AFTER winning a fresh term, UST Faculty Union President Dr. George Lim plans to make sure salaries will not be affected by the University’s plan to transfer college faculty to UST Senior High School (SHS) as part of the transition to K to 12.

Lim said the union would seek a meeting with the Department of Labor and Employment to discuss the benefits and salaries of faculty members to be moved to senior high school.

“We are looking at several alternatives so the faculty member will not feel the difference [in the salary], so there will be no difference at all,” Lim said, without going into details.

Lim said tenured faculty members won’t be removed unless they opt for voluntary retirement, adding that only “contractual faculty members whose contracts end this school year may have to leave.”

In August, UST-SHS Principal Pilar Romero released the guidelines for the transfer of college faculty to senior high school next year, stressing that the number of professors to be taken in would be dependent on the number of enrollees.

The University is eyeing at least 5,000 enrollees for the SHS, which will open in 2016 in response to the K to 12 reform.

Votes split

Lim mustered 369 votes and cruised to victory as his two rivals for the USTFU presidency split the larger bloc of faculty members that voted for change in leadership in the USTFU elections last Sept. 28.

With the support of Medicine faculty, Lim’s “Kabalikat” party also secured the majority of executive positions and board seats.

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Rene Luis Tadle, a long-time union executive who quit USTFU’s number two post to run against Lim under the “Lead 4 Change Alliance,” obtained 314 votes while an independent candidate, philosophy professor Jove Jim Aguas, got 175 votes.

Lim, who took over the USTFU presidency in 2011 following the sudden resignation of Dr. Gil Gamilla amid controversy over union funds, will serve a five-year term until 2020.

Lim said he would also push for changes in the union’s outdated constitution and by-laws, and prod the UST administration to commence negotiations for the 2016-2021 collective bargaining agreement.

Tadle said he would continue fighting for the rights of faculty members to be affected by the K to 12 transition.

“We shall continue engaging with government and other sectors of society to be able to promote the rights and the welfare of faculty members especially in terms of the safety nets that have to be instituted by government to protect the teachers,” Tadle told the Varsitarian.

Aguas said he would return to teaching and research. “The main reason why I ran as independent was I needed to promote this advocacy of genuine change in the faculty. Siguro hindi pa time for that advocacy,” Aguas said.

The other newly elected union officials are: the Faculty of Engineering’s Patrick Go, executive vice president; the College of Science’s Edilberto Gonzaga, vice president internal; the Faculty of Arts and Letters’ Pablito Marasigan Jr., vice president external; the College of Commerce and Business Administration’s James Platon, vice president for labor education; Aurora Bermudez of Artlets, vice president for legal affairs; the UST-Alfredo M. Velayo College of Accountancy’s Jose Ngo, vice president for grievance and complaints;

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The College of Architecture’s Susan Petilla, secretary general; Science’s Joyce Tan, treasurer; Accountancy’s Marie Ann Guanzon, auditor; the College of Education’s Arlene de Leon, public relations officer; and the Institute of Physical Education and Athletics’ Rebecca Adri, sergeant at arms.

Lim’s Kabalikat nearly swept the executive posts, except for those won by Gonzaga, Ngo and Adri, who ran under Tadle’s Lead 4 Change Alliance.

Kabalikat also won majority of the seats in the USTFU board of directors, at six, versus Lead 4 Change’s four.

The new directors from Kabalikat are the Institute of Religion’s Revenendo Vargas, Education’s Beatriz Ribleza, the Counseling and Career Center’s Claudine Say, Engineering’s George Chao, UST Junior High School’s Frederick Manubay and the College of Tourism and Hospitality Management’s James Nidea.

The new directors from Lead 4 Change are the Institute of Religion’s Noel Asiones, Artlets’ Michelle Desierto and Emerito Gonzales, and Accountancy’s Norman Garcia.

“Based on the feedback we are getting, it was a successful exercise of our voting rights, although I would say sayang pa rin ‘yung mga hindi nakaboto. [They] could have made the difference,” USTFU Central Commission on Elections Chairman Robert Lao said in an interview.

Turnout reached 77 percent, with 867 voting out of 1,126 eligible union members. K.J.V. Baylon and C.I. Hormachuelos


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