Maui settles COVID hazard pay grievance with police for $13 million

Less than a month after an arbitrator ruled that thousands of state workers were owed COVID-19 hazard pay for their efforts during the pandemic, the County of Maui settled a grievance with the Maui Police Department for about $13 million.

The Maui settlement covers officers employed between March 4, 2020, and March 25, 2023. Officers who worked patrol will receive 20% hazard pay, while all others will receive hazard pay at a 15% rate. Those who had vacation hours, sick time or worked from home will not get hazard pay rates. A rookie Maui police officer has a starting salary of $6,032 a month.


Maui Corporation Counsel Victoria J. Takayesu and First Deputy Mimi DesJardins did not respond to Honolulu Star-Advertiser requests for comment.

The issue of performing government functions during the COVID-19 pandemic for hazard pay remains a contentious one between government entities and their unionized workforces.

In November 2022 the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers filed four separate grievances challenging the denial of hazard pay amounting to a 25% pay differential for the peak years of the COVID-19 pandemic between March 2020 and March of this year.

SHOPO has pending grievances with Honolulu, Kauai and Hawaii counties. For a starting metropolitan police officer in Honolulu in 2022 who earns $71,656 a year, the temporary hazard pay would amount to $17,914 per year.

SHOPO has one collective bargaining agreement for all police officers. Hazard pay however, is handled by each county and is at capped at 25% of an officer’s salary.

All four counties denied SHOPO’s ask for hazard pay for officers who worked during the pandemic.

SHOPO has three active grievances with the Honolulu, Hawaii and Kauai police departments.

“The issue of temporary hazard pay between SHOPO and the County of Kauai remains ongoing. No settlement has been reached at this time,” wrote Annette L. Anderson, human resources director for the County of Kauai, in a statement to the Star-Advertiser.

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