In Malama Pono

HONOLULU – April 23, 2021 – United Public Workers/AFSCME Local 646 (UPW) today announced the completion of its ratification vote for the collective bargaining agreements for state and county employees. Bargaining unit 1 – which includes blue-collar, non-supervisory workers – overwhelmingly ratified the agreement. Bargaining unit 10 – which includes institutional, health, and correctional workers – rejected it by a narrow margin.  

The agreement stipulates:

·       A duration of 2 years.

·       No wage increases in the first year, with a reopener to negotiate wage increases in the second year.   

·       Employer contributions to medical plan premiums will be locked in at 60% of the EUTF 80-20 HMSA health plan premiums.  

“With the challenges of this pandemic and an unprecedented economy, it was our top priority to keep our members’ hard-earned money in their hands,” said Liz Ho, administrator, United Public Workers. “Securing the employer‘s contribution to the health insurance premiums was critical in preventing potentially significant increases in out-of-pocket costs for our members.”     

For bargaining unit 1, the new agreement will take effect on July 1, 2021. However, UPW will continue to negotiate non-cost proposals with the employer. Bargaining Unit 10 will return to the table to continue negotiating the entire agreement.   

UPW moved quickly to present the proposed agreement to its membership for ratification ahead of a critical deadline for the Hawaii State Legislature. Since wages and medical plan premiums are cost items, funds must be appropriated through legislation. All bills must be finalized by today, April 23, 2021, for final passage by the legislature. Once the deadline expires, appropriations will not be considered until the 2022 legislative session, unless a 2021 special session is called. 

“We will continue to fight for all of our members, as we always do,” added Ho. “I would like to thank both of our executive negotiating committees for their tireless work throughout negotiations, DHRD for working with us on this agreement, and especially our thousands of members statewide for exercising their right to vote on this ratification.”

UPW notified the State Department of Human Resources Development (DHRD), which oversaw negotiations for all employer jurisdictions, and the Hawaii State Legislature of its ratification results, and will continue to work closely with them through the completion of this legislative session. 

About United Public Workers

Founded in 1944, United Public Workers /AFSCME Local 646 represents over 13,000 working women and men across Hawaii, in both the public and private sectors. To learn more about UPW, visit


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