UST admin says it won’t shoulder cost of three-unit teaching load incentive

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UST Faculty Union President George Lim. FILE PHOTO.

THE UNIVERSITY administration has maintained that the 2014 collective bargaining agreement (CBA) did not require UST to shoulder the cost of a three-unit teaching load incentive for faculty members.

In response to a complaint filed before the UST Faculty Union (USTFU) last Nov. 11, Vice Rector for Academic Affairs Clarita Carillo said the administration agreed to the three-unit teaching load reduction without salary cuts on condition it would not be taken from UST’s 30-percent share in tuition increases.

Carillo recalled that during CBA negotiations, the management panel initially rejected the proposal of the USTFU panel to cut teaching loads, considering the financial impact of the K to 12 transition.

“[T]he USTFU panel, through its president, Dr. George Lim, stated that realizing the cost of the proposed scheme, the increase in the salary (rate) per unit should actually come from the union’s share of the [tuition increase],” Carillo said in a letter to Jose Ngo Jr., USTFU vice president for grievances and complaints.

Carillo said the provision under Section 3.2, Article 26 of the CBA does not indicate that the University would shoulder the incentive, in accordance with the law that provides that all faculty salaries and benefits are to be taken from 70 percent of tuition increases.

The three-unit incentive was meant to reduce the impact of K to 12 on faculty members, by making more teaching loads available for distribution without cutting salaries.

The University agreed to give a monthly salary equivalent to a 24-unit teaching load for 21 units of teaching, beginning with professors, associate professors and assistant professors in Academic Years 2014 to 2015, 2015 to 2016, and 2017 to 2018, respectively.

“To be sure, nowhere in the faculty CBA provisions or even in the Minutes of the Meetings of the CBA negotiations did the Management Panel agree to charge the financial cost of the three-unit reduction in teaching load outside the [tuition increase] share of the faculty,” Carillo added.

Dispute

Last Oct. 10, the head of the Arts and Letters Faculty Association, lawyer Danielito Jimenez, filed a grievance complaint before USTFU over union president Lim’s deal with the UST administration on the three-unit load, supposedly made without the consent of the membership.

Jimenez said faculty negotiators did not agree to effectively let faculty members shoulder the cost of the three-unit teaching load reduction during the CBA talks in 2014.

Faculty members led by Jimenez and former USTFU vice president Rene Luis Tadle said the 1,500-strong union agreed to the CBA on the understanding that the three-unit incentive pay would be shouldered by the administration.

During the USTFU general assembly last Sept. 30, however, it was revealed that the three-unit incentive pay would instead be drawn from tuition increases in Academic Years 2014-2015 and 2015-2016.

Drawing the three-unit incentive from tuition hikes that should automatically go to salary adjustments would run afoul of the principle of “non-diminution of benefits” guaranteed by the Labor Code, Jimenez, a labor lawyer, insisted.

Under such a scheme, lower-ranked faculty members will lose out as their share of salary hikes from tuition increases will shrink, Jimenez explained.

Jimenez also pointed out that the scheme would discriminate against non-teaching personnel, who are supposed to share in the tuition hikes as provided by Republic Act 6728 or the Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education Act.

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