EIGHTEEN former employees of the UST Publishing House want the University to reconsider their termination, demanding an explanation on why their jobs were deemed “redundant.”

All 13 employees from the printing division, three layout artists, and two clerks were given termination letters last April 22, effective May 31.

The letter said the Publishing House’s board of trustees, together with the Office of Planning and Development, had decided to “restructure” the University, leaving the employees’ posts in the Publishing House “redundant.”

Cesar Medina, a layout artist who served the press for nine years said, the terminated workers were “extremely disappointed” with the order, and added they would file a complaint with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) if their appeals are not heard.

“We just want them to talk to us first. If nothing happens, we’ll go straight to DOLE,” Medina said.

Retrenched layout artist Arcelin Galang said they were informed of the “restructuring” of the Publishing House last year and were told they would be transferred to another department instead of being terminated.

“We felt really bad because we were discharged. Others still have pending cases but were transferred to other department,” Galang said.

In-house counsel Arsenik Pagaduan declined to comment, saying the case is still under consideration.

Former Publishing House officer in charge Augusto Antonio Aguila also declined to comment, saying what happened was “out of his hands.”

Medina wants an explanation on the grounds for termination, saying the “redundancy” of their jobs was not explained clearly.

“What do they mean by redundancy? The [management] couldn’t even show us a study on the redundancy of our jobs,” Medina said.

Pangako ng Panitik

Medina said the UST-Samahan ng Manggagawa (UST-SM), the employee’s union of non-teaching personnel in the University, is negotiating with the Office of the Vice Rector regarding the case.

UST-SM president Restituto Llamas refused to talk about the matter.

The other relieved employees are Renato Aguilar, Benedick Arceo, Allan Bundang, Joselito Bustamante, Maria Irene Canlas, Antonino Dela Cruz, Eduardo Gadiane, Romulo Gonzales, Ramil Lajara, Macario Cassius Lipata, Analou Pajarillo, Gaudioso Pasajol Jr., Marcelo Payopay, Joel Ponce, Anita Rivera, and Luisito Salvador.

Last September, the Publishing House decided to outsource printing operations after incurring P30 million in losses.

Former Publishing House director Jocelyn Calubayan had attributed the losses to the “400 Books at 400” project, citing high production cost since the project required at least 40 titles per year.

However, former Publishing House director and now Office for Admissions Director Mecheline Zonia Manalastas had said the project, which started in 2001, would push through.

Last February the Publishing House launched 38 new titles, requiring it to produce 24 books to complete the project next year. Darenn G. Rodriguez


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.