11 March 2014, 12:34 a.m. – THE UNIVERSITY administration and the 1,600-strong UST Faculty Union (USTFU) finally signed a new, five-year collective bargaining agreement (CBA) Monday night, with both sides agreeing to a “compromise” to avert a strike.

Vice Rector for Academic Affairs Clarita Carillo, head of the management panel, said a copy of the 2011-2016 CBA—delayed for almost three years—would be released this week. Faculty members will have five days to review the document, which provides for salary hikes and other terms and conditions of employment, before ratifying it in a general assembly.

The deal came less than a month after USTFU declared a deadlock in negotiations over teaching loads, faculty qualifications, and promotion, which became the basis for the filing of a notice of strike before the National Conciliation and Mediation Board last Feb. 27.

Carillo said the resolution stemmed from backdoor talks between the two parties with Rector Fr. Herminio Dagohoy, O.P. “We just continued with the deferred provisions,” Carillo told the Varsitarian in an interview. “Those [provisions] were discussed in the last three days when the USTFU made a presentation to the Rector.”

Monday night’s signing was more of a “rundown” of what the panels had already resolved, she added. “Both panels have the interest of the faculty in mind. I think it’s a good thing if we can resolve this peacefully. After all, we belong to one Thomasian family,” Carillo said.

USTFU President George Lim, head of the union’s negotiating panel, said the signing of the new CBA stemmed from a compromise. “[It’s a] negotiation. The University offered us a nice package; in return, there were some items we had to compromise,” he said.

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But USTFU Internal Vice President Rene Tadle said things could have been better.

“As a member of the panel, I have to consider the pressing needs of the faculty members. Thus, I have to sign, while knowing fully well that things could have been improved,” Tadle said in an interview.

Tadle said both parties would make a joint manifestation before the Department of Labor and Employment to withdraw the notice of strike. Gena Myrtle P. Terre

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