5 December 2012
DAVAO CITY, Philippines — The Brokenshire College Faculty and Staff Union’s decision to launch the strike yesterday (Dec. 4) was based on justified reasons and conditions.
The Union has exerted all efforts to come up with an agreement with the Brokenshire College administration but the negotiations failed because of the administration’s unjustified and unacceptable reasons.
The labor dispute stemmed from the Collective Bargaining Negotiations deadlock on the terms for the improvement of salaries and benefits of the teaching and non-teaching personnel of Brokenshire College.
With the Union’s sincere contribution to the Brokenshire College’s current financial status, it even adjusted its economic demands just to come up with an acceptable solution to the dispute. Initially, the Union already withdrew most of its demands for salary increase, additional credits for sick, vacation, emergency, study, service, maternity and paternity leaves, and other economic benefits and demanded only what was taken away from them by the Brokenshire College Administration.
Past Teaching Loads /Hours per Week
Before SY 2011-2012
Current Teaching Loads/Hours per Week
Starting SY 2011-2012
|A.) Arts and Sciences Language
Natural and Social Science
|B.) BA and HRM||
|C.) Nursing (Clinical Instructors)||
|D.) Non-Teaching Personnel||
The Union’s just and legitimate demands are:
1.) To revert back the teaching loads and working hours to the former practice in Brokenshire College.
2.) To compensate the corresponding overloads and overtime work for two semesters instead of four semesters since SY 2011-2012 implementation.
3.) To revert back the RLE fee sharing guidelines to what was practiced before the revision that was implemented this year. Correspondingly, the monthly honorarium of the Clinical Instructor’s should not be taken from the RLE Fee as what was practiced before.
4.) A 150-day collective union leave with pay should be given to the members of the Union.
Viability of union’s proposal
Based on the joint study of the union and the administration, if the overload and overtime are to be reverted back to long before practiced loading and working hours and be compensated back to the 88 affected employees of Brokenshire College then, it would need PHP 1,274,207 as overload refundable for the first semester. Because there were employees who resigned this second semester, what is needed for this semester is only PHP 1,190,245. Combining the two semesters refundable would amount to PHP 2,464,452.
Where to source out the compensation needed?
Through the Tuition Fee Incremental Proceeds.
This school year, Brokenshire College increased its tuition fee. Under the law, 70 percent of the tuition fee increase should be allotted for the additional salaries and benefits of the employees while the remaining 30 percent shall be for facilities improvement and return of investments of the school.
This first semester’s increase yielded PHP 1,088,522.90 net, based on the 70 percent of the tuition fee incremental proceeds minus the scholarship discounts and allowance for doubtful accounts. The first semester saw a total of 2,285 students enrolled.
For the second semester, enrollees reached at least 1,900. In order to achieve the PHP 1,375,929.10 remaining amount for compensation, only 1,507 students in fact need to be enrolled this second semester.
Thus, the demand of the union is very doable. There is no reason for the administration not to grant these demands, especially that there would be no reserve fund will be utilized for the said compensation.
The union’s offer, or sacrifice (to be more exact) not to demand back wages for one more semester wherein they were not paid by the administration is already a great contribution to the school. This is already an act of goodwill by the employees to the college because it would translate to roughly PHP 1,190,245 of savings for the school.
On the RLE Sharing Scheme
The union stands that the monthly honorarium of the CI’s should not be taken from the RLE Fee because it is not supposed to be under the law and what was practiced in Brokenshire College for more than five years now. The effect of the new guidelines that was implemented by the Administration in RLE Fee Sharing is that it would diminish the RLE fee share of the CI’s because it will be exhausted to their monthly honorarium and the other employees who benefited from the sharing cannot receive such anymore.
More so, the revision of the RLE Sharing scheme was implemented by the administration without consultation and approval of the affected employees. Thus, the right of the employees was violated because they were denied to due process of the implementation.
The administration’s reply
A dismal and unacceptable response was the offer of the administration. Accordingly, the administration will accept the de-loading and the payment of the corresponding additional loads and working hours if and only if the monthly honoraria of the clinical
instructors will be dissolved by implementing a ranking system for them. For the Union, this cannot be because doing so would result to the diminution of benefits of the CIs.
Of these predicaments, the Union has always tried to offer a fair and reasonable solution. During the entire negotiation for the economic items in the collective bargaining negotiations, the administration did not present justified answers that was based on data as to whythey could not grant the demands of the Union. More appalling, they don’t even have a prepared counter proposal to every item proposed by the union or even how to allocate the tuition fee incremental proceeds.
The union has even extended the “cooling off” period, because it has always opted for the peaceful resolution to the issue as they more than the administration has over the years, showed love and dignity for work. Unfortunately, the desire and efforts of the union was not reciprocated by the administration due to its clear lack of professionalism, responsibility, and sincerity for the plight of the workers.
Assumption of Jurisdiction Order dismantled the strike
Faster than tropical storm Pablo, the Assumption of Jurisdiction (AJ) Order by Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz was issued on the labor dispute. Through the AJ Order, the striking workers were enjoined to go back to work within 24 hours after receipt of the order or else they will lose their jobs.
The union assailed the order as unscrupulous because the issuance date of the said Order was December 3, 2012 while the strike was launched only at early of December 4, 2012. The union recalled that on December 3, 2012, the negotiating panels of both parties were still on a Conciliation Conference at the office of National Conciliation and Mediation Board.
We view this as treachery and repression on the part of the Department of Labor and Employment, National Conciliation and Mediation Board in cahoots with Brokenshire College Administration. With this, the Union strongly condemned the Aquino administration’s continuance of issuing Assumption of Jurisdiction Order over labor disputes. It just only shows how this government is repressive and callous to heed the plight of the workers.
Rodne Baslot, 0910-511-3030
President, Brokenshire College Faculty and Staff Union – Association
of Democratic Labor Organizations (BCFASU-ADLO-KMU)