The University of San Carlos – Collective Faculty Independent Union (USC – CFIU) had their certification elections on September 12, 2013, at the Downtown and Talamban Campus. The union has been existing as a legal entity for two years and has had its first certification elections last year. The certificate elections will determine who the official bargaining representative of the union will be during the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) and are held once a year.

The USC – CFIU is a labour union within the University of San Carlos whose target population is the rank and file teachers of the university who work full time and who seek certification to become the ‘collective bargaining unit of the permanent rank-and-file faculty members of USC.’Mr. Levy Lanaria, president of USC – CFIU, says that the certification elections are needed so that the union can enter into a collective bargaining agreement with the management. The elections must have a turnout of at least a simple majority, or half of the total population plus one, for its results to be valid.

A collective bargaining agreement (CBA) is a process that administers working conditions between the employer and its employees. The working conditions that will be agreed upon must not be lower than the minimum standards set by law.

However, this year’s USC-CFIU certification elections have sparked issues. The USC-CFIU sent an open letter to Sunstar (link: http://www.sunstar.com.ph/cebu/opinion/2013/09/03/tell-it-sunstar-certification-election-301107)that called for DOLE 7 to rule on the motion to remove the names of administrators from the list of eligible voters. According to the open letter, in previous certification elections, the USC administration submitted a list of rank-and-file teachers (without deans, chairs, directors, sections heads, etc) to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) which was the valid list of eligible voters but changed due to the fact that the administration included some faculty members with managerial and supervisory positions in the list. The USC-CFIU says that the law prohibits the administration from interfering with the certification elections of labour organizations or unions of rank-and-file employees.

In reply (link: http://beta.usc.edu.ph/www2/index.php/news/894-whats-the-fuss-), the USC administration wrote an open comment or letter written by USC’s legal counsel: Atty. Julius Neri. The letter contained the stance of the university as to the claims of the USC – CFIU. The administration believes that it only submitted a list of teachers and voters who it believes belong to the rank-and-file. The list was determined ‘using the same guidelines or criteria it used in last year’s election in determining who are the rank-and-file.’

However, not all teachers share the same views as those of the union. Some employees attest that the administration has always given them their needs and most of what they demand. Some believe that the majority of the teachers were given appropriate attention and that they had a grievance committee which they can run to if they have concerns regarding the labour-management council.

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