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UH librarian gets promotion after arbitrator finds discrimination

By Rob Shikina

LAST UPDATED: 5:58 p.m. HST, Mar 1, 2011


The University of Hawaii's Board of Regents last week granted a university librarian a promotion with back pay after an arbitrator found administrators discriminated against for her involvement with the union, a union spokesman said today.

Vickery Lebbin, a librarian at Hamilton Library, claimed that administrator Paula Mochida voted against her promotion in 2008 and wrote a letter that included "criticism of my activities on behalf of the union," according to arbitration documents.

Arbitrator Victoria Marks, a retired Circuit Court judge, determined Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw relied on "improper" letters by Mochida and others in stopping Lebbin's application from reaching the UH Board of Regents.

"As a result, the negative comments about Lebbin are grounded in anti-union sentiment. Thus, union activity was a motivating factor in denying Lebbin's promotion," Marks wrote.

Marks said Lebbin was the only person out of 114 applicants who did not receive a promotion in 2008.

The document said a Tenure and Promotion Review Committee voted 8-to-0 in favor of Lebbin's promotion, but Hinshaw denied it. In another case, the document said, the committee voted 2-1 for an applicant with 5 abstaining, but Hinshaw approved the promotion.

Marks ordered the recommendation letters by Mochida and Hinshaw be removed from Lebbin's dossier, and the dossier be forwarded to the UH Board of Regents for consideration. 

A spokesman for the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly said the Board of Regents gave Lebbin her promotion last week.

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