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HSTA-R Hawaii District Council Meeting Minutes from 11.29.11

January 22, 2012

The following minutes still needs to be approved by the Council when we meet on Jan 24, 2012 at the HSTA Office.  Anyone interested in attending may do so.  We start at 9:15 am


Attendance:    Present

: Lois Shimizu, Arleen Yoshimura, Bettye Wakabayashi, Myrna Watanabe, Betty Ann Yoshimura, Muriel Nishimoto, Stephen Ono, Lorraine Hora, Jo Ann Iwane, Cynthia Niyati Brown, Wayne Joseph and Avis Mortemore

Absent:     Marlyn Akiona, Y. Joe Tanaka, Gayle Ito

Call to Order:

Meeting called to order by President Wayne Joseph at 9:16 a.m. President added Steve Ono’s report to the agenda.

Secretary’s Minutes:

Cynthia Niyati Brown moved to accept secretary’s minutes from September 6, 2011 meeting. Myrna Watanabe seconded and the motion carried.

Treasurer’s Report:     Treasurer reported:

A balance of $3592.85 in the checking account and $1198.26 in the Savings. Discussion followed regarding the amended budget for HSTA-R Hawaii District September 2011 to August 2012. Total Income is $5877.90. Expenses under “Membership” increased to $900 with $500 moved from Governance to accommodate the “Retirement Issues” (Legislative) activities. Total expenses will remain the same. Cynthia Niyati Brown moved to accept the treasurer’s report and Myrna Watanabe seconded. Treasurer’s report accepted unanimously by Council.

President’s Report:   President Joseph reported:

Hawaii Island Council received a $400 grant written up for the purchasing of hats with logo embroidered on them. This is the second year we have received the maximum grant. Molokai CC received $300, Kauai District $100.

All Council positions except Muriel Nishimoto-Membership, Betty Ann Yoshimura-Community Service and Cynthia Niyati Brown who will serve one more year, will be up for re-election in February.

– Avis Mortemore is in charge of elections to be held at the annual meeting. Arleen Yoshimura and Myrna Watanabe will run for their positions again.

– Marlyn Akiona and Avis Mortemore will not be seeking re-election.

– Delegates whose term expires in 2012 are:   Jo Ann Iwane, Lois Shimizu, Bettye Wakabayashi, Arleen Yoshimura.

Justin Wong will be stepping down as the State Council President this year. This will be a transition period for HSTA-R.

Retirement Issues Committee Meeting changed the order of priorities-Retirement Issues, Health Care issues, Education issues and Federal issues.

A) Preserve health care benefits for retired public employees

B) Support improvement of health care benefits for retired public employees

C) Preserve the current level of retiree benefits

D) Support Teachers and their commitment to the improvement of public education

E) Provide for an accountability system that takes into account the unique needs of individual students.


Unions run the EUTF and ERS

Change constitution to make it easier for legislators to make changes; use of referendum

Need to form alliances   How to be proactive on issues that come up

Get data: on how being in Medicare is a cost saving to the State  Gather data on EUTF and benefits from having VEBA

Committee Reports:

Newsletter and Elections:  Lorraine Hora reported:  She will be gone so send articles to George Ito by December 15. Proofread carefully because George will not.

Justin Wong sent a letter naming 7 members to be on the Government Relations Network Committee. There may be an error regarding the seven names. Lorraine will check into the possible confusion in the forms.

Lorraine reminded all members to check and keep all the ERS newsletters. EUTF medicare question is addressed in the newsletter. Check your Social Security statement to see if your base premium is $99.90. If it is higher, you must let EUTF know.

Community Services:   Betty Ann Yoshimura announced:  December 4  is HSTAR’s day to be at Macy’s Men’s Department from 10 a,m, to 8 p.m. for the Light Up a Life (HOSPICE  10 – 12: Bettye and Betty Ann   12-2: Julia and Eugene Tao  2-4: Lynn Otsubo and

4-6: Roy Daimaru and Karlen Ono  6-8: June Kawashima and Marlyn Akiona

Alternate: Lorraine Hora, Avis and Dick Mortemore

Blood Bank should be in September 2012. Reminder will be announced at February 3

Annual Meeting. Comments were that refreshments were good. Seniors at high school who donate blood three times will get a red cord to wear at graduation. Membership Committee:  Muriel Nishimoto reports that we have 6 new members as of October 22 and that statewide we have 5,035 members as of 11/7/11. WHCC has 11 new members as of August 2011.

COLA:   Y. Joe Tanaka was not present. Secretary read his report:

We are winding down the “off season” lobbying with a meeting on the 29

with several members of the ERS Trustees BOD plus the Exec. Sec. of the HGEA retirees. Like other info sessions we have held, it should help our effort to improve PRA. The more we educate others regarding the issue; the better. *

Proposal for 2012: In light of new law, Act 163 (ERS Reform) we will refine (format into bill proposal language) a proposal, we have been working on to have selected legislators introduce in 2012. That’s where Government Relations (GR) comes in. It calls for a graduated increase for PRA (big change) delivered in a way that makes sense for a cost of living benefit. *

Due to Act 29 (Moratorium on enhancements) there is no change regarding help or long-term retirees’ catch-up. This is not a CFC/PRA item. Rather and item for GR. I do not anticipate much progress here due to the budget problems of the state.

The shift to new hires is a new tact for CFC. It can really improve the PRA. After all, the goodies we have today are largely due to work of past retirees and actives. So as circumstances now call for it, we should and can do the same for future retirees.

Pre Retirement Cadre:  Arleen Yoshimura reported:

Without Institute Day Cadre members did 13 statewide workshops:

Big Island had 5- Waimea Elementary & Inter. (Cynthia Niyati Brown), Kealakehe, Konawaena, Kohala and East Hawaii. Jo Ann Iwane and Virginia Lawson did the W. Hawaii session.

E. Hawaii workshop will be on December 1

at the Waiakea High Library from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. Cynthia Niyati and Carolyn Mizuno will join in on the presentations.

Dorothea Aganos from Maui will be new chair next year taking over from Glenn Fernandez.

Our 14

year grant from NEA-R will end in 2012 so we will be submitting our application for hopefully another two year grant.

Mahalo to Cynthia Niyati, Jo Ann, Virginia and Carolyn for being our Fantastic Big Island Cadre Team.

Aloha Committee:  Gayle Ito was not present due to death in the family.

Per secretary, next meeting will be on January 24

and refreshments will be brought by Lorraine Hora, Bettye Wakabayashi and Myrna Watanabe.

West Hawaii Community Club:  Jo Ann Iwane reported that the second WHCC meeting is on Friday at 9:00 a.m. at Kathy Staton Kobayashi’s to make ti leis. Annual meeting is February 10

$400 has been budgeted. Deadline to RSVP is February 3 to Jo Ann.

Government Relations: Steve Ono reported that a legislative social should be set up in mid February or 25

ILWU hall we would have to set up or UPW. We could invite the UPW, HGEA, ILWU local leadership to join us. Gayle Ito as Aloha committee chair and Avis Mortemore could sit on committee with Steve. Toni from GR at HSTA-R suggested Mazie Hirono be invited to be at February meeting.

Break at 10: 35 a.m.

Old Business:  Lois Shimizu went over budget revisions from the amended and accepted at September 6  meeting.

Balance brought forward should read $2967.90 and checking $1770.14. Membership dues from the state increased to $1962 making total income read $5877.90. Newsletter grant increased to $400, additional membership fees from last year which amounted to $148 and $400 from the district grant are included

Bettye Wakabayashi moved that we have a new category in the budget called “Government Relations” with amount of $200 per year placed into budget. Arleen Yoshimura seconded. Question was called for. After discussion motion was passed with vote of 6 in favor to 4 not in favor.

Myrna Watanabe moved “to place that Government Relations category in Governance.” Bettye Wakabayashi seconded. Question called for and discussion followed with definition of governance explained as specific to HSTA-R Hawaii Chapter governance.

Myrna withdrew motion.

Changes in expenses: $500 taken from Governance and added to Membership to include “Government Relations” activities to make total of $900 for Membership and $1200 in Governance. Reserve Fund is $1427.90 with a grand total of $5877.90

Bettye Wakabayashi moved to accept amended budget and Muriel Nishimoto seconded. Motion unanimously accepted.

District Award Folder: Lorraine reminded everyone of the copies that need to be put into the binder on at the February work session.

Tee shirt orders 60 more shirts were ordered and some given away

Update of telephone tree was moved to January agenda because Gayle Ito was not present.

HSTA-R Luncheon Meeting for Council members will be on May 8

meeting. Looking for place for the luncheon. Old council members for 2011-2012 will be in office until June 19, 2012. Bettye Wakabayashi will be in charge and will invite new officers.

New Business:  “Meet, Greet and Eat” event comments from committee (Muriel Nishimoto, Cynthia Niyati Brown, Myrna Watanabe and Avis Mortemore)    Location and tour was good

Representative Jerry Chang’s handouts and informal discussion good

Treasurer was on top of all money

Successful with total of 26 people including the VEBA team

– VEBA attendance brought 7 more people for total of 32 in attendance

– Myrna reported fruit platter purchased from KTA cost $31.77 and for the VEBA meeting (which will be reimbursed to us by state) KTA cold cut, cheese platter and veggie platters cost $80.47     Muriel reported cost of $10 user’s fee

 Recommendations for improvements include:  Phone tree revision as some people not getting message

Need to refurbish supply box of paper goods and supplies after each use with an inventory update on box

Onekahakaha possible site for the next one possibly in the spring

President Joseph to see if e-mail addresses are working addresses

East Hawaii Annual Meeting and Elections reported by President (Marlyn Akiona absent)

East Hawaii meeting at Imiloa with Dr. Kimo Almeda as speaker

Teeney suggested table decorations be orchids and Bettye will check on prices.

 Imiloa has limited seating with $15 a head   RSVP to Marly

$400 state grant awarded to our district for bucket hats with island logo from Creative Arts, cost $9-$10 per hat. Need number for orders by Feb. 3

Announcements: Mayor Billy Kenoi Fundraiser tickets complimentary for those who are interested. Event on December 9, Friday.

Betty Ann would like pictures from Blood Bank and Hospice events

Free event “Resolution Run”on New Year’s Day -9:30 a.m. at Coconut Island, participation and/or volunteers would be welcomed

Meeting adjourned at 12:07

Respectfully submitted,                Avis Mortemore, secretary

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