Sunday, September 30, 2007

UP Workers Union Pushes for Cash, Fringe Benefits

By Angelo Muniz
Philippine Collegian, March 12th, 2007

The All-UP Workers Union (AUPWU) is pushing for additional financial benefits and rights for administrative employees in UP through its proposed Collective Negotiations Agreement (CNA) forwarded to the UP administration on February 14.

The proposed agreement, which is an amendment of the existing CNA, was drafted after a series of conferences conducted by the AUPWU chapters in Diliman, Los BaƱos, and Manila. AUPWU, a 5000-strong labor organization, is the official union that represents all administrative employees in UP.

The existing negotiations agreement signed in 2002 expires on April 19, and the amended CNA, if approved, shall take effect until 2011.

Workers’ benefits

Among the demands contained in the proposed CNA is a P20,000 incentive for every worker once the new CNA is signed. In 2002, the first CNA provided for a P5,000 signing incentive.

The proposed CNA includes an additional annual subsidy of two sacks of rice, from only two sacks in the old CNA, as well as a centennial bonus not less than P20,000, P5,000 for medical assistance, and retirement benefits amounting to P20,000.

Aside from financial incentives, the amended CNA also advances additional non-financial benefits for UP employees like safeguards against gender discrimination and additional sickness leaves especially for women employees. The proposed CNA also recognizes the right of the union to directly represent employees in cases of employee movement like reorganization.

Meanwhile, Vice President for Legal Affairs Marvic Leonen, the chief negotiating officer of the UP administration on the CNA, refused to give his opinion on the substance of the CNA as he is still waiting for the outcome of the negotiation.

The UP administration and its employees first entered into a CNA in 1995. Governing the relationship of UP and its administrative employees, the CNA determines the employees’ rights and other benefits except for the salary, which is subject to the Salary Standardization Law.

Election of official representative union

Clodualdo Cabrera, president of AUPWU, expressed fear that the CNA will not be approved until the middle of 2008 due to a petition for Certification Election being pushed by an unknown group in UP. “This petition seeks to challenge the mandate of the AUPWU to represent UP workers in the CNA negotiations,” Cabrera said.

A certification election determines the official labor union that may negotiate with the administration through voting among UP employees. The AUPWU won in a certification election against the Organization of Non-Academic Personnel in UP in 2001.

Cabrera also said that workers are being misled by the anonymous group to believe that UP will not release the P20,000 signing incentive if a certification election is not held.

“The signing incentive is provided for in the CNA and will be given to the workers with or without the certification election. In fact, an election at this time will only delay the release of the incentive and the approval of the CNA,” he added.

Cabrera said that AUPWU will file with the Bureau of Labor Relations a petition for retraction should the anonymous group holding a signature campaign file a petition for certification election.

With an earlier agreement that negotiations should last for four months, AUPWU and the UP administration met again on March 13 and set the ground rules for the CNA negotiation. The union also expects that formal negotiations on the substance of the CNA will open on the same day. #

Note: Ang artikulo na ito ng Philippine Collegian noon pang ika-12 ng Marso 2007 ay ating nilimbag (publish) sa ating Web Log upang lalo pang bigyang pansin ang mga nagawa na ng All UP Workers Union kaugnay sa ating mga benepisyo at upang pabulaanan ang mga panlilito na ipinakalat ng kabilang unyon (ONAPUP) na kung ang All UP ang mananalo sa Certification Election sa ika-24 ng Oktubre 2007 ay walang signing bonus at o mabale-wala ang ating mga boto.

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