DCWD workers’ union decries attack

Oct. 18, 2007

DAVAO CITYThe Nagkahiusang Mamumuo sa Davao City Water District (NAMADACWAD) criticized the erroneous and misleading statements maintained by the management of the DCWD regarding its ambitious P126-million proposed loan and decried DCWD General Manager Rodora Gamboas attacks against the union.

In a statement, Gamboa claimed that its proposed P126-million loan will not result to an increase in the water rates and that NAMADACWAD only concocted the report since they [the workers] are demanding the release of the Collective Negotiation Agreement (CNA) incentive.

Rudy Aranjuez, chair of NAMADACWAD, a local affiliate of the Confederation for the Unity, Respect and Advancement of Government Employees (COURAGE), slammed the districts false charges, saying it should instead answer the incredulity against the real intent of the loan and not evade the issue by spewing malicious accusations against the union.

In the committee hearing at the City Council last week, the DCWD management failed to justify the proposed loan from the Local Water Utility Administration (LWUA) supposedly meant to fund the Comprehensive Mainline Replacement Program (CMRP) while it still had P376 million in savings.

The fears of the consumers of Davao City are not without basis. The management is hiding the fact that under the policy and terms of the LWUA prior to approval of loans, a guarantee of payment is needed through water rate increases. The interest of the payments alone will turn the district into a debt-ridden water utility. This is the reason why we are saying the loan will lead to privatization, Aranjuez said.

Aranjuez further criticized the managements allegations the union is opposed to the loan because the workers are only after their Collective Negotiations Agreement (CNA) incentives. In the first place, the management has no right to deprive the workers what is legally due them. It claims that there is no legal basis for the CNA incentive when PSLMC Resolution No. 2 clearly states that we are entitled to it.

The Public Sector Labor Management Council approved a circular mandating that all public sector unions that have concluded the a CNA shall be given annual incentives. The CNA between the NAMADACWAD and the DCWD was signed in May 26, 2006, a provision of which included the establishment of a CNA Incentive Committee to formulate programs for the determination of savings that shall given to workers are incentive.

For more than a year now, we have earnestly and repeatedly asked the management to respect the guidelines of PSLMC resolution, as all other water districts in the country. Instead, the management engaged in delaying tactics, formed its own interpretations of the programs and guidelines and compelled the union officers to concede to a managements version which was prejudicial to the interests of the workers. It is not the union who has been reneging on the agreed CNA and violating the rules of the law, explained Aranjuez.

The management is clearly evading the real issue of the effects of the loan and its bid for privatization. It resorts to attacking the union, even discrediting our legitimate claim to our CNA incentive. The workers are in dire need of economic relief; the management has no right telling us we dont deserve what we are demanding. The truth of the matter is, while the consumers of the city pay for the previous mishaps of the district and the workers are being deprived of their rights, the Board of Directors, for all the wisdom they give to provide us quality water service, receive P12,000 per meeting aside from their salaries and all-expenses-paid trip abroad, he ended.

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