SLU union negotiates additional benefits

By SHERWIN DE VERA
www.nordis.net

BAGUIO CITY The Union of Faculty and Employees of Saint Louise University (EFESLU) successfully achieved better benefits during its midyear negotiation with the administration.

These include the following annual incentives for hospital employees: P1000 for all SLU hospital employees, P1,500 handover incentive for hospital nurses with patient-endorsement duties and a maximum of five days monetization for vacation leaves for those working 24/7.

The updated agreement also provides for a P8,000 signing bonus for all the 1700 plus employees. `Also clinched in the negotiation is the increase of their quarterly rice subsidy from P4,500 to P5,000, and the clothing allowance from P5,000 to P6000 annually.

“These are improvements of the existing collective bargaining agreement (CBA) for 2016-2021. This is in accordance with the CBA provision to review, update and improve the economic benefits,” said Ronald Tagaoa, UFESLU president in mixed Filipino and English.

Negotiations for the CBA started on October 14, 2016, and concluded on November 24, 2016. During the first three years, 1,528 workers received an estimated P145 million economic package covering rice subsidy, clothing and laundry allowance, anniversary gift and signing bonus. Also included were other benefits like longevity pay, welfare fund, and 14th-month pay. The agreement took effect on August 1, 2016, and will expire on July 31, 2021.

During the midyear negotiations, the union paid additional attention to the issues of the hospital employees.

“There were some issues that needed to be resolve and concessions to make regarding the hospital personnel. The additional incentives for them are recognition of their service even when classes and office work are suspended,” he said.

“These are still subject to approval by the union membership via a referendum. The official signing is mid-July, hopefully, all members will agree,” Tagaoa added.

According to him, a simple majority of the members is sufficient to ratify the agreement. After the ratification and signing, members will immediately reap the benefits in August 2019.

He also bared that they are also studying the possibility of availing health cards for the members.

“In the meantime, members can still avail the free annual medical check-up and some discounts in the university hospital,” Tagaoa explained.

He said the union is working with the university administration to improve the health benefits of all SLU personnel.

Aside from the collective and bargaining agreement (CBA), they are also eyeing the creation of separate documents for their gratuity fund and health program and benefits.

The union president commended the openness of the SLU administration to review and improve their benefits. He pointed out that these are actually part of the university’s responsibility to allocate part of its profits to its personnel. # nordis.net / Photo screen grabbed from Google Maps

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