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OHA: Office of Hawaiian Affairs

2016 OHA Salary Commission Final Report

The 2016 Salary Commission for the Board of Trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) completed its review and has submitted its proposed salary recommendation for OHA Trustees effective July 1, 2015 until June 30, 2019. The commission voted to approve the “Final Report and Recommendations Regarding the Salary of the Board of Trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. (To view the report, click here.)

Hard copies of the subject report were hand delivered to Governor Ige, Senate President Kouchi, and House Speaker Souki; electronic copies were subsequently transmitted to the three gentlemen and those listed as cc’s in the cover letter of the report.

Gubernatorial appointments to the 2016 Commission:

1.  Mr. Kippen de Alba Chu, Friends of ‘Iolani Palace nominee
2.  Mr. Dennis Fern, Queen Liliʻuokalani Children’s Center nominee
3.  Mr. Moses K. N. Haia, III, Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation nominee
4.  Mr. Neil J. Hannahs, Kamehameha Schools’ nominee
5.  Ms. Jalna Keala, Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs’ nominee
6.  Mrs. Diane S. L. Paloma, The Queen’s Health Systems’ nominee
7.  Mr. Wendell W. Perry Jr., Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge nominee

The final 2016 Commission recommendations are:

The 2016 Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) Salary Commission (Commission) has completed its analysis, discussion and findings, and on February 17, 2016 approved the recommendations regarding the salary of the OHA Trustees (Trustees).

a. Process

By Hawai’i law, Hawai‘i Revised Statutes (HRS) Section 10-9.5, the Hawai‘i Governor appoints an OHA Salary Commission every four years.  The 2016 OHA Salary Commission was appointed on January 15, 2016, and tasked with making recommendations for the salaries of the Board of Trustees for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs before the 20th legislative day, or February 22, 2016, of the regular session.  The Commission took its duty seriously and strongly recommends that ample time be provided for public comment. Specifically, the late January appointments severely constrained analysis, created a bias for the status quo and suggested that the Commission’s work is of little consequence.  Given the importance of the task and the need for timely public input, we strongly urge that Commissioners to the 2020 OHA Salary Commission be appointed as provided for by law on or before August 31, 2019.

b. Salary

Table 1:  Salary Recommendations for OHA Trustees
Starting Ending Chairperson Trustees
July 1, 2015 June 30, 2016 $64,164 $56,280
July 1, 2016 June 30, 2017 $64,164 $56,280
July 1, 2017 June 30, 2018 $(see formula below) $(see formula below)
July 1, 2018 June 30, 2019 $(see formula below) $(see formula below)

Formula for Fiscal Year 2018.  Regarding the Trustee salary for the period 7/1/2017 – 6/30/2018: Starting with the base of $64,164 for the Chairperson and $56,280 for each of the other OHA Trustees, the Trustee percentage salary increase shall be the lesser of: the average of any across the board percentage annual salary increase that may be afforded to OHA staff for the period 7/1/2016 – 6/30/2018 or the annual Honolulu Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the prior year ending 12/31/2016, but not less than zero.

Formula for Fiscal Year 2019.  Regarding the Trustee salary for the period 7/1/2018 – 6/30/2019: The Trustee percentage salary increase shall be the lesser of: the average of any across the board percentage annual salary increase that may be afforded to OHA staff for the period 7/1/2017 – 6/30/2019 or the annual Honolulu Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the prior year ending 12/31/2017, but not less than zero.

Note: July 1, 2019 is the date the 2020 OHA Salary Commission recommendations go into effect.

In summary, the recommendations maintain the current salary of $64,164 for the OHA Chairperson and the current salary of $56,280 for the other OHA Trustees, for Fiscal Year 2016 and Fiscal Year 2017.  Fiscal Year 2018 and Fiscal Year 2019 should use the formula determined above.

In accordance with HRS Chapter 10-9.5, these salary recommendations are effective as of the date of the recommendations unless the legislature disapproves the recommendation by adoption of a concurrent resolution prior to the adjournment sine die in May 2016.

With the approval of the salary recommendations, the 2016 OHA Salary Commission dissolved by unanimous vote at the adjournment of its meeting on February 17, 2016.

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