Maanne Ilagan Lopez
A WORK IN PROGRESS

Alliance opt for P800 wage increase

Blue and Silver March 2007

Alliance opt for P800 wage increase

“It’s a DEAL.”

The Alliance of College Faculty accepted the P800 salary increase after six months of negotiation with the University Management.

The Commission of Higher Education (CHED) mandated that 70% of tuition fee increase (TFI) will go to salary increase. “Since wala tayong TFI, we have to get from other sources kagaya ng rentals (Since we don’t have TFI, we have to get from other resources like the rentals),” said Ms Eva Francisco, acting Treasury Department head.

The alliance accepted the P800 salary increase due to the rationalization of benefits. “Nagkaroon ng adjustments sa ating benefits in accordance sa kakayanan natin (We adjusted our benefits in accordance to our capabilities).”

Prof. Denia Gonzales, Personnel director, in the meantime, said that the government mandated a P600 salary increase for minimum wage earners. “Actually, P200 yung salary increase. Yung P600, order ng government (Actually, P200 is the salary increase. The P600 is an order from the government).”

The Management added the P600 mandatory wage increase in the salary of College faculties despite the fact that there are no minimum wage earners at Philippine Christian University (PCU). “Dahil mabait ang PCU, binigay na namin (P600) (We added the P600, because PCU is good).”

Give and take

Originally, the alliance demand a 10% wage increase. However, since there was no TFI, the Management has nothing to give. “Unang-una, saan mo kukuhanin yung pampataas ng sweldo kung hindi naman tayo magtataas ng tuition? (First of all where will you get the money if there will be no TFI?),” said Dr. Oscar Suarez, University President.

Gonzales shared the same sentiment with the President. “Ilang years na tayong walang TFI, pero nagbigay last year (wage increase). This time, Management ang humihingi na sana wag muna (magkaroon ng wage increase) (We didn’t have TFI for several years, but there’s a wage increase last year. This time, the Management is asking to suspend the wage increase).”

Meanwhile, Prof. Benjamin Ignacio, College Faculty Union auditor, said the alliance filed a strike last November 3, 2006 at the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). “Dumating sa punto na parang wala na, kaya dinala na namin sa Labor. Nag-file ng strike kasi ayaw ibigay (wage increase) (It came to a point that we have no choice, so we brought it to DOLE. We filed a strike because they don’t want to give us a wage increase).”

Ignacio, together with Prof. Sophia Leonano, College Faculty Union president; and Prof. Noemi Sayson, College Faculty Union secretary, represented the alliance as they negotiated with the Management, which is composed of Gonzales, Francisco, and Prof. Jordan Ramos, Personnel Department coordinator-PCU-Dasmariñas.

The National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB), a DOLE office that reconcile employer-employee conflicts, served as the mediator between the two panels. “Tumawag ng meetings ang DOLE with both panels para mag-usap ulit (DOLE called for meetings to let both panels talk again).”

The alliance president said that their 10% salary increase demand turned down to P1000. “Ang hiningi namin ay tapatan na lang yung binigay last year na P1000 (What we’re asking is to match-up the P1000 increase that was given last year).”

However, the Management still could not afford to give a P1000 salary increase. “Ayaw pa rin nila (magbigay ng P1000). Binababaan pa rin nila kasi hindi daw kaya (The management don’t want P1000. They still pull it down because they couldn’t afford it).”

After eight hearings at DOLE, the College Faculty Union and the Management agreed with P800 increase. “Nag-meet lang kami half way dun sa demand (We meet half way of the demand),” said the Treasury Department head.

The Management implemented the P200 increase last July 1, 2006 and the P600 wage order last December 11, 2006. “Nakalagay sa Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) na all benefits should be retroactive…Basta lahat ng included sa CBA na demand effective June 2006. Pero dahil umabot sa Labor tumawad kami ng isang buwan (Based on the CBA, all benefits should be retroactive… All demands that are included in the CBA should be effective on June 2006. But because it was brought to Labor, we asked for a one month delay).”

Meanwhile, there is an on-going wage increase negotiation among the Management, the Integrated Science School (ISS) Faculty and Staff Union.

Jo Anne Canlas, Maanne Lopez

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