Silliman University (SU) administration takes adaptive measures in case the faculty union pushes through with a strike after the lengthy negotiations on the Collective Barganing Agreement broke down.
In an advisory issued last July 4 by Mark Raygan Garcia, director of SU Office of Information and Publications (OIP), through Facebook, he said that the administration is anticipating members of the Silliman University Faculty Association (SUFA) to not hold classes as early as July 5 as part of their strike.
There were 189 members of SUFA from elementary to college who voted yes to have a strike last June 23.
“The University is ensuring that such development will not compromise learning opportunities for our students and the purpose for which parents have entrusted their children to Silliman,” the advisory stated.
The adaptive measures include monitoring of classes to determine which ones have or not have teachers. Creative teaching modalities will be implemented in the affected classes.
The OIP released another advisory last July 7 stating that the administration respects the rights of the faculty to conduct a strike.
They, however, assured the students and parents that learning will be continuous once the strike is staged.
On the other hand, Jan Antoni Credo, SUFA president, expressed his disappointment saying the administration and its issuances seem not to care.
“You look at their issuances, all their statements, they’re challenging the union to go on strike and they’re not providing any solution to the present labor dispute,” Credo said.
Credo continued that the fact that the university’s act of considering the Finland Education Model is other way of telling the teachers to go on strike.
The labor union started making placards for protest last July 8. Credo said that the labor union is currently preparing for the strike.
“But if the administration can present an offer that is acceptable, fair, and just, it will end there,” he said.
When asked when the strike would happen, Credo said, “Secret.”
When asked when the strike could possibly happen, Credo said, “Secret.”
Dr. Ben S. Malayang III, SU president, said through Ms. Charmaine Melaño, former officer-in-charge of OIP during an exclusive meeting with the student publications last July 3 that he would rather not comment on the strike issue because he wants to make certain that he does not take sides. He said his interest is for both parties to come into an agreement.
However, he said that he wants to give the students his understanding on the issue. The faculty members want their salary to be increased, but he said it should also be considered that the university have several “baskets to fill,” such as services to students and the maintenance of the university.
“All these needs arepart of the wide range of education services – and they are to be met. But they should be met not only for the here and now. We should also be thinking of the bigger picture and the future,” said Malayang.
After almost a year of negotiations, the administration panel and SUFA panel declared a deadlock on Nov. 21, 2016. Conciliation and mediation with the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) took place afterwards.
Deadlock happens when two parties can no longer come to terms.
Prior to the start of the mediation, the administration proposed 2016 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with SUFA which included raise in salaries, 14th month pay, benefits like ambulance services, continuation of Intellicare (health insurance), and discounts on summer extension and reinforcement classes.
Among the administration’s offer in the new CBA, SUFA rejected some and made a proposed new provisions which include salary increase, bonuses, hazard allowance, school privileges and benefits, retirement benefits, service recognition award and class size.
SUFA submitted the proposal to the university president last May 13, 2016.
At the start of the conciliation mediation with NCMB, SUFA only accepted the Toxic Chemicals and Wildlife Handling Risk Pay offer of the administration.
But the rest remained to be settled.
Among those is the raise of salary for the faculty.
SUFA proposed a P40, 000 (one-time bonus) increase in 2016, P1, 900 monthly salary increase in the following year and P2, 700 raise for year three.
However, the administration only offered a P10, 000 (one-time bonus), P500 in the second year and P1000 in the third.
Over the course of the conciliation mediation, both panels were able to adjust their counter offers.
In the last proposal, the SUFA’s demand retained the P40, 000 (one- time bonus) but changed the second year increase to P1, 500 and P2, 500 in the third year.
For its part, the administration offered P14, 000 (one- time bonus), P500 and P1, 400 salary increase in second and third year respectively.
Even after the latest conciliation mediation last June 28, both panels have not agreed on anything yet.
In an article entitled “Statement on the Status of the Collective Bargaining with the Silliman University Faculty Association,” published by the administration in their page at the Silliman University website, it stated that the administration’s offer is the best it can give without compromising the operations and sustainability of the university.
The administration projected a revenue loss of P80 million in the next four years due to the decline of enrolment following the K to 12 education reform implementation.