UST FACULTY Union (USTFU) chief Dr. George Lim got the upper hand over his critics after finally securing approval for last year’s distribution of P22 million in union “savings.”

Data from the USTFU Commission on Elections showed that of the 684 attendees in the faculty assembly last Oct. 18, 452 faculty members voted to approve the distribution. Sixty voted to disapprove, while 169 attendees didn’t cast votes. Three votes were deemed spoiled.

The general assembly was held to discuss and ratify the controversial distribution of union savings through USTFU Board Resolution 2018-004, in compliance with a May 9 order issued by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

Lim told the Varsitarian that the ratification should put the issue to rest.

In February, seven faculty members led by former union vice president Rene Tadle filed a complaint against USTFU officials for failing to secure assembly approval for the distribution of the funds, citing the union’s constitution and by-laws.

Lim’s critics had wanted the USTFU leadership held accountable for the distribution, and made assurances to faculty members that they would not be asked to return the money if the DOLE decided to sanction union officials.

But Lim argued that without a majority vote of the assembly, faculty members must return the full amounts they received last year to the union fund.

Article 10, Section 4 of the union constitution and by-laws provides that union funds must only be used for labor education programs, collective bargaining agreements, welfare cooperative programs and other plans or programs that will promote the interest and welfare of the union and its members.


Faculty members Rene Tadle and Gemma Aboy, who were among the complainants, were removed from the heavily guarded USTFU assembly last Oct. 18.

“It was embarrassing, we were being treated as if we were criminals,” Tadle said.

The Varsitarian learned that Aboy was rushed to the UST Health Service after being removed out of the voting area.

She claimed she was “detained” for a long period, which led to her legs and arms numbing.

Tadle said Aboy was held at the lobby of San Martin de Pores Building for a long period and was not given a chair.

Lim denied claims that the two were maltreated, and explained that they were “merely escorted out of the voting area as [they] were taking unauthorized pictures of documents related to the ratification process and in a way intimidating some of the members who were simply exercising their right to vote.”

“[They] were simply escorted out of the building [and we] don’t have handcuffs nor chains, so we don’t [know] about her (Aboy’s) claim of being detained,” Lim told the Varsitarian.

Tadle, Aboy, Noel Asiones, Michelle Desierto, Leonardo Guevarra Jr., John Vincent Ignacio and Ramil Sotelo Sasi were the complainants who filed the case against USTFU officials before the DOLE in February.

After failing to get approval during the May 19 special general assembly due to low turnout, another special general assembly was held on May 29 in compliance with the resolution. However, the assembly failed to get a quorum of at least 620 attendees.

The Oct. 18 general assembly attained quorum with 684 attendees, more than the required 631 attendees.

DISCLOSURE: The Varsitarian editor in chief did not have a hand in the writing, editing and publication of this story. 


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.