by Ian Zane T. Esparaga | April 20, 2021
Silliman University Faculty Association (SUFA) calls the administration to go back to the negotiation table and resolve the 2019 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) deadlock.
Back in 2019, SUFA and the administration were in the middle of a midterm negotiation discussing the supplemental agreement for the remaining two years of the CBA that covers for five years starting from 2016.
Last July 8, SUFA filed a motion regarding the assumption of jurisdiction imposed by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) as the two parties were in a conciliation-mediation period.
An assumption of jurisdiction takes effect when the striking workers, after due notice, are ordered to return to work and the management accepts them. At the same time, the Secretary of Labor resolves the dispute.
Up until now, there has been no resolution coming from DOLE, according to SUFA President, Jonathan Te.
Although he understands that the pandemic may have played a part in the delay, they urge the administration to talk since there is no legal restriction on a resumption of negotiation.
“Somehow, they’ve been busy and from our effort coming from the union, since there is no restriction regarding continuing to talk, continuing to negotiate with the administration, pwede man siyang padayunon.”
Te added that they would want to resume the negotiation rather than awaiting the resolution by DOLE where a party can file an appeal if it is not favorable for them.
“It becomes a bad precedent if another party is now doing the decision-making for the management and the union who are supposed to negotiate,” Te said.
The newly elected SUFA president further stated that since the pandemic, the union had made attempts to get back in negotiation. However, the only response they received from the administration is to wait for DOLE’s resolution.
“Hantod karon dili gihapon sila makigbalik ug storya and their response has always been it’s with DOLE, so we will wait for the resolution of DOLE.”
In a series of tweets made by SUFA in their official Twitter account, the union reiterated that the faculty has not received their pay increase and enjoyed better benefits for the last two years.
Te shared that the last time the administration and the union had a meeting was last September 9. Among present in the event is Silliman University president, Dr. Betty McCann, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Earl Jude Cleope, Vice President for Finance and Administration, Dr. Jenny Chiu, Vice President for Development, Dr. Jane Annette Belarmino, other members of the administration, and SUFA’s board of officers.
The said meeting was stipulated in the CBA where the two parties would meet during the start of the school year and discuss certain matters that needed immediate actions. One of the issues tackled was the union’s desire to continue the negotiation, especially with other SUFA members who were greatly affected by the pandemic.
tWS has already reached out to the administration for a statement regarding the said issue.