Pay hike, additional benefits of UST support staff won’t affect tuition, says HRM director

Collective bargaining agreement to benefit workers of Manila, Sta. Rosa campuses
UST Main Building. File photo of The Flame

THE HIGHER pay and additional benefits of UST support staff that stem from a recent collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with the administration won’t lead to a higher tuition, the University’s human resources chief said.

The UST administration and the Samahang Manggagawa-UST (SM-UST), the authorized bargaining agent of the University’s non-academic staff, have signed a CBA that covers the period of August 2021 to 2026.

Under the new CBA forged on May 31, salaries will be increased across the board for the first three years with additional allowances and material benefits. The University will also give incentives and other bonuses to employees who passed licensure exams.

UST Human Resource Management Director Asst. Prof. Maureen Gelle-Jimenez said the salary upgrades and benefits would cover all non-teaching personnel of the UST Manila and Santa Rosa campuses.

“Technically, [UST] Santa Rosa, right now, is an extension of the Manila campus so, basically, who will be covered by it (CBA) will be the [staff] from Santa Rosa,” Jimenez told The Flame.

Former UST rector Fr. Richard Ang, O.P. had said the Santa Rosa campus in Laguna would serve as a technological and innovation hub of the Manila campus to enhance its research activities.

READ: UST Santa Rosa breaks ground for research institute

Under Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) Memorandum Order No. 3 issued in 2012, 70% of tuition increases must go to the salaries of a university’s academic and non-academic staff. However, Jimenez said the salary hike and additional benefits would not prompt a tuition increase for the next academic year.

“Tuition increases are consulted with the student body before they are implemented, so the upcoming CBA will not be a reason; they don’t go together,” she said.

Last year, the UST Artlets Student Council executive board criticized the University’s supposed lack of “sectoral representation” in proposing a 7% tuition increase to CHEd. The rate was lowered to 6% later on.

READ: UST’s tuition hike consultation lacked student representation – ABSC 

Changing needs

In the fourth and fifth year of the CBA, a renegotiation of economic provisions between the UST administration and SM-UST will be arranged to update the salary-related benefits of non-teaching staff.

“Part of the reason why we update or upgrade the benefits is because the needs of the people also change. We want to ensure that whatever it is that we offer to employees is truly for their needs—that will really respond to the needs of the employees,” Jimenez said.

The qualifications for benefits and salary hikes may vary depending on the worker’s employment status.

“We have staff who are probationary; they have six months to exhibit fitness for regularization. If, for example, a certain benefit covers all regular support staff, then it would only apply to the regular staff. It’s more on the qualifiers that were identified for the provision,” the HRM chief said.

UST acting rector Fr. Isaias Tiongco, O.P. and SM-UST president Dan Paul Patricio led the signing of the new bargaining deal.

The negotiation process began with SM-UST submitting its proposal to the UST Office of the Rector in August last year, followed by meetings from the same month to September 2023. The proposal was then presented to the UST economic counsel and UST Board of Trustees from April to May this year.

The UST administration and SM-UST last signed a CBA in 2019, covering the years 2016 to 2021. F – John Martin Revilla with reports from Ma. Alyanna Selda

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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

Related Posts

Contact Us