Agreement to resort back to plant-level negotiation settles mediation cases

GOOD NEWS

National Conciliation and Mediation Board

Regional Branch No. 5

29 December 2017

Legazpi City – At first, it looked like the preventive mediation cases filed by the two unions of the Camarines Norte Electric Cooperative (CANORECO) seemed daunting.  It appears that despite the negotiation of the parties for the renewal of their Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs), they did not agree on any single proposal by either party.

Appearing before the branch office, representatives of the two unions, namely CANORECO Rank-and-File Labor Union (CARFLU) and CANORECO Labor Union of Supervisory Employees (CLAUSE), filed a preventive mediation (PM) case on September 13, 2017 on grounds of Bargaining Deadlock on all provisions of their respective CBAs.

“During the initial conference, I was at a quandary where to start with the conciliation considering that there was deadlock in all the provisions of the CBA. Then, in a sudden flash of thought, as if a higher being helped me to arrive at an understanding of the situation, I let the parties combine similar or related provisions and tabled the succeeding meetings for each of the combined topics,” narrated Regional Branch Director Reynaldo Foncardas who handled the case.

“The subsequent conciliation meetings proved expeditious, tiring and time consuming on the part of the parties because they were held at the branch office while they travel from Daet, Camarines Norte to Legazpi City, which is a little over four hours of land travel.  And cognizant of these setbacks, I deemed it wise to hold the meetings in the CANORECO Conference Room,” continued Director Foncardas.

“Ditto, it was also tiring and energy-draining on me and my staff.  But in the name of public service, we diligently and patiently travelled to and from the conference venue with the end view of settling the dispute.”

“One by one, the CBA provisions were discussed and several were agreed upon.  Up to some point where the parties stood pat in their positions, it was finally agreed to resort back to plant-level negotiation to further discuss among them the issues remaining unresolved.  In view of these, the PM cases are deemed settled,” Director Foncardas confirmed.

Supervising Labor and Employment Officer Josephine Amaranto said, “The unique way that our director handled the case, led to finally resolving the PM case that I thought will take a long time to settle.  The different technique that Director Foncardas employed in facilitating the conciliation meetings and the agreement to negotiate further at the plant-level led to the settlement.  Some issues have to be further discussed and clarified among the parties, including revisiting of in-house guidelines, while some have to be referred to other government agencies for validation.”

“The total benefits derived from these were P3,074,500 for CARFLU’s 143 employees and P817,000 for CLAUSE 38 members,” SupLEO Amaranto informed.

 

Prepared by:

 

EFLEDA A. HOURANI

Senior LEO/LIO-designate

 

 

APPROVED FOR RELEASE:

 

REYNALDO S. FONCARDAS

Regional Branch Director

Worker gets benefits despite odds

GOOD NEWS

National Conciliation and Mediation Board

Regional Branch No. 5

29 December 2017

 

Legazpi City – Little did John Cedrick Mabilin expect that he will still get his unpaid salary and 13th month pay from his employer when he came to the regional branch office seeking only clarification of his right as a worker in a refrigeration and airconditioning repair service company.

On 05 December 2017, Mr. Mabilin sought the intervention of the branch through its Single-Entry Approach (SEnA) program to inquire whether he still can get his wage and other benefits despite allegations of breaches in company policies and procedures.

The initial conference with his employer’s representative was set the following day, or December 6.  During the meeting, the company representative explained that they are withholding the wage of Mr. Mabilin pending the result of an on-going investigation regarding the complainant’s policy breach allegation.  Thus he requested for another meeting because he said he will refer first the issue to their Laguna Head Office.

During the succeeding meetings, the company is hard-lined on reasoning that they are still waiting for the decision of their legal counsel.  At some stage during a long-distance call to their head office, it was clarified to them regarding the consequences of withholding wages of workers.  It was explained that doing so is prohibited under the Labor Code and that the payment of wages is separate from all other issues.

With this, or on December 20, after four more meetings and conciliations, the parties finally agreed and informed that Mr. Mabilin received his unpaid salaries for services rendered on November 1-21, 2017 including his 13th month pay.

The case was facilitated by SEADO Supervising Labor and Employment Officer Josephine Amaranto.

Prepared by:                                                             APPROVED FOR RELEASE:

 

EFLEDA A. HOURANI                                            REYNALDO S. FONCARDAS

Senior LEO/LIO-designate                                     Regional Branch Director

LAMIPA, OGMA gather for sharing session

PRESS RELEASE

National Conciliation and Mediation Board

Regional Branch No. 5

29 November 2017

 

Legazpi City – About 70 percent of the officers and board of trustees of the two regional associations of NCMB Branch 5 attended the learning session cum sharing of best practices on Labor and Management Cooperation (LMC) and Grievance Machinery (GM) programs held on 10 November 2017 at the Branch Office, Capt. F. Aquende Drive, Legazpi City.  The activity was conceived during the joint meeting of the associations on 20 October 2017.

The two associations, Labor and Management Industrial Peace Advocates (LAMIPA) and Organization of Grievance Machinery Advocates (OGMA) agreed to conduct the activity to enhance and strengthen the member-companies’ LMC and GM mechanisms through sharing of experiences.  The benchmarking of best practices is hoped to alleviate the harmonious working relationship in the company.

There were two assigned resource speakers for the activity: from the management sector Mr. Rene S. Castro, Personnel Officer of Albay Agro-Industrial Development Corporation (ALINDECO) and from the labor sector, Ms. Montserrat Joan L. Sabanal, OIC Naga Area Manager of Camarines Sur II Electric Cooperative, Inc. (CASURECO II), Del Rosario, Naga City.

The learning session emphasized more on the grievance machinery mechanism of the companies.

“Sharing of best practices in GM for the purpose of attaining industrial peace is a chance for the officers to get together and compare each others’ experiences in grievance handling,” said NCMB Regional Branch 5 Supervising Labor and Employment Officer (SupLEO) Josephine Amaranto.  “They get to know the practices of other companies and from there improve on their own mechanisms.”

Regional Branch Director Reynaldo Foncardas said, “From time to time, it is best that they share each other’s best practices so that others will learn.  This intends to contribute to industrial peace-building by addressing the inequity or disparity in the implementation or enforcement of company personnel policies or the collective bargaining agreement.  One way of accomplishing this is through this activity – through facilitating, enhancement, strengthening and effective engagement and collaboration processes.  We will continue to conduct this kind of activity.”

The highlight of the activity was the bonding moments of the officers together with the staff of the Branch.  It was supposed to be an early Christmas merriment since there is no more available time for the celebration of the holiday season.  This was marked by exchanging of gifts, raffling of surprise tokens for the participants and singing.

 

Prepared by:                                                             APPROVED FOR RELEASE:

 

 

EFLEDA A. HOURANI                                           REYNALDO S. FONCARDAS

Senior LEO/LIO-designate                                   Regional Branch Director

Seminar on GSIS programs elates RCMB5 personnel

GOOD NEWS

National Conciliation and Mediation Board

Regional Branch No. 5

29 November 2017

 

Legazpi City – As part of the annual program for staff development, the Branch conducted an in-house seminar on the programs and services of the Government Services Insurance System (GSIS) on 17 November 2017 held at the Branch 5 Office at Capt. F. Aquende Drive, Legazpi City from 9:00 to 11:30 in the morning.

The Resource Speaker from GSIS was Officer I Delfin C. Badiong who discussed the programs of GSIS as a social insurance institution.  He rendered the three components of the insurance system as Enhanced Life Policy (ELP), Retirement Act and the Employees’ Compensation Commission (ECC).  He gave sample computations of retirement benefit and the basic monthly pension (BMC) that a member can avail depending on his or her average monthly computation (AMC), periods of premiums paid (PPP) and age at retirement.

“The topic is relevant since most of the staff is planning to retire soon.  With this information, somehow we have advance information on what to expect from the GSIS should we file for retirement this early,” said Regional Branch Director Reynaldo Foncardas.

“It is for this purpose that we have invited a resource person from GSIS to clarify our notions and misconceptions about the retirement benefits package in store for us from the insurance system,” continued Director Foncardas.

Aside from the lecture on the GSIS programs and services, Mr. Badiong updated the GSIS records of the personnel.

A tentative computation of retirement benefits for each of the staff was provided wherein the premise is if he or she retires on the day of the seminar, the cash payment payable at age 60 was detailed.

“The seminar was helpful to me because I was able to know my options if ever I decide to retire even if I am not yet at the age of retirement,” said Administrative Officer IV Hazel Caroche.   “I also got to know the benefits of my aunt who died before she was able to avail the cash payment equivalent to 5 years lump sum.  She had rendered 24 years in service at the hospital she is working with.”

“But if the member has less than 15 years in service, he or she cannot avail of the pension or the 18 months cash payment or the 5 years lump sum benefit.  He or she can avail the cash payment only.  But this is payable when he or she turns 60 years old,” added Administrative Aide VI Rolando J. Jetajobe.

Supervising Labor and Employment Officer Josephine Amaranto summed up the activity as applicable and significant.  “This activity is very relevant to us because we got updates from GSIS.  We also know now that it is only when one reaches 36 years of service can he or she avail the 90% of AMC as his or her monthly pension.  Before, I thought, it was 34 years.”

Administrative Assistant III Gloria Cope said that she now know how to compute the basic monthly pension.  “I came to know also that pensioners can also avail of loans under the CLASP Program or the Choice of Loan Amortization Schedule for Pensioners.  I thank Director Foncardas for initiating this very fruitful and enlightening activity.”

 

Prepared by:

 

EFLEDA A. HOURANI

Senior LEO/LIO-designate

 

 

APPROVED FOR RELEASE:

 

REYNALDO S. FONCARDAS

Regional Branch Director