UST and its employees’ union ink a new collective bargaining agreement (Photo from the UST Facebook page)

THE UST support staff union and the University administration have reached a new five-year collective bargaining agreement (CBA) to hike wages and benefits for employees at the Sampaloc campus. 

In a general assembly on June 13, 487 members of Samahang Manggagawa ng UST (SM-UST) voted in favor of the new CBA, which covers the period from 2021 to 2026. 

The new deal was ratified after the majority of the 557 members of SM-UST voted in favor of it, said union president Dan Patricio. 

Talagang ‘yung mga pinili naming proposals e [‘yung] mga importante sa mga support staff,” Patricio told the Varsitarian after the assembly. “[Pero] wala akong masasabing angat siya in terms of impact lalo na sa mga employees.”

A key feature of the new bargaining deal is an across-the-board salary increase that will be implemented in two ways: through a fixed-amount increase in basic pay and a percentage-based salary hike. 

The salary increase is as follows: 

  • P380 hike and 1 percent increase in basic pay (Aug. 1, 2021 to July 31, 2022)
  • P1,700 hike and 4 percent increase in basic pay (Aug. 1, 2022 to July 31, 2023)
  • P1,400 hike and 3 percent increase in basic pay (Aug. 1, 2023 to July 31, 2024)

Patricio said the union opted for this method in light of the adjustments made to the salary scale. 

Kaya nag-decide na i-hybrid kasi nabababaan kami sa salary scale,” the union president said. 

Kung ipe-percentage namin ‘yan, lalong lalayo ‘yung [sweldo] ng mga bago sa luma,” he explained. “So para fair, magbigay muna tayo ng across-the-board na fixed amount, then across-the-board na percentage.” 

Other benefits that will be funded by the union’s share in UST’s tuition increase include a P2,500 wellness bonus (effective Academic Year 2023-2024) that will be disbursed twice a year, and a P10,000 signing bonus (effective Academic Year 2021-2022). 

By law, 70 percent of tuition increases must go to salaries of University employees. The faculty have yet to secure a new CBA with the UST administration.

The new CBA increased the allowable amount for hospitalization loans to a minimum of P100,000 (1.5 years to pay) from P50,000 (one year to pay), which could be availed of by support personnel who have worked in UST for at least two years. 

Other health benefit changes include a six-month extension of hospitalization benefits and medicine allowances for resigned or retired staff (must be at least 60 years old), and the addition of a permanent disability benefit ranging from P50,000 to P200,000.

UST support staff will receive P1,000 in hazard pay, up from P850 in the previous CBA. 

Other privileges and benefits outlined in the new CBA include: 

  • inclusion of personal care items in the medicine allowance;
  • P5,000 incentive pay for every completed masteral or doctorate degree;
  • free MRI procedure;
  • three-day union leave per year for selected officers; and
  • printer with scanner provided by UST for the SM-UST office.

Another amendment to the CBA is the provision designating SM-UST as the official bargaining representative of UST Santa Rosa support personnel in future negotiations. 

However, Patricio clarified that the newly ratified CBA would not benefit those working at the Laguna campus. 

Negotiations for the new CBA began in January and concluded on May 31 during the signing between representatives of the union and the UST administration led by Acting Rector Fr. Isaias Tiongco, O.P.

Patricio said SM-UST would renegotiate economic benefits covering the last two years of the five-year CBA. with reports from Fernando Pierre Marcel B. de la Cruz and Jenna Mariel A. Gonzales


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