THE DEADLOCK in the collective bargaining between the University and its non-academic employees is not merely caused by extremely contrasting positions on salary increase. In the final analysis, both sides cannot agree on the figure representing earnings from the tuition increase during this school year when UST has raised tuition by 10 percent.

Coming up with a final figure is crucial since by law, 70 percent of collections from a tuition increase should go to personnel salaries.

According to the management, the projected additional collection from the increase is P76 million. The union disputes this, and says the figure is P101 million, citing insiders in the Accounting department. But it cannot back its claim with proof.

Of the P56 million, the management is expected to earmark P45 million for the faculty as a result of the new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) signed last December. The CBA grants a P2,307 monthly salary increase to the University’s 1,500 teachers, across the board.

Samahang Manggagawa ng UST (SM-UST) president Arturo Sangalang said based on the faculty’s CBA package, only P8 million will be left for the salaries of the non-academic employees and administrators. He added there must be something wrong because the management offer, which has been rejected by the union, is worth P15 million.

But UST Vice-Rector for Finance Fr. Roberto Pinto, O.P. said the P76 million is merely a projection since UST has not finished the collection yet.

According to the law, 70 percent of the tuition increase collection will be allocated for the salary increases and other benefits of the school’s officials, faculty, and non-academic employees.

For the current academic year 2001-2002, UST raised its tuition by 10 percent, projecting P76 million worth of additional collection.

The University estimated a P53 million allotment for the salary increment and other benefits of non-academic employees, faculty members, and administrative officials.

But according to Sangalang, the management’s offer to the non-academic employees is unjustifiable. In 1996, they received P1,400 wage increase from UST’s P80 million tuition increase collection.

Vice-Rector for Finance, Fr. Roberto Pinto, O.P. said the management’s proposal is based on estimates or projections made by the University for the 2001-2002 tuition increment collection.

The disaster movie in our midst

Improper allocation

Fr. Pinto said the P45 million CBA of the faculty was ratified within the context of UST collection estimates or projections. As a rule, Fr. Pinto said, estimates are “conservative.” “Naibigay `yung P45 million (sa faculty), then we are giving P15 million (to SM-UST). Still, these are within the estimates or projections,” he explained.

He added that UST is still working within the 70 percent tuition increment allocation. “Kung hindi pumatak sa 50-70 percent, wala na tayong magagawa roon. On the other hand, kung may sumobra pa sa 70 percent, ibig sabihin may maidi-distribute pa kami sa kanila (University employees). We always make this position sa CBA na at the end of the school year, halimbawa may sumobra pa, ibibigay (ito) sa kanila,” he added.

But Sangalang said the union cannot suit its CBA offer based on projections.

“Ngayon na dapat pag-usapan `yan, hindi `yung sasabihin nila na saka na pag-usapan pag tapos na (academic year), malabo `yun. Papaano pala kung pumirma na agad kami? `Yung sobra nga ng nakaraan, hindi na namin alam kung anong nangyari, naghihintay kami sa wala,” he said.

The union claimed it has the actual computation of the 70 percent tuition increment amounting to P101 million.

But during a meeting at the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) on Jan. 7 to resolve the dispute, the management panel headed by Fr. Juan Ponce, O.P. asked for the union’s computation for review. If proven correct, Fr. Ponce said it would abide by the union’s computation.

“Kung mali ang computation, we are just willing to sit down and discuss the matter. Madaling i-settle kung tama o mali `yung data at itong isyu sa computation, puwedeng i-clarify,” Faculty of Arts and Letters Dean Armando De Jesus, spokesman of the management panel said.

But the union refused to show its computation.

“What is our guarantee? Wala na kaming tiwala (sa management),” Sangalang said.

The union would present its computation “pagdating ng tamang oras, pagdating ng tamang panahon,” the union president said.

SM-UST has also requested the Treasurer’s Office since August for a copy of the tuition increase distribution report for 2000-2001 when UST raised tuition by five percent.

Sa pagtataguyod ng wikang Filipino

The union wants to find out the actual figure of the tuition increment collection to determine if htere are savings that the management can tap to satisfy the union’s demand, but to no avail. Sangalang said this is anomalous since UST has already filed its financial statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Fr. Pinto said, the delay in reporting the 2000-2001 tuition increase distribution is not intentional. He explained the records of the Computer Center and the Accounting department do not tally.

He added UST has asked the Sycip, Gorres, Velayo and Co. (SGV) accounting firm to look into the matter.

But Sangalang said the University had filed its financial statement with the SEC last July. It detailed UST’s assets, liabilities, stockholders’ equity, revenue/income, and cash flows.

In its SEC statement, UST reported P148,881,678 as its retained earnings or accumulated excess of revenues over expenses at the end of 2001.

But Fr. Pinto clarified that the SEC report is different from the tuition increase distribution report the SM-UST is asking for.

“`Yung financial statement filed sa SEC, audited `yun ng external auditor, ang (SGV). Ang SEC report, it is the financial statement reflecting the operations of the University. `Yung hinihingi nila (SM-UST) related doon sa CBA, financial report sa distribution ng tuition increment,” Fr. Pinto explained.

Meanwhile, the management released a bulletin last Dec. 12 that presented a comparative table of current salaries and benefits received by a faculty member instructor 1 (with 24 unit load) and a non-academic personnel rank and file 1.

The table shows non-academic employees are receiving more than the faculty members. Instructor 1 receives an annual salary of P186, 873 while a non-academic personnel rank and file 1 receives P214, 447.

Although, both employees receive Christmas bonuses, the non-academic employee receives more than the faculty member in benefits such as 100 percent free tuition and miscellaneous fees’ for the education of the employee and his or her dependents, P100,000 maximum hospitalization benefit, P3,000 mid-year bonus, vacation and sick leave cash conversions, and P600 monthly meal and P1,000 monthly medicine allowances.

Parking woes, traffic blues

The union said the presentation is incorrect because the management compared the salary and other benefits of a newly-hired instructor with a non-academic employee who has served the University for 20-30 years.

But Fr. Pinto said the union itself miscomputed the salary and other benefits received by a non-academic employee.

“`Yung computation nila ng annual salary (faculty and personnel), divided nila sa 12 months lang. Remember na may 13th month pa kaya pumatak `yung computation nila sa (tinatanggap ng) employee na matagal na sa service,” he said.

Sangalang also criticized the nearly yearly tuition increase.

“Lagi na lang estudyante ang pinag-iinitan nila. Bakit hindi sila kumuha sa other income (of UST)? Entrance examination fee lang, P500 na. Ano ba na bigyan kami ng kaunti. Bawasan din nila ng kaunti `yung P300 million na savings nila,” Sangalang said.

Aside from the admissions’ fee, the union said, the University has other income sources such as the miscellaneous, energy, installment, parking fee, stocks, investments and other fees.

But UST said it will not tap into its other sources income just to please the union.

“The law is clear. 70 percent (of the tuition increase) ang nakalaan sa University employees. We can only limit the increases to the extent that can be funded through the tuition (increase),” De Jesus said.

Fr. Pinto added that the 70 percent (salary and benefits’ increment) and 30 percent (physical improvement) allocation is being strictly followed by the University.

He cited that the 30 percent allotment for UST’s continuing physical development and for financing the University’s operations is already stretched to the limit.

Fr. Pinto also clarified that UST does not have a P300 million savings as claimed by the union.

“That is not true. They think na `yung P300 million is cold cash. That is under the assets and total liabilities of UST. Even before, akala rin ng faculty pera `yun, (but) it is what you see now (physical development). They are referring sa P300 million na stipulated sa financial statement,” he explained.


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