Tentative agreement reached in Maui County healthcare workers’ strike

United Public Workers and Maui Health officials were back at the bargaining table yesterday.
Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 7:03 PM HST|Updated: Mar. 16, 2023 at 5:33 AM HST
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WAILUKU (HawaiiNewsNow) - There’s a tentative agreement that could possibly end the weeks-long strike by healthcare workers in Maui County.

Nearly 500 employees at Maui Memorial Medical Center, Kula Hospital, and Lanai Community hospital walked off the job on Feb. 22.

Represented by United Public Workers (UPW), employees include nurses’ aides, respiratory therapists, housekeepers, cooks and others.

They’re demanding more pay and want to address concerns about mandatory back-to-back shifts.

Maui Health and UPW officials were back at the bargaining table on Tuesday and reached a tentative agreement late Tuesday night. Employees will vote on it this week.

This is the fourth time the negotiating teams have reached a tentative agreement during this contract renewal process.

Maui Health officials said they are “optimistic that this agreement will be approved, and look forward to all Maui Health employees returning to work.”

According to Maui Health officials, the three-year offer includes:

  • An average 8.9% pay increase to all job classifications in the first year, and additional across-the-board pay increases in each of the remaining years, along with evening and night shift differential increases.
  • A one-time cash bonus for all UPW-represented employees of $1,500.
  • Provides UPW-represented employees with one-time longevity payments of $1,000 for employees with 15 or more years of service and $500 for employees with 7-14 years of service.
  • And additional non-economic items include rotational Involuntary Overtime, Flu Prevention, and participation in the Labor/Management Committee.

The result of the UPW’s ratification vote is expected no later than Monday, March 20.

Maui Health officials said in a statement:

Maui Health employees and physicians are continuing to work tirelessly to ensure a safe and clean environment for our patients, visitors, employees, and providers. We are continuing to staff all affected areas as needed, in part by bringing in qualified staff from wherever we can find them. We are sincerely grateful for our community’s patience and support.

Meanwhile, tensions are growing at the picket line. Some drivers are frustrated, wanting to get through.

“It’s really frustrating that you have to wait until they do these five laps,” said a retired Maui Memorial Medical Center registered nurse who wanted to remain anonymous. “It’s just a really frustrating thing that they’re blocking the main driveway entrance.”

“It’s a little bit ridiculous.”

Employees who are picketing said they have endured name calling and close calls. One worker even got hit as a car tried to drive through the picket line.

“We have no picket line at our ED. So if it’s an emergency, we definitely let them know,” said Maui Memorial Medical Center maintenance worker Leonard Rodrigues Jr. “We had close calls where people got clipped... extremely close calls.”

UPW shared photos of inside the hospital and said because its members haven’t been at work, trash and hazardous materials are piling up.

For Maui Health updates, visit www.mauihealth.org/operations.

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