POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Feb 23, 2011
HONOLULU >>- Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie is calling for partnership and collaboration with government employee unions as he seeks to reduce their pay.
The Democratic governor wants a 5 percent reduction in public employee labor costs, which is the equivalent of one monthly furlough day. The plan would raise $88 million annually for a state budget that's short about $700 million over the next two years.
Abercrombie said in a statement Tuesday that he hopes to meet labor unions as a friend working toward a common goal when collective bargaining soon begins. He said he'll discuss mutual challenges in good faith.
Abercrombie said he plans to balance concern for the state's well-being with the ability of the government to fulfill basic needs.