The Hawaii State Teachers Association has received a stinging rebuke from the Hawaii State Labor Relations Board in its prohibited practices case against the state for implementing its “last, best and final” contract offer.
In July, HSTA filed an amended motion for interlocutory relief and tried to strike the state’s declarations of opposition on the sworn claim of HSTA attorney Rebecca Covert that Deputy Attorney James Halvorson’s affidavit didn’t contain the required statement that it was made “under penalty of law” or “under penalty of perjury.”
After an investigation, the HLRB found that Halvorson’s declaration did contain the required statement — and that the HSTA’s Wil Okabe’s declaration on the same matter did not.
The HLRB’s Sept. 2 ruling against HSTA contained a harsh slap-down of the union’s lawyers:
“The material misstatements made by Ms. Covert in her sworn affidavit, which were not corrected by Mr. (Herbert) Takahashi at the August 10, 2011 Board hearing, demonstrate an egregious and reckless disregard for the truth in this case. These statements seem intended to mislead the Board … Notice is hearby given that conduct of this nature will not be tolerated by the Board.”
The matter appears technical, but some lawyers say it could be serious enough to land HSTA lawyers before disciplinary counsel.
In the bigger picture, it seems another example of the union’s chaotic and highly antagonistic approach to the case that has left HSTA with few friends, even among other public worker unions.