REPORT TITLE:
Labor Task Force

DESCRIPTION:
Establish a representative task force to conduct a comprehensive
review of Chapter 76, 77, and 89, Hawaii Revised Statutes.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                        
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES                H.B. NO.142        
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            
                                                             
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                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT

RELATING TO PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT.



BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 1      SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that the State's
 
 2 continuing financial crisis has created substantial uncertainty
 
 3 for state and county employees and managers, as well as
 
 4 taxpayers, resulting in layoffs of many state and county
 
 5 employees while vacant positions continue to go unfilled.  As a
 
 6 result, many proposals affecting benefits, employment conditions,
 
 7 and other matters regarding state and county employees have come
 
 8 before the legislature.
 
 9      The State's financial condition has both required and
 
10 facilitated a refocus on principles of productivity, efficiency,
 
11 and morale encouragement in the state and county workforce.
 
12      Most state statutory provisions relating to public officers
 
13 and employees are set forth in title 7, Hawaii Revised Statutes
 
14 (HRS).  In addition, most of the chapters in title 7, including
 
15 chapter 76, the State's civil service law, and chapter 89, the
 
16 State's pioneering collective bargaining law, are now several
 
17 decades old.
 
18      Over the years, many questions and issues have arisen with
 
19 respect to title 7.  For example, chapters 76, 77, and 89's
 
20 mandate of uniformity among the State and the various counties
 

 
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 1 may no longer be applicable given the growth in public employment
 
 2 and diversity of needs and resources among public jurisdictions.
 
 3      Costly disputes between public employers and exclusive
 
 4 representatives with respect to the intent, scope, and
 
 5 implementation of various chapters in title 7 are increasing.
 
 6 There is increasing confusion over when and under what
 
 7 circumstances chapter 89 takes precedence over other statutes and
 
 8 legislative prerogatives.
 
 9      Many of an increasing number of grievances go to
 
10 arbitration, where a single individual may serve as arbitrator
 
11 and make decisions of far-reaching import to public employers and
 
12 employees and to the taxpayers.
 
13      Title 7 provides frequently insufficient clarification of
 
14 many related questions, issues, and disputes, such as, with
 
15 respect to chapter 89, what constitutes a negotiable issue and
 
16 what positions should be excluded from coverage in collective
 
17 bargaining units.
 
18      More flexibility may be needed by the State to conduct its
 
19 operations more efficiently and effectively.
 
20      These and other title 7 issues may restrict the
 
21 implementation of broader state goals with respect to the budget
 
22 crisis and to the institution of sound state management and
 
23 fiscal policies.
 

 
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 1      The legislature believes that a comprehensive review of
 
 2 title 7 is necessary to ensure that:
 
 3      (1)  The rights of public employees are being fully
 
 4           protected;
 
 5      (2)  Public employees are being treated equally and with
 
 6           fairness; and
 
 7      (3)  The State possesses the management flexibility and
 
 8           efficiency necessary to adjust fully to difficult
 
 9           economic times, and to implement desired administrative
 
10           changes.
 
11      The legislature also believes that during these difficult
 
12 economic times, a comprehensive review of title 7 and its
 
13 implementation by all affected parties in the spirit of
 
14 cooperation and consensus-building is timely and in the public
 
15 interest.
 
16      The purpose of this Act is to establish a representative
 
17 task force to conduct a comprehensive review of the scope,
 
18 implementation, efficiency, and effectiveness of title 7, HRS, to
 
19 seek consensus on necessary or appropriate changes, and to report
 
20 back to the legislature prior to the 2000 session.
 
21      SECTION 2.  (a)  There is established, within the
 
22 legislative reference bureau for administrative purposes, a task
 
23 force comprising various members from the public and private
 
24 sector to comprehensively review title 7, HRS.
 

 
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 1      (b)  The task force's review shall include but not be
 
 2 limited to:
 
 3      (1)  The advisability of continuing to mandate uniformity
 
 4           among the State and counties and maintaining the
 
 5           requirement that these jurisdictions act in concert and
 
 6           decide by majority vote matters pertaining to wages,
 
 7           hours, and conditions of employment;
 
 8      (2)  A review of the intent and implementation of the
 
 9           precedential language of various chapters in title 7,
 
10           in particular, the relationship of the section to other
 
11           statutes and to the legislative prerogative;
 
12      (3)  The impact of title 7 and its implementation on the
 
13           efficient operation of state government, management
 
14           flexibility in the conduct of public employer
 
15           operations, and the role of seniority and the merit
 
16           principle in the civil service system as mandated by
 
17           article XVI of the Hawaii State Constitution; 
 
18      (4)  The scope of collective bargaining negotiations under
 
19           chapter 89, with a detailed examination of what
 
20           constitutes a negotiable issue;
 
21      (5)  An examination of the issue of positions to be properly
 
22           excluded from, and included in, collective bargaining
 
23           units, and the impact on the declaration of essential
 
24           positions during legal strikes;
 

 
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 1      (6)  The qualifications of individuals selected to arbitrate
 
 2           labor-management disputes under the provisions of
 
 3           chapter 89;
 
 4      (7)  The projected effect of judicial decisions including
 
 5           those cited in this Act on the implementation of title
 
 6           7 and on other related statutes and the options
 
 7           available to provide clear public policy decisions;
 
 8      (8)  The advisability of repealing mandatory arbitration and
 
 9           reenacting the right to strike;
 
10      (9)  Clarification or shifting of responsibility for
 
11           establishing and confirming cost or non-cost items;
 
12     (10)  Shifting health benefits administration to the
 
13           employees' retirement system; and
 
14     (11)  Legislative proposals to implement recommendations.
 
15     (c)  The task force shall be composed of eighteen members, as
 
16 follows:
 
17     (1)   One representative from each of the six public employee
 
18           unions;
 
19     (2)   One representative from each of the four county
 
20           governments;
 
21     (3)   Two representatives for excluded workers, as referenced
 
22           in section 89-6(c), HRS, to be appointed by the
 
23           governor;
 

 
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 1     (4)   Two representatives designated by the speaker of the
 
 2           house;
 
 3     (5)   Two representatives designated by the senate president;
 
 4           and
 
 5     (6)   Two representatives designated by the governor.
 
 6     (d)  The task force shall be fully designated and constituted
 
 7 by no later than thirty days after the effective date of this
 
 8 Act.
 
 9     (e)  In conducting this review, the task force shall operate
 
10 in good faith and with the goal of reaching consensus and, where
 
11 consensus is not possible, to identify the competing viewpoints
 
12 and goals and associated proposals so that the legislature may be
 
13 fully advised of the full range of policy choices presented.
 
14     (f)  The task force shall submit a report of its findings and
 
15 recommendations, including specific proposed constitutional or
 
16 statutory changes if applicable, to the legislature no later than
 
17 twenty days before the beginning of the regular session of 2000.
 
18     (g)  The task force shall cease to exist on June 30, 2000.
 
19     SECTION 3.  This Act shall take effect upon its approval.
 
20 
 
21                           INTRODUCED BY:_________________________
 

 
 
 
 
 
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