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Thread: Danger in public schools

  1. #1
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    Default Danger in public schools

    I am employed at a public school in Hawaii. The public needs to know is that the school kitchens and custodial staff will be running shorthanded due to the Directed leave without pay imposed by UPW. The workers have to take two days a month leave without pay. No substitute workers are allowed to fill in. For each UPW worker at the school, the cafeteria and custodial staff will be working without their full crew. It means that bathrooms, classrooms and lawn area’s will not get cleaned. In the cafeteria it means that the workers will be rushing to get the meals out which may result in unsafe and unsanitary practices. The public should be concerned about this.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Danger in public schools

    Hawaii Agreement With UPW Includes Furloughs

    More than 8,000 state and county blue-collar employees will receive a 5 percent pay cut and cover a bigger share of their health insurance under a tentative two-year agreement announced Thursday.

    The United Public Workers union, which represents about 8,500 government workers, has tentatively agreed to furlough days to achieve the labor savings. Employees would be required to take 14 days of so-called "directed leave without pay" for the remainder of the current fiscal year, which began July 1.
    So, would an option have been to take a 5% pay cut (like many workers have done during these hard economic times, both union and non-workers alike) instead of the furlough days? A cut would have resulted in the budget savings that the state was seeking, but at the same time avoided those "unsafe and unsanitary practices". If so, shame on the UPW for putting itself above the childrens' safety.

    Anyone know the details of the UPW's options?
    Now run along and play, but don’t get into trouble.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Danger in public schools

    Quote Originally Posted by Sayuri View Post
    In the cafeteria it means that the workers will be rushing to get the meals out which may result in unsafe and unsanitary practices. The public should be concerned about this.
    That's a pretty broad statement. I'd have to know more details before I get concerned. There may be other ways to deal with it.


    Quote Originally Posted by Amati View Post
    Anyone know the details of the UPW's options?
    For all the flak Lingle got over furloughs, unions (and I image workers) prefer furloughs over pay cuts.

    With pay cuts, you have to work to negotiate back to where you were. With furloughs, you get "back to normal" as soon as you go back on full-time. From the worker's point of view, with pay cuts, they give and get nothing in return. With furloughs, they get a few days for themselves.

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    Default Re: Danger in public schools

    Quote Originally Posted by Amati View Post
    Hawaii Agreement With UPW Includes Furloughs



    So, would an option have been to take a 5% pay cut (like many workers have done during these hard economic times, both union and non-workers alike) instead of the furlough days? A cut would have resulted in the budget savings that the state was seeking, but at the same time avoided those "unsafe and unsanitary practices". If so, shame on the UPW for putting itself above the childrens' safety.

    Anyone know the details of the UPW's options?
    They were no options. The contract states 5% pay cut with 14 furlough days to be taken 2 days a month, December through June. The 2 days a month is firm. It would have been better for the schools if they could take the 14 days during school breaks. It works out that 5 days have to be taken during days when school is in session.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeckoGeek View Post
    That's a pretty broad statement. I'd have to know more details before I get concerned. There may be other ways to deal with it.
    The concern is that the custodian and cafeteria staff will be running shorthanded for 1 day a month in January, 2 days a month in Feb and April for each UPW worker they have on staff. The same work has to get done so it means the remaining workers will be stressed out and rushing to get things done which can result in unsafe and unsanitary conditions.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Danger in public schools

    Quote Originally Posted by Sayuri View Post
    The concern is that the custodian and cafeteria staff will be running shorthanded for 1 day a month in January, 2 days a month in Feb and April for each UPW worker they have on staff. The same work has to get done so it means the remaining workers will be stressed out and rushing to get things done which can result in unsafe and unsanitary conditions.
    Different staff will be gone on different days, yes? Or are all of them gone at the same time?

    If they are down one or two people at a facility for a day or two, with the remaining staff still there, how different is this from covering for a co-worker who is on vacation or sick leave that particular day?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Danger in public schools

    Sayuri - are you a teacher at the school?
    "Democracy is the only system that persists in asking the powers that be whether they are the powers that ought to be."
    – Sydney J. Harris

  8. #8

    Default Re: Danger in public schools

    Quote Originally Posted by Sayuri View Post
    The concern is that the custodian and cafeteria staff will be running shorthanded for 1 day a month in January, 2 days a month in Feb and April for each UPW worker they have on staff. The same work has to get done so it means the remaining workers will be stressed out and rushing to get things done which can result in unsafe and unsanitary conditions.
    They may need to schedule some simpler meals those days.

    What do they do when someone calls in sick?

  9. #9

    Default Re: Danger in public schools

    Quote Originally Posted by Sayuri View Post
    They were no options.
    Were options presented by the union for members to vote on? I realize that the final contract states what-is-what now, but didn't members get to vote during decision making? Those choices are what I'm wondering about, and how the members responded. [IF members had the opportunity to have a voice, that is!]
    Now run along and play, but don’t get into trouble.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Danger in public schools

    Quote Originally Posted by GeckoGeek View Post
    They may need to schedule some simpler meals those days.
    Simpler than chick patty on bun? or that exciting variant, chick patty with gravy?

    Not every day can be pizza or chow fun, sure, but still...

  11. #11

    Default Re: Danger in public schools

    Quote Originally Posted by Pohaku View Post
    Simpler than chick patty on bun?
    Chicken nuggets and steamed rice?
    Now run along and play, but don’t get into trouble.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Danger in public schools

    Quote Originally Posted by Leo Lakio View Post
    Different staff will be gone on different days, yes? Or are all of them gone at the same time?

    If they are down one or two people at a facility for a day or two, with the remaining staff still there, how different is this from covering for a co-worker who is on vacation or sick leave that particular day?
    Yes one staff member per day. The school I work at has two cafeteria workers so for four days one person has to cook, bake, serve breakfast, lunch and clean up. The custodial crew has 3 people so for six days 1/3 of the campus will be without coverage.

    When a staff member is on vacation or sick a substitute is called in. Similar to when a teacher calls in sick.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by anapuni808 View Post
    Sayuri - are you a teacher at the school?
    Yes I teach at that school. The faculty and staff are pretty tight so we know whats going on. We are very concerned about the welfare of the workers having to go above and beyond to cover for the people on leave and for the students who will be subject to the conditions that can result from this.

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    Default Re: Danger in public schools

    Quote Originally Posted by Amati View Post
    Were options presented by the union for members to vote on? I realize that the final contract states what-is-what now, but didn't members get to vote during decision making? Those choices are what I'm wondering about, and how the members responded. [IF members had the opportunity to have a voice, that is!]
    The members at my school told me when it was presented it was vague. They knew they would have to take 14 days Directed leave without pay but they were told it wouldn't affect daily operations. After they ratified UPW came up with the schedule.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeckoGeek View Post
    They may need to schedule some simpler meals those days.

    What do they do when someone calls in sick?
    Even with simpler meals, its still a lot of work to feed 300 students.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Danger in public schools

    Quote Originally Posted by Sayuri View Post
    When a staff member is on vacation or sick a substitute is called in. Similar to when a teacher calls in sick.
    I take it that since this is a furlough situation, a substitute replacement would not be called in, since that would defeat the purpose of a furlough, which is to save money. Is that correct?

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    Default Re: Danger in public schools

    Sayuri - will you please not ignore me and just answer my question please? see post #7 from earlier today. just curious.
    Last edited by anapuni808; January 11th, 2012 at 09:47 PM.
    "Democracy is the only system that persists in asking the powers that be whether they are the powers that ought to be."
    – Sydney J. Harris

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    Default Re: Danger in public schools

    Quote Originally Posted by anapuni808 View Post
    Sayuri - will you please not ignore me and just answer my question please? see post #7 from earlier today. just curious.
    See post #13!

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Danger in public schools

    Quote Originally Posted by Honoruru View Post
    I take it that since this is a furlough situation, a substitute replacement would not be called in, since that would defeat the purpose of a furlough, which is to save money. Is that correct?
    That is true. A solution would be for the workers to take the time off during spring break and summer but UPW is insisting it needs to be taken two days a month. There are some month with no non instructional days so those are the days that the crews will be running shorthanded while there are students on campus.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Danger in public schools

    Maybe the rank and file need to somehow get new leadership. It seems that the work/directed leave schedule is not what they the members thought it would be. I feel the union leadership is totally responsible for this.

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    Default Re: Danger in public schools

    Quote Originally Posted by Sayuri View Post
    That is true. A solution would be for the workers to take the time off during spring break and summer but UPW is insisting it needs to be taken two days a month. There are some month with no non instructional days so those are the days that the crews will be running shorthanded while there are students on campus.
    One of the problems I can see with having the furlough days too close together is, the paycheck gets increasingly smaller. For example if you lose two or three days in a pay period, it may be too much of a cut for that pay period for the worker to absorb.

    This is a little off topic, but whenever the state (or the feds for that matter) try to fix a budget shortfall by cutting jobs or furloughs, it is not a 100% recovery to the budget, for they will lose the tax revenue that the affected worker would have paid.
    Whoa, Mista Buss Driva, eh, you can stop the buss o wat?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tutusue View Post
    See post #13!
    sorry, that post didn't show earlier. Thanks! and thanks Sayuri for answering me - was just curious.
    "Democracy is the only system that persists in asking the powers that be whether they are the powers that ought to be."
    – Sydney J. Harris

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    Default Re: Danger in public schools

    Even private schools in Hawaii are i9n danger.
    My son was bullied mercilessly at St. Marks School in Kaneohe - and threatened to not tell us about it. The mothers of the two major bullies were the playground monitors, to boot!
    My son has recovered nicely, but we never got any satisaction from the school. It was all denied, his word vs. theirs.
    Naturally, we pulled him out, ASAP!
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  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaonohi View Post
    Even private schools in Hawaii are i9n danger. My son was bullied mercilessly...
    Kaonohi, the big question is was the cafeteria fully staffed so that the bullies were well fed?
    Now run along and play, but don’t get into trouble.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Danger in public schools

    Quote Originally Posted by Moto View Post
    One of the problems I can see with having the furlough days too close together is, the paycheck gets increasingly smaller. For example if you lose two or three days in a pay period, it may be too much of a cut for that pay period for the worker to absorb.
    OTOH, the months when there would be no furlough days would make up for this. At the end, no matter how the furlough days are spaced out, it's the same number of days and $$$$ we are talking about. I mean, I'm assuming the UPW members are adults and know how to budget for themselves, riiight?

    Or the UPW leadership could just stick to their guns and say, to heck with the welfare of the kids.

    Combine this with the boneheads over at IBEW who orchestrated the ill-timed HECO strike,.... and labor union members wonder why so many people are beginning to hate their guts.
    This post may contain an opinion that may conflict with your opinion. Do not take it personal. Polite discussion of difference of opinion is welcome.

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