THE NATIONAL Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) has sided with the University over a tenureship dispute with a Nursing professor, overturning a labor arbiter’s earlier decision that found UST liable for illegal dismissal.

In a decision dated March 27, the NLRC reversed the Dec. 27, 2012 ruling of the Office of the Labor Arbiter, saying it did not agree with the conclusions of the labor arbiter that the Nursing professor, Yvette Montecillo, had “attained regular status and [was] entitled to security of tenure” under UST’s collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with the UST Faculty Union.

Under the CBA, faculty members get tenure after five semesters of teaching. But UST argues that the CBA provision had long been superseded by regulations of the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd).

The NLRC agreed with UST that the CBA provision “entertaining the possibility of college instructors becoming faculty members even without master’s degree should be considered abrogated and rendered ineffective” by CHEd Memorandum Order No. 40 Series of 2008 that required a master’s degree for all college faculty members.

Montecillo, who was dismissed in 2012, was among those faculty members asked to sign a document waiving their right to tenure in case they failed to finish their master’s degrees on time. She was hired by UST in July 2003 as a non-tenured, full-time faculty member at the College of Nursing, according to NLRC records.

The NLRC, however, ordered UST to pay Montecillo P243,000 based on her “satisfactory” performance from 2003-2005 and “very satisfactory” performance from 2005-2012. It was computed at half a month’s pay for every year of service.

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Civil Law Dean Nilo Divina, UST legal counsel, hailed the NLRC decision.

“Given our strong arguments, we anticipated the reversal of the Labor Arbiter’s Decision,” Divina said, adding that UST will comply with the order to grant financial assistance to Montecillo.

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