DLSU V. DLSUEA-NAFTU

CASE NO. 7  OF 50

DELA SALLE UNIVERSITY, petitioner,

vs.

DELA SALLE UNIVERSITY EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION-NATIONAL FEDERATION OF TEACHERS AND EMPLOYEES UNION (DLSUEA-NAFTEU), respondents.

FACTS:

Dela Salle University (UNIVERSITY) and Dela Salle University Employees Association – National Federation of Teachers and Employees Union (DLSUEA-NAFTEU), which is composed of regular non-academic rank and file employees,(UNION) entered  for a new collective bargaining agreement which, however, turned out to be unsuccessful.

After several conciliation-mediation meetings, five (5) out of the eleven (11) issues raised were resolved by the parties.

The parties entered into a Submission Agreement, identifying the remaining six (6) unresolved issues for arbitration, namely:

(1) scope of the bargaining unit,

(2) union security clause,

(3) security of tenure,

(4) salary increases

(5) indefinite union leave, reduction of the union presidents workload, special leave, and finally,

(6) duration of the agreement.

The parties appointed Buenaventura Magsalin as voluntary arbitrator.

Voluntary arbitrator rendered the assailed decision as follows:

 On the first issue, ruled that the Computer Operators assigned at the Computer Services Center, should be included as members of the bargaining unit; The discipline officers, belong ) to the rank-and-file on the basis of the nature of their job; and with respect to the employees of the College of St. Benilde, they had a personality separate and distinct from the University and thus, they are outside the bargaining unit of the Universitys rank-and-file employees.

On the second issue regarding the propriety of the inclusion of a union shop clause, the voluntary arbitrator opined that a union shop clause is  a valid form of union security while the CBA is in force and in accordance with the Constitutional policy to promote unionism and collective bargaining and negotiations.

With respect to the use of the “last-in-first-out” method in case of retrenchment and transfer to other schools or units, the voluntary arbitrator upheld the “elementary right and prerogative of the management of the University to select and/or choose its employees, a right equally recognized by the Constitution and the law.

Regarding the fourth issue concerning salary increases, the voluntary arbitrator opined that the proposed budget of the University for SY 1992-93 could not sufficiently cope up with the demand for increases by the Union.

As to the Unions demand for a reduction of the workload of the union president, special leave benefits and indefinite union leave with pay, the voluntary arbitrator denied the Unions demand for special leave benefits.

On the last issue,  regarding the duration of the collective bargaining agreement, the voluntary arbitrator ruled the same became a binding agreement between them.

Subsequently, both parties filed their respective motions for reconsideration . 

ISSUES:

(1) whether the computer operators assigned at the Universitys Computer Services Center and the Universitys discipline officers may be considered as confidential employees and should therefore be excluded from the bargaining unit which is composed of rank and file employees of the University, and whether the employees of the College of St. Benilde should also be included in the same bargaining unit;

(2) whether a union shop clause should be included in the parties collective bargaining agreement, in addition to the existing maintenance of membership clause;

(3) whether the denial of the Unions proposed “last-in-first-out” method of laying-off employees, is proper;

(4) whether the ruling that on the basis of the Universitys proposed budget, the University can no longer be required to grant a second round of wage increases, is correct;

(5) whether the denial of the Unions proposals on the deloading of the union president, improved leave benefits and indefinite union leave with pay, is proper;

(6) whether the finding that the multi-sectoral committee in the University is the legitimate group which determines and scrutinizes the annual salary increases and fringe benefits of the employees of the University, is correct;

(7) whether the ruling that the 70% share in the incremental tuition proceeds is the only source of salary increases and fringe benefits of the employees, is proper.

RULING:

The Court affirm in part and modify in part.

On the first issue, the Court agrees  that the express exclusion of the computer operators and discipline officers from the bargaining unit of rank-and-file employees in the 1986 collective bargaining agreement does not bar any re-negotiation for the future inclusion of the said employees in the bargaining unit.

 As to the discipline officers, the Court agree that based on the nature of their duties, they are not confidential employees and should therefore be included in the bargaining unit of rank-and-file employees.

As to the the employees of the College of St. Benilde, they should be excluded from the bargaining unit of the rank-and-file employees of Dela Salle University, because the two educational institutions have their own separate juridical personality and no sufficient evidence was shown to justify the piercing of the veil of corporate fiction.

On involving the inclusion of a union shop clause, the Court affirm the ruling.

On the  issue regarding the use of the “last-in-first-out” method, the Court agree  that as an exercise of management prerogative, the University has the right to adopt valid and equitable grounds as basis for terminating or transferring employees.

On the issue involving the Unions proposals on the deloading of the union president, The Court we agree with the  rejection of the said demands, there being no justifiable reason for the granting of the same.

On the sixth issue, the Court finds that the voluntary arbitrator did not gravely abuse his discretion on this matter.

On last issue involving the ruling that the 70% share in the incremental tuition proceeds, the Court deems that any determination of this alleged error is unnecessary and irrelevant.

WHEREFORE , premises considered, the petitions in these consolidated cases, are partially GRANTED. The assailed decision of voluntary arbitrator Buenaventura Magsalin is hereby AFFIRMED with the modification that the issue on salary increases for the second and third years of the collective bargaining agreement be REMANDED to the voluntary arbitrator for definite resolution within one month from the finality of this Decision, on the basis of the externally audited financial statements of the University already submitted by the Union before the voluntary arbitrator and forming part of the records.

 SO ORDERED.

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