For Immediate Release: March 10, 2023
Press Release by:
Gabe Johnson, Councilmember
Maui County Council
Council adopts resolution supporting Maui Health System workers on strike
WAILUKU, Hawaiʻi—Councilmember Gabe Johnson announced that the council adopted Resolution 23-105 at its meeting today, supporting Maui County’s healthcare workers and urging the Maui Health System to resolve the ongoing labor dispute with them.
The resolution expresses gratitude to Maui County’s healthcare workers, including the nearly 500 nurses’ aides, respiratory therapists, emergency-room technicians, maintenance workers, transporters, housekeepers, cooks, dieticians and workers at Maui Memorial Medical Center, Kula Hospital, Kula Clinic and Lānaʻi Community Hospital who are on strike without pay after nine months of failed contract negotiations and mediation with Maui Health System. The resolution, introduced by Johnson, also supports fair wages and working conditions for Maui County’s healthcare workers.
“Our essential frontline healthcare workers deserve better,” said Johnson, who holds the council seat for the Lānaʻi residency area. “These workers are the backbone of the healthcare system, and they carried us through the worst of the pandemic.”
Resolution 23-105 states that the healthcare workers on strike were not offered hazard pay, despite working throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the United Public Workers Union, which represents the workers on strike, contract negotiations stalled after Maui Health System representatives walked away from the bargaining table on March 6.
“Maui Health System must return to negotiations in good faith and provide these essential workers with the contract they deserve,” Johnson said. “They stood up for us, and now it is time for us to take a stand for them.”
Johnson said the union has stated they are available to meet and continue negotiations at any time. Valerie Sanchez, a surgical technician at Maui Memorial Hospital, testified to explain the conditions in their work environment.
“There is very limited staff that can do what we do and being that there is no schooling on Maui for a surgical tech, it is very difficult to hire for the position,” she said. “We’re not asking for special treatment, just fairness—better wages, schedule and appreciation.”
To read Resolution 23-105, visit https://www.mauicounty.us/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/Reso-23-105.pdf. For more information, please contact the Office of Council Services at (808) 270-7838 or visit Mauicounty.us/Johnson.