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Hawaii County strikes 2-year deal with HGEA

A single monthly furlough day amounts to a 4.6 percent pay cut, and workers keep their 40 percent share of medical insurance costs

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 9:16 a.m. HST, Jul 15, 2011

Hawaii County has reached a new two-year agreement with the Hawaii Government Employees Association that continues a scaled-down county furlough program to save an estimated $2.1 million per year, according to Mayor Billy Kenoi.

The agreement calls for HGEA members to accept furloughs of one day per month for the two-year period that began July 1, Kenoi said in a news release Thursday.

That is equal to a pay reduction of 4.615 percent from pay levels in effect before furloughs first took effect last year.

In a statewide contract earlier this year, the union agreed to a 5 percent pay cut without furlough days.

During the fiscal year ending June 30, HGEA members working for Hawaii County approved two furlough days per month.

“This is a fair agreement that reduces costs and prepares us for the uncertainties ahead,” Kenoi said. “It is a part of a larger effort to move the county to more solid financial ground, and to position us for the future.”

The new agreement with HGEA retains the existing health insurance premium cost split with the county paying 60 percent and employees 40 percent, Mayor Kenoi said.

The state HGEA contract called for a 50-50 split on health premiums.

Under the new agreement, the county will impose the first furlough day of the new fiscal year on Friday, July 29. 

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