National Conciliation and Mediation Board
Regional Branch No. 5
7 August 2017
Legazpi City – No, he did not stage a labor strike. But yes, Regional Branch Director Reynaldo Foncardas, or “Director Bong” to acquaintances, strikes his magic wand anew! His wizardly exceptional way of settling labor disputes despite the odds is once again manifested in his newly conciliated case between Universidad de Sta. Isabel – Health Services Department (USI-HSD) Employees Union and USI for merely two conferences.
“His uncanny approach in resolving cases even when we thought it is unsolvable due to complicity or complexity but still Director Bong has the knack of finding a way to somehow decide the issue,” answered Supervising Labor and Employment Officer (SupLEO) Josephine Amaranto when asked as to the reason for the early settlement of the case.
Administrative Officer IV Hazel Caroche said it can also be attributed to the past experiences of Director Bong. “He related that his passion is really conciliation. That is why he said his desire to learn the trade and be better if not the best in it fuelled his fervour to study diligently all the nuances of the different conciliators and mediators he had worked with. He said these honed his abilities in conciliating and mediating labor cases,” continued AO4 Caroche.
USI is a large, non-stock, non-profit, Catholic, charitable and educational institution existing under Philippine laws located at Roxas Avenue, Naga City. It is also the surviving entity in the merger with Mother Seton Hospital (MSH), represented by the HSD management panel.
USI-HSDEU or MSH Employees Union is a legitimate labor organization registered under Philippine laws with 82 members.
The preventive mediation case was filed by USI-HSDEU president Jerome Cerio on July 5, 2017 on grounds of CBA deadlock particularly on salary increases. An initial conference was set on July 7 but upon the request of both parties, it was reset to July 28. During the conference, it was validated that the only unresolved issue in the negotiation pertained to the standardized and scaled salary scheme. The union proposed a-Php1,200.00 across-the-board increase for five consecutive years from 2015 to 2020. The management countered that this cannot be met by the hospital as it is more than the ten percent (10%) proposed salary increase. Hence, the parties concurred to meet on August 4.
During the conciliation conference, the union and management agreed that in the first CBA year no salary increase will be granted provided that an amount equivalent to five percent (5%) increase in the basic salary of an employee shall be given as de minimis benefits. During the second year, it was also agreed that no salary increase will be given. However, an amount equivalent to five percent (5%) increase in the basic salary be awarded as de minimis benefits. Provided finally that the “basic salary” effective January 1, 2017 shall be computed as if a five percent (5%) increase in basic salary was given the employee during the fiscal year. For the third up to the fifth year an annual five percent (5%) increase in the basic salary of the employee shall be granted.
A total of Php30 million CBA settlement for the five-year period 2015-2020 benefitted 82 union members.
With this, the preventive mediation case docketed as RCMBV-CAMSUR-PM-07-002-2017 was settled and dropped from the calendar case of the Regional Branch.
EFLEDA A. HOURANI
APPROVED FOR RELEASE:
REYNALDO S. FONCARDAS
Regional Branch Director