Now that Governor Lingle has announced her plan to furlough state workers, it’s time to reread the attorney general’s opinion on the issue provided to the legislature back at the end of February.
The Advertiser reports that a follow-up letter delivered last week reaches a different conclusion.
In a second letter to Say on Friday, however, the attorney general’s office argued that furloughs are not subject to mandatory negotiation. The attorney general’s office determined that furloughs are not akin to layoffs and that negotiating furlough procedures with unions is permissible but not required.
I haven’t seen much concerning the response of the unions. Although it came prior to Lingle’s announcement, testimony by UH Professional Assembly Executive Director J.N. Musto before the Board of Regents earlier this month is worth reading.
Unfortunately, the public employee unions seem to hide most of their analysis in “member only” sections of their web sites, reducing the public’s ability to understand their viewpoints.
Remember the proposed BlueEarth biodiesel plant on Maui that was announced a couple of years ago? BlueEarth Biofuels LLC and Hawaiian Electric, partners in the project, successfully lobbied for authority to issue $59 million in special purpose revenue bonds to fund planning and construction.
Late last year, BlueEarth filed suit in a federal court in Texas against several defendants, including Hawaiian Electric and Maui Electric, alleging that those companies engaged in secret negotiations with Aloha Petroleum that resulted in BlueEarth being dumped from the project. The suit alleges that these negotiations violated the terms of its partnership deal and confidentiality agreements with HECO.
Hawaiian Electric responded, and attached a declaration by chief technology officer Karl Stahlkopf. Much of Hawaiian Electric’s emphasis reflects their opposition to the case being heard in Texas.
On April 3, Hawaiian Electric’s motion to move the case to Hawaii was granted, and it is now proceeding in U.S. District Court in Honolulu.
While searching for background on scams like the Hawaiiloa Foundation case on Maui, I came across Quatloos!, “cyber museum of scams & frauds”. Be sure to read about quatloos.com and how it got started.