Issued on May 17, 2017 by the SU Administration Panel:

For the better appreciation of the Silliman community, in light of misinformation circulating about the CBA negotiations between the Administration and SUFA: 

The Administration Panel has been professional and collegial in its conduct and approach to the negotiations on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with the Silliman University Faculty Association (SUFA). We are one in interest to afford our faculty the best, and we do this conscientiously alongside our collective commitment to make sure Silliman University does not only live for the few or the time being, but stand strong on the same noble vision of quality Christian education that it was founded in 1901. 

Negotiations tend to lose foresight and prudence when done outside the scope of affordability, sustainability, and fragility. They have to be viewed with a more conscious understanding of not merely availability of resources but the availability of the same within the context of critical education reforms. These are education reforms with real implications on enrollment revenues and operational expenses in at least the next four years. 

FACT:  Following the implementation of the K to 12 education reform, enrollment has dropped in SY 2016-2017 by 6%. By SY 2017-2018, there will be no enrollment in first year and second year college (Before the reform implementation, first year and second year college students accounted for 43% of our college student population). 

The Administration Panel endeavors to negotiate on terms that ensure the sustainability of University operations and promote conscience that sees ourselves in relation to the many who have yet to pass through the Portals of Silliman. 

FACTS: 

1. Negotiations had been going on for almost a year. Both Administration Panel and SUFA Panel declared a deadlock on November 21, 2016 Conciliation and mediation with NCMB is in process at the instance of the Administration Panel.

2. Is Administration unwilling to improve and raise salaries and benefits as some claim?

No. In fact, the Administration, as it did in other CBA negotiations, submitted an offer.         

Administration’s Initial Offer: 

Offer

Explanation

Monthly Across-the-Board Salary Increases

   

Amounts are based on projected tuition fee increments. 

SY 2016-17        500.00    
SY 2017-18        200.00
SY 2018-19        600.00
Php1,300.00 

Productivity Enhancement Incentive (PEI) /

14th Month Pay

Given to faculty members who have demonstrated or have initiated actions to improve productivity. 

There are two ways by which this can be done:

  • The faculty member meets the Productivity Criteria to be laid down by the HRD Office; or
  • The faculty member concerned files a report on actions he/she has undertaken to improve productivity (the collegial approach). 

To be given at the end of each semester after compliance with either of the above requirements. 

Should a law be passed requiring the payment of 14th month pay, the PEI will be converted to 14th month pay. On this occasion, compliance of above productivity requirement is no longer necessary. 

This benefit will be given starting SY 2018-2019. However, if the Administration can be assured that there will be no contingent legal obligations or liabilities that will occur within the next two school years 2016-2017 and 2017-2018, the University will use the contingency fund approved by the BOT for legal obligations/liabilities, to support this benefit starting 2016.

Tuition Discount for Minor Children in case of death of parent

If the academic personnel has served the University for at least eight (8) years at the time of his/her death, his/her minor children will be granted the school privileges up to the attainment of a first baccalaureate degree in the University irrespective of whether or not they were enrolled in the University at the time of death. The qualified children must finish College in not more than six (6) years.

Tuition Discount for Spouses Up to Master’s Degree

This affords tuition discount to spouses of faculty members who are interested to pursue a master’s degree provided that the faculty member concerned has served for at least eight (8) consecutive years in the University.

The Master’s Degree program must be completed within a period of three (3) years. 

Continuation of the HMO Plan

Existing coverage.

Service Recognition Award

Php5,000.00 for those who reach 25 and 30 years in the service, respectively

Subsidy on Educational Software

10% discount for cash purchases of academic-related software by faculty or dependent (i.e. software from Vibal for iPad, etc.)

Discount on Summer Extension Classes

30% discount on Extension Classes during Summer, such as music lessons, swimming, painting, photography, etc.

Discount on Summer Reinforcement Classes

30% Discount on Summer Reinforcement Classes for Dependents at the SBE

TOR/Reconstruction of Diploma

1 Free TOR/Reconstruction of Diploma per dependent

Ambulance Services

Free ambulance services for two (2) emergency cases per year. 

If ambulance transport requires going outside of Negros Oriental, the faculty member shall pay only the cost for fuel and manpower.

 So which among the offers did SUFA accept? The following: 

(Note: Except for the continuation of our HMO, the others are NEW BENEFITS granted to faculty.) 

  • Senior High School tuition discount privilege
  • Service Recognition Awards Cash Incentives
  • Tuition Discount for Spouses Up to Master's Degree
  • Productivity Enhancement Incentive (to be converted to 14th month pay in the event that a 14th Month Pay Law is enacted by Congress) on the third year or  SY 2018-2019
  • Continuation of the HMO (Intellicare) 

Which among the offers did SUFA reject? The following: 

  • Tuition Discount for Minor Children in case of death of parent
  • Subsidy on Educational Software
  • Discount on Summer Extension Classes
  • Discount on Summer Reinforcement Classes
  • TOR/Reconstruction of Diploma
  • Ambulance Services 

3. At the start of the conciliation-mediation proceedings with Con-Med Murro, the following items were on the table: 

Administration Offer

SUFA Demand

Yr 1: Php 10,000.00 (One Time Bonus)
Yr 2: Php 500 ATB
Yr 3: Php 1,000 ATB 

Class Size: ECD: 25; G1 and G2: 35

Yr 1: Php 40,000 (One-Time Bonus)
Yr 2: Php 1,900 ATB
Yr 3: Php 2,700

Class Size: ECD: 18; G1 and G2: 30

Toxic Chemicals and Wildlife Handling Risk Pay = P5,000/teacher/year for a teacher handling specific subjects

Hazard Pay: Php 5,000.00/teacher/yr

Retirement = abide by Supreme Court decision in pending cases

Retirement = 1.5 months/year of service

Bonuses:

  • Commitment to discuss in LMC

Bonuses:

  • Christmas - Php 5,000
  • Founders Day - Php 5,000

PEI

On the first and second year subject to conditions

PEI
with NO conditions

Subsidy for Faculty Scholars under the K-12 program

LOAN payable in 2 years

Subsidy for Faculty Scholars under the K-12 program

Php 20,000.00

3. During the conciliation-mediation proceedings SUFA accepted the Toxic Chemicals and Wildlife Handling Risk Pay offer of the Administration.

4. SUFA filed a Notice of Strike on January 10, 2017 but this was later withdrawn on March 3, 2017. On March 30, 2017, they yet again filed a Notice of Strike.

5. The SU Admin IMPROVED its offer on wages and salary as follows: 

Yr 1: Php 14,000.00 (One Time Bonus)
Yr 2: Php 500 ATB
Yr 3: Php 1,200 ATB 

SUFA countered by:

Yr 1: Php 40,000 One Time Bonus;
Y 2: Php 1,800 ATB
Y 3: Php 2,500 ATB 

6. For the second time in a row, SU Admin again improved its offer on wages as follows: 

Yr 1: Php 14,000.00 (One Time Bonus)
Yr 2: Php 500 ATB
Yr 3: Php 1,400 ATB 

SUFA countered by demanding:

Yr 1: Php 40,000 One Time Bonus;
Yr 2: Php 1,500 ATB;
Yr 3: Php 2,500 ATB

7. The Administration improved its offer. The table reflects figures improved twice and the Administration's Final Offer: 

Administration’s Offer

SUFA’s Demand

Yr 1: Php 14,000.00 (One Time Bonus)
Yr 2: Php    500 ATB
Yr 3: Php 1,400 ATB

 Class Size: ECD: 25; G1 and G2: 35

Yr 1: Php 40,000 (One-Time Bonus)
Yr 2: Php 1,500 ATB
Yr 3: Php 2,500 ATB

Class Size: ECD: 25; G1 and G2: 30

Retirement = 1.03 or 31 days

Retirement = 1.5 months/year of service

Bonuses:

  • Commitment to discuss in LMC

Bonuses:

  • Bonus - Php 5,000.00 or
  • Founders Day - Php 3,000 and Christmas at Php 3,000

PEI equivalent to one month salary  

  • Will be given on the first and second years subject to conditions

PEI
with NO conditions

Subsidy for Faculty Scholars under the K-12 program

Subsidy of 50% of actual expenses but not to exceed Php10,000 subject to acceptance to the program

Subsidy for Faculty Scholars under the K-12 program

Php 20,000.00

8. Did SUFA accept? NO. SUFA has not wavered on its demands. The Administration has moved on at least three occasions, but SUFA has not done its part. 

9. Are the improvements on salaries and benefits offered by Administration substantial? 

Yes. The Administration’s Final Offer is the best it can give without compromising the operations and the sustainability of Silliman University. The offer has gone through a series of computations against enrollment projections and different cost scenarios in the next 2 to 4 years. It takes into consideration a projected revenue loss by 10 to 20%, which is equivalent to a high of Php 80 million. 

It lacks good judgment to tap into the liquidity reserves of the University for the purpose of satisfying the demands of SUFA. The liquidity reserves have been put in place to buffer pressures that would undermine the capability of the University to continually upgrade its equipment and facilities — which are also crucial in maintaining its competitiveness. 

All in all, take-home peso equivalent of the proposed offers is Php 1,900 per faculty in the next two years. Receptive to concerns, especially those properly preparing for their retirement, the Administration offered a monthly across-the-board increase in the first year (2016-2017), but SUFA opted for a one-time bonus in the first year, to which the Administration counter offer was pegged at Php14,000.00 

It is disheartening that SUFAs wrong information are being circulated out of emotions, lack of appreciation, information or understanding, or an attempt to narrow the perspective through which the sustainability of University operations can be discussed relative to what best Administration can provide its faculty.