D) Arbitration decision. Within thirty days after the conclusion of the hearing, a majority of the arbitration panel shall reach a decision pursuant to subsection (f) on all provisions that each party proposed in its respective final position for inclusion in the final agreement and transmit a preliminary draft of its decision to the parties. The parties shall review the preliminary draft for completeness, technical correctness, and clarity and may mutually submit to the panel any desired changes or adjustments that shall be incorporated in the final draft of its decision. Within fifteen days after the transmittal of the preliminary draft, a majority of the arbitration panel shall issue the arbitration decision.
(f) An arbitration panel in reaching its decision shall give weight to the following factors and shall include in its written report or decision an explanation of how the factors were taken into account:
(1) The lawful authority of the employer, including the ability of the employer to use special funds only for authorized purposes or under specific circumstances because of limitations imposed by federal or state laws or county ordinances, as the case may be;
(2) Stipulations of the parties;
(3) The interests and welfare of the public;
(4) The financial ability of the employer to meet these costs; provided that the employer's ability to fund cost items shall not be predicated on the premise that the employer may increase or impose new taxes, fees, or charges, or develop other sources of revenues;
(5) The present and future general economic condition of the counties and the State;
(6) Comparison of wages, hours, and conditions of employment of the employees involved in the arbitration proceeding with the wages, hours, and conditions of employment of other persons performing similar services, and of other state and county employees in Hawaii;
(7) The average consumer prices for goods or services, commonly known as the cost of living;
(8) The overall compensation presently received by the employees, including direct wage compensation, vacation, holidays and excused time, insurance and pensions, medical and hospitalization benefits, the continuity and stability of employment, and all other benefits received;
(9) Changes in any of the foregoing circumstances during the pendency of the arbitration proceedings; and
(10) Such other factors, not confined to the foregoing, which are normally or traditionally taken into consideration in the determination of wages, hours, and conditions of employment through voluntary collective bargaining, mediation, arbitration, or otherwise between the parties, in the public service or in private employment.
(g) The decision of the arbitration panel shall be final and binding upon the parties on all provisions submitted to the arbitration panel. If the parties have reached agreement with respect to the amounts of contributions by the State and counties to the Hawaii employer-union health benefits trust fund by the tenth working day after the arbitration panel issues its decision, the final and binding agreement of the parties on all provisions shall consist of the panel's decision and the amounts of contributions agreed to by the parties. If the parties have not reached agreement with respect to the amounts of contributions by the State and counties to the Hawaii employer-union health benefits trust fund by the close of business on the tenth working day after the arbitration panel issues its decision, the parties shall have five days to submit their respective recommendations for such contributions to the legislature, if it is in session, and if the legislature is not in session, the parties shall submit their respective recommendations for such contributions to the legislature during the next session of the legislature. In such event, the final and binding agreement of the parties on all provisions shall consist of the panel's decision and the amounts of contributions established by the legislature by enactment, after the legislature has considered the recommendations for such contributions by the parties. It is strictly understood that no member of a bargaining unit subject to this subsection shall be allowed to participate in a strike on the issue of the amounts of contributions by the State and counties to the Hawaii employer-union health benefits trust fund. The parties shall take whatever action is necessary to carry out and effectuate the final and binding agreement. The parties may, at any time and by mutual agreement, amend or modify the panel's decision.
Agreements reached pursuant to the decision of an arbitration panel and the amounts of contributions by the State and counties to the Hawaii employer-union health benefits trust fund, as provided herein, shall not be subject to ratification by the employees concerned. All items requiring any moneys for implementation shall be subject to appropriations by the appropriate legislative bodies and the employer shall submit all such items within ten days after the date on which the agreement is entered into as provided herein, to the appropriate legislative bodies.
(h) Any time frame provided in an impasse procedure, whether an alternate procedure or the procedures in this section, may be modified by mutual agreement of the parties. In the absence of a mutual agreement to modify time frames, any delay, failure, or refusal by either party to participate in the impasse procedure shall not be permitted to halt or otherwise delay the process, unless the board so orders due to an unforeseeable emergency. The process shall commence or continue as though all parties were participating.
(i) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the parties from reaching a voluntary settlement on the unresolved issues at any time prior to the issuance of an arbitration decision.
(j) The costs and expenses for mediation provided under subsection (d) or (e) shall be borne by the board. The costs and expenses for any other services performed by neutrals pursuant to mutual agreement of the parties and the costs for a neutral arbitrator shall be borne equally by the parties. All other costs incurred by either party in complying with this section, including the costs of its selected member on the arbitration panel, shall be borne by the party incurring them. [L 1970, c 171, pt of §2; am L 1978, c 108, §1; am L 1984, c 75, §1, c 219, §1, and c 254, §2; am L 1985, c 251, §5; gen ch 1985, 1993; am L 1995, c 202, §1 and c 208, §1; am L 2000, c 253, §100; am L 2001, c 90, §9; am L 2002, c 189, §1 and c 232, §3; am L Sp 2003, c 6, §1; am L 2004, c 10, §5; am L 2013, c 137, §4; am L 2014, c 75, §1; am L 2019, c 231, §2; am L 2020, c 31, §2]
Attorney General Opinions
Ombudsman has no jurisdiction over employee complaints covered by collective bargaining agreements. Att. Gen. Op. 73-6.
Law Journals and Reviews
Public Employee Arbitration in Hawaii, A Study in Erosion. 2 UH L. Rev. 477.
Before board, on own motion, can declare that an impasse exists, it must determine that the party claiming impasse has been negotiating in good faith. 56 H. 85, 528 P.2d 809.
Based on plain language of section and collective bargaining agreement grievance procedure, plaintiff needed to pursue any claims arising from the agreement in the administrative forum rather than in circuit court. 92 H. 268, 990 P.2d 1150.
Where employee was not the exclusive representative of an appropriate bargaining unit and, thus, subsection (a) did not confer any right to submit employee's dispute to an agreed procedure or to the board for a final and binding decision, the board was correct in dismissing employee's claim, and there was no §89-13(a)(7) prohibited practice refusal or failure to comply with chapter 89 by the employer. 97 H. 528, 40 P.3d 930.
Where arbitration between the State and union representing state employees was statutorily mandated arbitration pursuant to subsection (e), and not a voluntary agreement to arbitrate, the Hawaii labor relations board had original jurisdiction over the parties' dispute pursuant to §89-14; circuit court did not have jurisdiction pursuant to chapter 658A because that chapter was inapplicable. 134 H. 489, 345 P.3d 155 (2015).
Subsection (a) does not limit the Hawaii labor relations board's authority to intervene when a party commits a prohibited practice by refusing to comply with the alternative impasse procedure. 132 H. 492 (App.), 323 P.3d 136 (2014).
Where neither the government-employee union (union) nor the government employers challenged the terms of the arbitration award or sought to invalidate the arbitration award and where the union filed a motion in circuit court to confirm the arbitration award, the issues raised on appeal by the union relating to the selection of the neutral arbitrator were moot. However, the issues of whether the Hawaii labor relations board (board) or the circuit court had original jurisdiction to resolve the dispute over the selection of the neutral arbitrator and whether the board exceeded its authority in issuing its order for interlocutory relief fell within the public interest exception to the mootness doctrine. 132 H. 492 (App.), 323 P.3d 136 (2014).
Where the government-employee union's (union) claim that the government employers violated the terms of the arbitration award by failing to meet and confer as required by the arbitration award involved a controversy concerning prohibited practices, the Hawaii labor relations board had exclusive original jurisdiction over the claims raised in the union's motion for civil contempt, and the circuit court lacked jurisdiction to decide the motion for civil contempt. 132 H. 492 (App.), 323 P.3d 136 (2014).
Where the parties' actions precluded the arbitration from commencing on the date agreed upon under a memorandum of agreement and threatened the timely resolution of the impasse, the Hawaii labor relations board did not abuse its discretion in facilitating a timely resolution of the parties' stalemate in selecting a neutral arbitrator by having the American Arbitration Association select the neutral arbitrator. 132 H. 492 (App.), 323 P.3d 136 (2014).
Where the parties' claims regarding their dispute over the selection of a neutral arbitrator, as alleged in their prohibited practice complaints, clearly involved a controversy concerning prohibited practices, the Hawaii labor relations board had exclusive original jurisdiction to determine the controversy concerning the selection of the neutral arbitrator. 132 H. 492 (App.), 323 P.3d 136 (2014).