Political Radar

`That shows what a good job I’m doing'

June 27th, 2014

Nanea Kalani, our education reporter, captured this exchange at Gov. Neil Abercrombie's news conference Friday on a new contract with the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly:

During a Q&A portion of Friday morning’s University of Hawaii Professional Assembly press conference in the governor’s office -- where the state and faculty union announced a tentative contract deal a year ahead of schedule -- Gov. Abercrombie was asked whether this agreement was politically motivated since the union has a history of endorsing him.

Keoki Kerr, a reporter for Hawaii News Now, said: “Here you are making an unprecedented agreement a year before a contract is up, in a year when you are up for reelection . . .”

“That shows what a good job I’m doing,” Abercrombie interjected.

“But your critics might say it also shows you’re essentially throwing a political bone to a union that has supported you for a long time, when you might not be around to make that agreement in another year,” the reporter continued.

The governor replied, “Someone might say that, but I’ll leave the agreement to speak for itself. … We put this together in good faith. That’s what collective bargaining is all about: good faith.

“Whether such commentary is worthy will be able to be judged by the faculty vote. … I am confident that the faculty vote will be overwhelmingly in favor of this agreement because it’s in the best interest of everyone.

“If someone wants to bring politics up, let me put it this way: I believe best politics is always good politics. If you do good things for good people, you know, in a good faith way, that speaks for itself. I believe the politics of this agreement will ring across the state as, ‘This is the way it should be done.’”

9 Responses to “`That shows what a good job I’m doing'”

  1. ohiaforest3400:

    And is the way Abercrombie treated the primary and secondary school teachers of HSTA the "way it should be done"? Evidently, he has much "higher" regard for those who teach in the higher education setting.

  2. innocent observer:

    Abercrombie is not being forthright - he is just doing this because it is an election year, most bargaining with unions are not completed until the last minute and maybe longer. good job? ONLY YOU THINK SO,WE THE PEOPLE KNOW BETTER and will vote you out.

  3. Especially Incognito:

    Political Science teacher at UH of Manoa.
    Shows the credibility of anyone who teaches
    there. Drove a yellow taxi cab. Pink Hotel still standing
    and an Island full of parking lots or lack of it.
    Greenwood is an example of corruption.


    And Neil turned the global recession around at gave Hawaii an $800 million dollar budget surplus. Golly, thanks, Neil. What other cool things are you bragging about? Did Michelle Wie win because of you? Did Neil create Bruno Mars? How, in god's name, did we get this bizarre man as our governor?

  5. Guy:

    I wish all union collective bargain went this smoothly. The drama can get tiresome and accomplishes nothing -- probably less. (You listening HSTA? Your members are.)

  6. Manoa_Fisherman:

    So what does that say about the HSTA, HGEA, UPW and other public workers? They must not be "good people" in the eyes of the Great and Wonderful Wizard of OZ!

    UHPA is such an objective and honorable union it chose to endorse Nate Kinney against UH watchdog Rep. Isaac Choy, probably because Choy got between UHPA and the sweetheart deals it has with the UH and Abercrombie administrations. Nate Kinney is mentioned in a Federal investigation into the Painter's Union, where his father paid him a salary of $151,000 per year even while he was attending school. Not only was the compensation extremely questionable for a person with little experience, but appears to be even out of line with reasonable compensation practices. See: http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/21861928/exclusive-feds-probe-local-union

    Even Ian Lind, former investigative reporter and husband to a UH professor, raised questions recently in his blog about the UHPA endorsement process being hidden from its members and the lack of transparency by the UHPA leaders in disclosing the basis for endorsements as previously promised to UHPA members. See: http://www.ilind.net/2014/06/20/uhpas-gold-standard-for-political-endorsement-process-tarnished-this-time-around/#comments

  7. Especially Incognito:

    "They paved paradise
    And put up a parking lot
    With a pink hotel, a boutique
    And a swinging hot SPOT
    Don't it always seem to go
    That you don't know what you've got
    ‘Til it's gone
    They paved paradise
    And put up a parking lot"

    Governor Abercrombie used to drive a yellow taxi cab
    with his name on the side.

  8. Laughing Parrot:

    People seem to forget that collective bargaining is a two way street. Last year 95% of the teachers voted on a contract that included a 3% increase above the restoration of the 5%, increases of 3% and 3.2%, and health insurance premium percentages restored. Even HSTA touts the fact that their contract was "fair and equitable" and explained that the contract provides "professional pay and improves working conditions to attract the best and the brightest[.]" Despite this, teachers are still upset and continue to blame the administration and the Governor for all of their woes. Now, rather than battle to the end, the Governor makes an agreement and the only possible reasons are that it is political or he doesn't have high regard for k-12 teachers. So, which is it? Was it political to battle long a hard for a "fair and equitable contract" or was it political to work cooperatively and wrap up negotiations quickly?

  9. Especially Incognito:

    Seems lingle brought to the table furlough Friday.
    Now education begins at 5 years old.
    Parents with pay raise to 10.10 still cannot
    afford baby sitters. They will pay for their
    babysitting by paying more taxes.

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