THE NATIONAL Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) has ordered the University to reinstate four dismissed employees, but the administration has appealed the order.

According to Center for Human Resources and Development director Atty. Manuel Beaniza, the UST administration would insist that Fernando Pontesor, Jimmy Nazareth, Santiago Buisa Jr., and Rodrigo Clacer should not be reinstated because they were project employees.

“The University looks at things in black and white. If we want project employees, we will hire project employees. If we want full employees, then we’ll hire full employees,” Beaniza said.

The Samahang Manggagawa ng UST (SM-UST), the union of non-academic employees, has contended that the four were casual employees and had become regular employees by operation of law.

According to a Supreme Court decision, a project employee’s employment can be terminated upon completion of the project, provided that the termination is stated during the execution of the employment contract.

Last December, NLRC labor arbiter Madjayran Ajan ruled in favor of the employees. Ajan, citing existing Supreme Court jurisprudence, said the four had become regular employees by operation of law because they had rendered at least a year of service, whether continuous or broken, with respect to the activity in which they were employed.

The four employees, as cited in the decision, had rendered service for a total of at least one year and eight months each.

The Commission also ordered the University to pay the full back wages without loss of seniority rights to the four employees totalling over a million pesos.

SM-UST vice president Nilo Tampos said the Union was pleased with the decision.

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“There are other pending cases, (we are hoping) for a positive outcome from them as well,” Tampos said.

Beaniza said the decision is not yet final and enforceable.

“Let’s not preempt the decision. Whatever comes next, whatever’s the outcome of the decision of our appeal will be subjected for review by the administration,” he said. Elka Krystle Requinta

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