Employees petition for CBA revisions

Every five years, the DLSU Employee Association (DLSUEA) revises and advocates specific changes in their Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

These changes take place because according to Electronics and Communications Engineering lab technician and current DLSUEA President Melvin Marasigan, employees have changing needs throughout their service in the University.

Specific attention is given to the retirement benefits of the employees in this year’s CBA revisions drafting. The DLSUEA wants to change the computation of the retirement payment given to qualified employees.

Jojo del Rosario, Office of Career and Counseling Services (OCCS) secretary and vice president of DLSUEA, informed that the union is advocating to replace the use of the employee’s salary five years before his or her retirement, in the computation of the retirement compensation, to the salary of the personnel on his/her last year of service.

Marasigan expressed DLSUEA’s desire to use the faculty benefits as the benchmark for the improvements of the employee benefits.

DLSUEA also wishes to have a similar privilege of getting paid while on vacation or when they’re doing outreach activities.

Faculty members are given this opportunity when they apply for sabbatical leave, a short period of rest or study with pay, and educational scholarship grants. These benefits differ depending on the rank of the faculty member.

Upon the completion of the CBA, the DLSUEA will submit the proposal to the administration for approval. The administration is given 10 days to review the CBA and respond to DLSUEA. The contents of the reply should include the dates of the meetings when the administration and DLSUEA will convene to discuss the stipulations of the CBA.

As of press time, the DLSUEA and the administration have met thrice this academic year. Only the ground rules have been agreed upon and they have yet to discuss the revisions in detail.

Once an agreement is reached, the final draft of the CBA will be signed by the DLSU president, the DLSUEA president and the university’s labor director. The approved copy of the CBA is then printed in the co-academic manual that is distributed to the employees. It takes around 90 days to complete the CBA.

“The results should at least be good since the proposal was prepared well. We are hopeful that the negotiations will be finalized before Christmas,” Marasigan said.

The current CBA allots vacation and administration contributions to the Catholic Education Association of the Philippines (CEAP). The contributions will be given to the employees together with their retirement compensation upon departure from the University.

“There is nothing wrong with giving the employees more benefits, but there is a need to look into the general trends in the labor market,” Dr. Tereso Tullao Jr., an Economics full professor and University Fellow, clarified. Tullao will retire in a year.

Although the faculty members are given better benefits than the rest of the University employees, faculty members do not have an allotted vacation leave that can be converted into monetary compensation like what employees get, Tullao explained.

The University employees’ retirement age is 65 and the faculty members retire at 60. For Tullao, the employees should consider themselves lucky because their retirement compensation can increase as they stay longer in the University.

The DLSUEA currently has 167 members from the different university offices. Discipline Office (DO) personnel, nurses, and office assistants and secretaries are members of the union.  However, some employees are prohibited to join the DLSUEA as mandated by the co-academic manual.

The last DLSUEA CBA was signed last 2005 by then president Baylon Banez.

By Patrick Ong

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