Category Archives: Social Dialogue in the Public Sector
Posted in ANG NARS, ASEAN, Consolidated Council of Health and Allied Professionals (CCHAPS), Improving Human Resource Management, Migration and Ethical Recruitment, Public Services International (PSI), Quality Public Services Campaign, Social Dialogue in the Public Sector
PSLINK as a member of Public Services International (PSI) participated in the Regional Training on Social Dialogue organized by the ASEAN Services Trade Union Council (ASETUC) last June 11-13, 2013 in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia.
The three-day workshop was held to build the knowledge and skills of trade unions within Southeast Asia on social dialogue towards a stronger national and regional engagement of labor in ASEAN mechanisms and processes.
Formed in 2007, ASETUC has more than sixty affiliates in seven ASEAN countries. One of its main objectives is to promote tripartite social dialogue within the ASEAN framework.
“There is no one-size-fits-all approach to social dialogue especially given the diversity of culture, values, socio-economic systems within ASEAN,” according to Sis. Jasmin Rocamora, PSLINK’s representative during the training.
“But we in the trade union movement do recognize that we need to advance social dialogue at the local, national and regional levels to ensure that the rights of all ASEAN workers to decent work and quality public services such as health care are respected and promoted,” she added.
Sis. Jasmin is a public health nurse and member of the City Government Health Workers Union of Puerto Princesa City (CGHWUPP). An active trade unionist in the health sector, she also took charge of the conduct of the PSI Participatory Research and Mapping of migration in the health and social care sectors in Palawan a year ago.
Back from the training in Malaysia, Sis. Jasmin is already keen on sharing the knowledge and skills she gained with her local union and PSLINK through a series of orientation programs on social dialogue in the health sector.
Posted in ASEAN, Consolidated Council of Health and Allied Professionals (CCHAPS), LO/FTF Council, Public Services International (PSI), Social Dialogue in the Public Sector, Workers' and Trade Union Rights
Report from PSLINK General Secretary regarding the highlights of the Pre-Labor Day Dialogue between labor leaders and Pres. Aquino on April 30, 2013.
The dialogue between President Aquino and the labor sector was held on April 30, 2013, from 10:00-12:00pm at the Heroes Hall of the Malacanan, Palace. All the cabinet members were present, Executive Secretary Ochoa, Jr. the DOLE and its attached agencies and at least 19 representatives from the trade unions both from public and private.
Four sets of issues were presented by labor leaders: Danny Edralin (APL), Victor Balais (TUCP), Babes Tesiorna (TUCP) and Sonny Matula (FFW):
- Security of Tenure/Non compliance to labor laws and covenants and extra judicial killings of labor/union members
- Agro Industrial Plan/ High cost of Power
- Freedom of Information/Demolition of Informal Settlers
- Migrant Workers Rights/Regular Dialogue with the President
The President response:
- Security of tenure law will cause further unemployment
- At least 50 billion pesos allocated for shelter program
- ECC daily cost and carers allowance will be the same for public and private sectors
- Increase the contribution of workers and employers to SSS to expand benefits
- Taxing only the excess of minimum wage will mean losing revenues that could be used for building classrooms and health programs
- Instead of quarreling and blaming during labor day, make it a Good Jobs Day.
The labor sector expressed its collective dismay and utter disappointment with the PNoy response.
The informal meeting with President together with his cabinet members and the remaining labor leaders was held from 1:00-3:00pm. President Aquino stayed for almost an hour for the informal dialogue.
- Taxing the income in excess of minimum wage – study with BIR will be conducted
- Proposals from the labor group to provide additional benefits for minimum wage earners utilizing the fund allocated for that purpose
- Review on how to bring down the cost of power & submission of labor representative to the ERC including study on empowering consumers who are co owners of electric cooperatives
- End of rationalization program, the phasing out of job order/contract of service and MOA workers in the public sector starting June 2013 at DSWD to make them contractuals with social security benefits and with employee employer relationship
- Review of the tools and criteria in the granting of Performance Based Bonus to avoid patronage politics/favoritism
- Review on the granting of hazard pay and budget allocation to implement the provisions in magna carta laws
- Enhance consultations and engagement of public sector unions
- Study the pay structure of local government employees base on the principles of equal pay for equal work and work of equal value
- OP is not against/preventing the passage of Freedom of Information Bill
A follow-up meeting with cabinet members will take place on May 30, 2013.
Tags: collective negotiation agreement, labor day, labor rights, malacanang, Migrant Workers' Rights, public sector trade union rights, public sector unionism, social dialogue, TEC, TIPC, tripartite executive committee, tripartite industrial peace council, workers' rights
PSLINK organized a simple tribute program for Bro. Soren Kargaard, International Secretary of the Confederation of Civil Servants and Salaried Employees of Denmark (FTF), during his visit to the Philippines this month to conduct program assessment. Bro. Kargaard has been a strong supporter of PSLINK for the last 22 years.
PSLINK leaders along with other public sector union representatives met with GSIS President Robert Vergara on November 6, 2012 to raise important concerns regarding the participation of GSIS in the Philippine Investment Alliance for Infra Fund (PINAI).
PSLINK whose affiliates are GSIS members expressed serious concerns related to the implications of this undertaking where $400 million worth of funds coming from government workers contributions will be directed to the PINAI Fund which will be used for investments in infrastructure projects under the administration’s public-private partnership (PPP) schemes.
The confederation has been critical of PPPs and efforts of the administration to privatize essential services such as education and health. PSLINK also stressed the need for consultation and social dialogue with public sector unions with regard to the use of GSIS funds.
Check out the slideshow below to see photos of PSLINK General Secretary Annie Enriquez-Geron and NCR-RC Deputy General Secretary Edilberto Pardinas with GSIS President Robert Vergara.
Latest DBM Circular on CNA renders negotiations in the public sector a “big joke”
(Position paper on DBM Budget Circular No. 2011-5)
We in PSLINK express our indignation at and strong opposition to the Budget Circular No. 2011-5 Supplemental Guidelines on the Grant of Collective Negotiation Agreement (CNA) Incentive for Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 recently issued by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM). All public sector unions should contest this despotic and unjust policy that now threatens the right to self-organization and collective negotiations of all government workers in the country. We urge the Public Sector Labor-Management Council (PSLMC) to stand its ground against this issuance that renders negotiations in the public sector a futile exercise and a “big joke.”
The PSLMC is mandated to promulgate necessary rules and regulations to govern the exercise of the right to self-organization of government employees. It is composed of the heads of the Civil Service Commission, Department of Labor and Employment, Department of Finance and Department of Justice and the DBM with elected workers’ representatives sitting as observers.
The DBM is only a member of the PSLMC and yet it has issued a policy that imposes undue restrictions on the grant of the CNA incentive. How can the DBM unilaterally make a decision about the grant of CNA incentives when this matter, clearly a public sector labor relations issue, should be taken up by the PSLMC? Already impaired by the lack of genuine workers’ representation and independent machinery, the PSLMC is further undermined by DBM’s impertinence and the latter’s latest repressive issuance.
The PSLMC has already adopted sufficient guidelines on the grant of CNA incentives which include PSLMC Resolution No. 4, s. 2002 and PSLMC Resolution No. 2, s. 2003. These policies clearly specify what CNA incentives are for, where they can be sourced, and what the responsibilities of the concerned agency heads are. Moreover, these policies contain enough limitations and safeguards to avert abuse without undermining the right of workers to negotiate for better terms and conditions of employment.
Thus, there is no need for the additional guidelines contained in the DBM Budget Circular No. 2011-5 to govern the granting of CNA incentives. There is no need for restrictions that impose a ceiling of P 25,000 per qualified employee and further limit the fund sources for CNA incentives—as if public sector unions are not challenged enough by inadequate agency funding, lack of savings particularly in local government units, and non-implementation of CNAs by the management despite the former’s persistent efforts to contribute to cost-cutting measures and systems improvement in their agencies. Lastly, and more importantly, there is no need for DBM to intervene heedlessly in public sector labor relations.
What we need is enforcement of existing PSLMC Resolutions. What we need is a strong and impartial public sector labor relations body with genuine workers’ representation to ensure the fundamental rights of workers in the public sector. What we need is a more favorable environment for collective negotiations to promote public sector unionism leading to better, more democratic and accountable public services.
The PSLMC through its adopted resolutions allows the granting of CNA incentives “in recognition of the joint efforts of labor and management to achieve all planned targets, programs and services approved in the budget of the agency at a lesser cost.”
Amidst rising costs of commodities and basic services such as education and health care, the CNA incentive is one of the few things that rank and file government employees look forward to to augment their meager salaries. And in fact, even this modest amount public sector unions still need to negotiate and fight tooth and nail for. Unfortunately, the latest DBM Circular effectively leaves no room for negotiating this cash incentive. It defeats the purpose of collective negotiations between the management and the union in the first place with the DBM fixing all the rules by itself.
Without a doubt the DBM has overstepped its powers and that of the PSLMC. Worst, it has violated the right of government workers to collective negotiations—a right guaranteed in our Constitution, the Executive Order No. 180 and its Amended Rules and Regulations Governing the Exercise of the Right of Government Employees to Organize, and the International Labor Organization (ILO) Core Labor Standards.
We therefore demand the immediate revocation of DBM Circular No. 2011-5 and all other DBM issuances that impede workers’ right to self-organization and collective negotiations.
We also call for the creation of a truly independent and impartial public sector labor relations body that would advance the right to organize and negotiate of all government workers. Such a body would prevent brazen unilateral actions to be undertaken by government agencies such as DBM that impede public sector unionism in the country.
Tags: 180, Budget Circular No. 2011-5, Civil Service Commission, CNA, CNA incentive, collective negotiations, collective negotiations agreement, CSC, DBM, eo 180, executive order no. 180, PSLMC, public sector, Public Sector Labor-Management Council, public sector unionism, public sector unions, social dialogue