Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Public union rallies top Wednesday news

Hundreds of government union members rallied along Kamehameha Avenue in Hilo and thousands on the lawn of the state Capitol on Tuesday in a show of solidarity and strength as Gov. Linda Lingle and the state's unions remain at an impasse over unpaid furloughs.

The mandatory furloughs are equivalent to about a 14-percent pay cut for two year, although workers would have most Fridays off. Lingle is trying to close a $3 billion budget gap,and the furloughs would account for about half of that. Employees would get three Fridays a month off.

Other media accounts of the rallies and union negotiations:

State workers flooded the Capitol yesterday afternoon for a rally protesting Gov. Linda Lingle's furlough plans, accusing the governor of trying to wipe out the state's budget deficit at their expense.

More than 2,000 members from public worker unions arrived for a rally Tuesday at the state Capitol.

It was a monster rally for rights as thousands of Hawaii union employees invaded the state capitol Tuesday evening to fight Governor Linda Lingle's furlough plan, which amounts to 72 unpaid days off the next two years

University of Hawaii President David McClain says salary reductions -- whether through furloughs or pay cuts -- will have to be part of the university's response to cutting about $155 million from its budget over the next two years.

University of Hawaii President David McClain says he will seek pay cuts for faculty and administrators as part of a developing plan to address about $155 million in budget cuts over the next two years.

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