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Resolved: Admin and SUFA dispute

Ray Chen S. Bahinting | Editor-in-Chief

RESOLVED. Students and some members of Silliman University Faculty Association (SUFA) huddled under the drizzling night after the announcement that the strike was over as the faculty union and the administration reached a settlement. Photo From SUFA Facebook page

The dispute between the faculty union and the administration is finally resolved.

After one-year and two months of negotiation, the Silliman University Faculty Union (SUFA) and Silliman University (SU) Administration had come to an agreement before the Tripartite Industrial Peace Council (TIPC) of Negros Oriental last July 21.

This negotiation on Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) was the longest in history of the university that even led to a three-day labor strike of the faculty union.

On a statement released by the TIPC, “Silliman (administration) agreed to review existing offer, which was before based on the projected enrollments and revenues, to now based on actual enrollments and revenues this year.”

The administration projected a zero enrollment for first year and second year college students.

As of July 5, there were 531 freshmen and 1,106 sophomore college students.

Based on the recomputation, the package offer increased to 407 regular academic personnel of the university for three years in 2016-17, 2018-18, and 2018-19.

“Salaries and benefits for the academic personnel alone will now be over P230M per year. SUFA accepted this offer,” it stated.

The details on the new CBA, however, cannot be disclosed yet until both parties have signed.

Meanwhile, an emotional Jan Antoni Credo, SUFA president, announced during the union’s picket lines that a new draft of the contract was in the works since July 22.

“The long struggle is finally over. But it is not completely over yet until we sign the final documents,” Credo said.

Although the SUFA’s demands that led to deadlock were not fully given by the administration, Credo believed that SUFA panel did its best in the final negotiation with Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) that lasted for three hours that evening.

“We believe that we have secured fair, just, and equitable benefits for all the members of the union,” he expressed.

Moreover, Credo thanked the SUFA members who supported him and the rest of the union panel.

“Magpasalamat ko sa tanan nga nisuporta nato. I really thought nga katong nagkapihan pa ta dinhi, wala kaayoy gapakabana apan naa diay silent majority nga nagpaluyo nato,” Credo narrated.

He also thanked the “unexpected and strong” support of the students.

But as he was about to continue his discourse, Credo stuttered and never continued his speech. He started to become emotional so as the faculty members and some students.

He uttered “thank you” before he cried and was hugged by his colleagues.

On the other hand, last July 25, SU president, Ben S. Malayang III released its first statement since SUFA staged its strike. “Much has been said by many

“Much has been said by many about events and the people involved in the recent faculty strike in Silliman. There were nice things said, but also not so nice things uttered in anger,” said Malaayang on statement that was uploaded in Silliman website.

“This is understandable in light of the passions and emotions expended, and the inherent need for people (of all and any persuasion, both for or against the strike) to self-justify their actions,” he added. Malayang said that the strike  was an “extraordinary event” that caused people to act on “extraordinary ways.”

“Let us remember and keep our faith that Sillimanians are people of goodwill and of good intentions,” he added.

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