The University of the Cordilleras (UC), formerly known as Baguio Colleges Foundation (BCF), which managed to produce two bar topnotchers within a span of eight years, is allegedly committing union-busting and other unfair labor practices. This has led to the union’s decision to stage a strike that may start any day, the UC employees’ union said.
BY ARTHUR L. ALLAD-IW
Posted by Bulatlat
Vol. VII, No. 49, January 20-26, 2008
BAGUIO CITY (246 kms north of Manila) – The University of the Cordilleras (UC), formerly known as Baguio Colleges Foundation (BCF), which managed to produce two bar topnotchers within a span of eight years, is allegedly committing union-busting and other unfair labor practices. This has led to the union’s decision to stage a strike that may start any day, the UC employees’ union said.
The officers and members of the Kapatiran ng mga Empleado ng UC-BCF (Kapatiran or Brotherhood of UC-BCF Employees), have filed a notice of strike at the National Conciliation and Mediation Board-Department of Labor and Employment in the Cordillera Administrative Region (NCMB-DOLE-CAR). It has also held a referendum to seek the strike vote, with majority of the union membership voting in favor of a strike.
In a statement, Kapatiran said its bases for the impending strike are violations of their right to organization, gross violation of the duty to bargain, gross violation of the management’s obligation to implement the economic provisions of their collective bargaining agreement, among others.
Notice of strike
Kapatiran, citing the said violations, filed a notice of strike on Dec. 7, 2007 at the NCMB regional office, where conciliation meetings were held.
On Dec. 18, 2007, Kapatiran sought the strike vote from its 175 members. A total of 107 or 61 percent, more than the required simple majority, voted in favor of a strike, according to records.
UC has 726 workers all in all.
NCMB-facilitated conferences were held but these did not arrive at any agreement.
“Union and university representatives have been in a series of meetings with the NCMB-DOLE-CAR but UC insists on management prerogatives that it cannot justify,” Kapatiran said in a statement.
Nordis learned that conciliation meetings are now being facilitated by NCMC Region 1 Director Darrow Odsey, who is holding office at San Fernando, La Union.
Admin “willingness” for meetings
UC President Jaime Buzar said the management is willing to sit down in formal negotiations with the union to discuss their demands. He raised the issue of representation, pointing out that the union president, Regi delos Santos, is no longer a UC employee. He added in a phone interview that once this issue (of representation) is solved, definitely the talk would go on smoothly.
Delos Santos was recently dismissed from the UC. Her case is now under appeal at the Supreme Court.
Asked if the union’s officers such as the vice-president can represent the union while the case of their president is under appeal, Buzar said they can meet the officers but there must be an authorization from the union.
Buzar added that the management has been sending officially-designated representatives to the meetings with the union, but no negotiation has been done on the latter’s demands.
Kapatiran, in its statement on Jan. 17, said representation should not be an issue in the negotiations. The union added that their officers are already assuming the responsibility while the Delos Santos-UC case is being appealed at the Supreme Court. The union stated that the administration’s insistence on the need to resolve the issue of representation by Delos Santos first is only meant to delay the discussion of the union’s demands.
Aside from the union’s allegation that UC committed “union-busting” by its refusal to recognize Delos Santos as their president, the administration also allegedly prevented the union from collecting agency fees from some faculty members.
Other alleged violations of union rights are CBA-related, such as unilateral changing of terms and conditions in classifying probationary employees, arbitrary assignment of teaching loads, interpretation of seniority principles, personnel action on performance evaluations; and violation of the no-discrimination clause. The union added that there is no transparency in the implementation of the law regarding the allotment of tuition fee increments for employees’ salaries and benefits. Northern Dispatch / Posted by (Bulatlat.com)