Tuesday, June 29, 2004

AUPWU Manila Held Dialogues With UP Manila Chancellor and PGH Director: Rice Subsidy for PGH/UP Manila Employees Almost in the Bag

The last negotiation with UP, particularly in the UMCB on May 24, 2004 in UP Manila, ended in a deadlock . As a result everyone's asking us: "When will be the next delivery of our rice subsidy? We in the All UP Workers Union in Manila, initiated dialogues with the UP Manila Chancellor, Dr. Marita V.T. Reyes and PGH Director, Dr. Carmelo A. Alfiler on June 11, 2004 and June 18, 2004, respectively.

The dialogue with the Chancellor was called by the Chancellor herself to report the good news that the first three months (January-March 2004) of Hazard Pay for UP Manila Academic Units will be given by next week. This was made possible because the Internal Operating Budget (IOB) of UP Manila has been approved by the UP BOR in which the UP Manila Administration has inserted an amount of seven million pesos (P7,000,000.00) in the Revolving Fund as Hazard Pay benefit. Meanwhile, the monthly Hazard Pay for the rest of the year maybe given only near the end of the year in view of the previous years's (2003) BOR ruling on the use of savings.

It must be recalled that the BOR has ruled last year that any amount for Hazard Pay of UP Manila Academic Units (which shall be taken from savings) could only be given near the end of the year (last quarter of each year). According to the BOR, it was only during that time that actual savings maybe realized. The Hazard Pay of PGH staff has been included in the General Appropriations Act since 1996.

After the good news from the Chancellor, the Chapter officials took this opportunity to request the Chancellor if she could categorically declare and take stand during the next PAC Meeting in July that PGH and UP Manila could give the rice subsidy over and above the P5,000.00 alloted for the Year-end Incentive Bonus. In reply, Chancellor Marita not only answered on the affirmative but stated as well that she and the PGH Director has already declared this since the May 2004 PAC Meeting. That UP Manila and PGH can afford to give at least two sacks of rice per employee for 2004. If needed, it maybe given starting this June. The amount will be taken from the accumulated savings for the past six months. She further related to us that it was VP Echanis and Chancellor Roman of (UP Diliman) who opposes the giving of the rice subsidy this year because of the perceived difficulty in the DBM releases and the slack in enrollment for the coming School Year.

Meanwhile, our dialogue with the PGH Director only affirmed what the Chancellor had already told to us. Director Alfiler further added that the PGH Administration is also planning of putting up a pre-hospital benefit for immediate family members of PGH employees at very minimal cost, probably a regular regular medical check-up. In which one of the Director's Assistant, Dr. Michael Tee reminded the Union of our previous agreement, for the Union to help in the formulation of guidelines.

In the light of this development in UP Manila, and considering that the administrative employees of UP Manila (with PGH) comprises about half of the entire administrative personnel complement of the entire UP System, we in UP Manila do feel that it is now in the hands of UP Administration to decide whether to give or not to give our demand for a quarterly rice subsidy this year. Meanwhile, the alleged lack of savings from UP Visayas and UP Mindanao, could very well be covered by the savings from the UP Central Administration

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