DAVAO CITY – Two employees’ unions of a private school here will be holding its third protest action on Monday, October 5 in time for the commemoration of the World Teachers’ Day to press the school management to suspend the implementation of a new employee guidelines.

Ruel Socrates Luayon, president of the Holy Cross of Davao College Faculty Union appeared in a press conference Friday with the officers of another union, Holy Cross of Davao College Employees Association to show their unity to call for the immediate suspension of the implementation of the new employee guidelines which they say is “violative of the provisions of their Collective Bargaining Agreement.”

Luayon’s union is affiliated with the Association of Democratic Labor Organization and Kilusang Mayo Uno, while the other union is affiliated with the Federation of Free Worker.

“We are calling on Archbishop Romulo Valles and the Board of Trustees to intervene decisively and swiftly on the abuse of power that is affecting the workers right to security of tenure,” said Luayon.

The two unions are also calling for the stepping down of the school’s administrators including president Msgr. Julius Rodulfa, vice president for administration Cristina Nacionales, and human resource manager Arnold Barillo.

The school’s employees have already conducted protest actions last September 21 and 28.

HCDC, in its website, says it is a “Catholic, Archdiocesan and educational non-profit, non-stock educational corporation.” The school is supervised by the Roman Catholic Bishop of Davao.

In their petition, the unions said the Employees Guide, which “is a tool to help the employees attain the mission statement of the school” has been revised by the said administrators without them knowing.

“A committee was organized represented by the sectors and organized groups to design the process ad content. Towards the end, Rodulfa, Nacionales and Barillo put a hand that significantly changed the content and violated the process,” said the groups.

“The new EG appeared like a penal code rather than a guide and it violated the grievance procedure of the collective bargaining agreement of both unions,” they said.

Marlon Mendoza, president of the HCDCEA-FFW, said that they are not against the whole of the New Employee’s Guidelines, but what they oppose is the particular provision relating to employees who have allegedly erred in his/her performance of work.

He said that under the previous Employee’s Guidelines, whenever an employee is alleged or who has committed an infraction, said employee cannot be sanctioned immediately if the issue is brought as a grievance matter.

“No sanction will be meted out until grievance procedure has been exhausted. But with the new EG, the administration unilaterally inserted/revised the provision and invoked that an employee can be sanctioned first before the issue can be brought to grievance procedure,” Mendoza said.

“If this prospers, an employee can be summarily terminated from employment,” he said.

Luayon said their Grievance Machinery and Procedure is “a mechanism set-up by employees and administration, which laid down the steps to be taken if there is a grievance or issue raised either by the employee or administration regarding the collective bargaining agreement, implementation or interpretation of company policy or the Employee’s Guidelines, and wage distortion issue.”

“If we talk about the Grievance Procedure that is reflected in Article 8, section 2, Article 9 section 1 and 2 in our CBA and Article 8 sections 1-3 of the CBA of FFW,” said Luayon.

“The grievance machinery is composed of representatives from the union and administration,” he said.

Luayon said the Board of Trustees, including Archbishop Valles and Msgr. Paul Cuison asked apology to them, saying have they known that the new EG violates the CBAs they would not have signed it.

Luayon quoted them as saying “we will rectify the mistakes that we have done, just give us time.”

“Diha ang bikil kay wala gi-specify kanus-a ni (Now we don’t know how long that time will take),” he said, adding that this is why they are continuing their pressure to immediately resolve the issue.

Meanwhile, he said they are not yet contemplating to launch a strike against the school administrators.

“There is no strikeable issue as of now. Besides, we are thinking about the students who will be taking their final exams,” said Luayon. (davaotoday.com)

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