STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1109-16


Honolulu, Hawaii

, 2016


RE: S.B. No. 2398

S.D. 2

H.D. 1




Honorable Joseph M. Souki

Speaker, House of Representatives

Twenty-Eighth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2016

State of Hawaii




Your Committee on Labor & Public Employment, to which was referred S.B. No. 2398, S.D. 2, entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


The purpose of this measure is to establish a collective bargaining Unit (15) for graduate student assistants employed by the University of Hawaii, thereby allowing graduate student assistants employed by the University of Hawaii to collectively bargain their wages, hours, and other terms of employment.


The University of Hawaii Professional Assembly; University of Hawaii at Manoa Graduate Student Organization; ILWU Local 142; Democratic Party of Hawaii; Hawaii Government Employees Association, AFSCME Local 152, AFL-CIO; and several individuals testified in support of this measure. The Department of Budget and Finance; Office of Collective Bargaining; and University of Hawaii System testified in opposition to this measure.


As a matter of policy, the Legislature has recognized the concerns regarding compensation, working conditions, and benefits brought forward by graduate students, who often serve as teaching assistants and graduate assistants, in the pursuit of higher education in the University of Hawaii System. The Legislature notes that there are many avenues available to the University of Hawaii far short of collective bargaining that may effectively address the graduate students' concerns and it would be most prudent for the university administration to address this issue while they are still able.


Accordingly, upon careful consideration, your Committee has amended the contents of this measure to reflect the substance of H.B. No. 1529, H.D. 1, which:


(1) Establishes a framework that would allow graduate student assistants employed by the University of Hawaii to collectively bargain without establishing a collective bargaining unit by specifying that graduate student assistants and other public employees are not barred from organizing for the purpose of collective bargaining; and


(2) Requires representatives from the University of Hawaii and representatives of bargaining units that represent the University of Hawaii System to meet and discuss the scope of negotiable items and report any findings and recommendations, including whether changes to state collective bargaining laws are necessary, to the Legislature.


Your Committee has also amended this measure by changing its effective date to July 1, 2091, to encourage further discussion.


As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Labor & Public Employment that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 2398, S.D. 2, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 2398, S.D. 2, H.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Higher Education.



Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Labor & Public Employment,