(Faculty members eyeing the USTFU presidency, from left to right: Incumbent president Dr. George Lim of the Kabalikat USTFU, longtime union executive Rene Luis Tadle of the Lead 4 Change Alliance, and independent Jove Jim Aguas. Taken from the parties’ respective Facebook pages.)

22 September 2015, 8:32 pm – FACULTY members will troop to the polling booths on
Sept. 28 to elect a new set of union officials, amid lingering questions over
the impact of the K to 12 scheme on job security and last year’s collective
bargaining agreement (CBA) with the UST administration.

The incumbent president, Dr. George Lim, faces
off with his former number two, longtime union executive Rene Luis Tadle, and
Jove Jim Aguas for the top post in the 1,500-strong UST Faculty Union (USTFU).

Lim’s “Kabalikat” slate is running on a
platform of continuity of programs and professionalization of the union, faculty
unity, and “respect” for UST and its officials, while Tadle’s “Lead 4 Change
Alliance” ticket wants “union transformation” and vows there will be “no
teacher left behind.”

Aguas, a philosophy professor, is running as an
independent on a platform of a “collaborative, collegial and proactive, rather
than reactive” faculty union.

Lim’s party also vows to “maintain the utmost
integrity in the performance of our duties; maintain transparency of all
activities and transactions; distribute all excess funds to the membership


on Lim?

The USTFU election is turning out to be a
referendum on the tenure of Lim, who is part of the medical faculty. Last year,
union negotiators led by Lim himself struck a new collective bargaining deal
with the UST administration for the years 2011-2016, but not without acrimony.

The Lead 4 Change Alliance candidate for vice
president for legal affairs, lawyer Danielito Jimenez of the Faculty of
Arts and Letters, claims faculty members got the raw end of the deal under
Lim’s CBA. Leave benefits in the new CBA are nothing to crow about as they are
already mandated by existing laws, he said.

“These benefits under the CBA do not differ
from the legally mandated labor standards and cannot therefore be considered a
product of negotiation,” Jimenez said in an interview.

UST administrators, meanwhile, were able to get
their way, particularly with the system of promotion and faculty classification.

“During the general assembly, I tried to raise
the [concerns regarding CBA], but what happened that time was that they
prevented us from raising concerns,” Jimenez claimed.

The CBA states that “a female faculty member is
entitled to 60 days leave with full pay based on her gross monthly
compensation” while “pregnant faculty members are entitled to maternity leave
for a maximum of 60 days for normal delivery and 78 days for caesarian

Also, “every male faculty member shall be
entitled to a paternity leave of seven working days with full pay for the first
four deliveries or miscarriages.”

Republic Acts 7322 and 8187, however, already mandate
maternity and paternity leave benefits, respectively.


‘CBA a

Jimenez said he would “push for better terms
and conditions of employment over and above labor standards” should he win in the
USTFU polls.

Lim acknowledged that some CBA provisions may
not be “advantageous” to the faculty, but pointed out that it would be
unrealistic to expect the union to obtain all of its demands during CBA talks.

“There are provisions that may not be to the
advantage of the faculty members. We do not claim [that the CBA] is a perfect
instrument. Hindi naman pwedeng lahat
gusto nila, or lahat gusto namin [ang ilagay] kasi hindi na
CBA `yon. CBA is a negotiation, Lim said in an interview.

The CBA also performs the role of informing faculty
members of their benefits, which is why benefits already mandated by law were
included in last year’s deal, he added.

“There are so many benefits provided by law
that the faculty members are not even aware of. If you do not put it there,
[the more] they will not be aware of that information,” Lim said.

At any rate, Lim said USTFU officials never
obliged members to ratify the document last year.

“The document is presented to everybody. We did
not coerce anyone to vote for its ratification. So na-ratify `yan, more than
80 percent [voted for it],” Lim said.


K to 12 woes

Tadle, who quit
the USTFU vice presidency to run against Lim, meanwhile scored the lack of
immediacy in information dissemination to union members, particularly on
University policies in relation to the K to 12 scheme.

A reduction of teaching loads is expected beginning
2016 as high school students will spend two more years in senior high school
instead of graduating to college. UST has reduced its program offerings to just
13 from 56 for the next academic year.

“I think there is
a need for a more assertive leadership and someone who is really knowledgeable
regarding the things that must be done. Nakita
ko talaga na may kakulangan sa
policy in relation to K to 12 and I think we
have to be more proactive in protecting the rights and interests of faculty
members,” Tadle said in an interview.

Tadle’s Lead 4 Change Alliance promises
to deal with problems concerning the K to 12 transition through a “trifocal
approach”: urging the government to enact policies protecting faculty members, partnership
and dialogue between the UST administration and the union to prevent job cuts,
and coordination with nongovernment organizations like the Catholic Bishops’
Conference of the Philippines in upholding labor-friendly policies for faculty
members that will be affected by the transition.


full disclosure

Aguas is proposing to form a special
committee to address K to 12 issues and another committee focused on CBA

Aguas’ platform stresses the need for “advancement
in academic excellence” through a support system for faculty research and
publication as well as financial incentives. Aguas also vows to ensure “good
governance and administration” through full disclosure of USTFU spending and
the publication of yearly financial reports.


Thirty-five other candidates are eyeing other positions in the faculty union.

Running under Lim’s Kabalikat are: Patrick Ellis Go for executive vice president, Abegail Nierras for internal vice president, Pablito Marasigan Jr. for external vice president, Susan Petilla for secretary general;

James Platon for vice president for labor eductation and research, Aurora Cristina Bermudez for vice president for legal affairs, Jonathan Cabero for vice president for grievance and complaints, Joyce Tan for treasurer, Marie Anne Lourdes Guanzon for auditor, and Arlene de Leon for public relations officer.

Kabalikat’s candidates for the USTFU board of directors are: Claudine Say, James Mark Nidea, Frederick Roy Manubay, George Chao, Beatriz Ribleza, Benedicto Ducat and Revenendo Vargas.

Running under Tadle’s Lead 4 Change Alliance are: Elvis Llarena for executive vice president, Edilberto Gonzaga for internal vice president, John Vincent Ignacio for external vice president, Danielito Jimenez for vice president for legal affairs, Jose Ngo for vice president for grievance and complaints, Rouena Villarama for secretary general, Elizabeth Kapulong for public relations officer, Almanzor Macmod for auditor, and Rebecca Adri for sergeant at arms.

Running for the board of directors under Tadle are: Noel Asiones, Mary Rose Coronel, Michelle Desierto, Norman Garcia, Emerito Gonzales, Archie Resos, Ramil Sasi and Vercie Subaldo. Clarence I. Hormachuelos and Kathryn Jedi V. Baylon


  1. More than the leave benefits (including the solo parent leave) in the present CBA that need not be negotiated are the questions on the privileges and benefits under previous CBAs that were withdrawn in the present CBA which members apparently may not have been made aware because of the manner by which such CBA was presented to the members who were practically made to understand that unless they approve the CBA they will not get their 70% share in tuition increases for the last 3 years which also is already provided by law and need not be negotiated. Finally, provisions like Art. IX 2.3 on loading which reads “a tenured faculty member who requests for a teaching load equivalent to a part time may forfeit his/her permanent status at the discretion of management of the University without prejudice to currently part time faculty members.” should also be revisited. My personal take on this as a labor professor is that one’s constitutuonal right to security of tenure cannot just be taken away from a faculty member even if there is a request for deloading. The issue then that merits eventual discussion in the groevance machinery of the next USTFU is whether or not this is justified on the basis of such ratification. Finally, other provisions worth revisiting as well are the deletion of the payment of unused sick leave for faculty members who’s employment are severed which in the past can stil be recovered and the reconciliation of the provision on the reduction of load and the 24 units guarantee for a tenured faculty which is a potential issue for the inevitable K to 12 implementation.


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