Baldoz congratulates BPI and its union for new, three-year CBA

Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday congratulated the Bank of the Philippine Islands, one of the country’s leading banking institutions, and its employees’ unions, for their successful collective bargaining negotiations which have led to the signing of a new, three-year collective bargaining agreement.

“I understand that your CBA was concluded in the fastest and most peaceful negotiation. For this, I congratulate the management and the unions for reaching mutual agreements without delay and unnecessary interventions. Yours can be a model in collective bargaining and can be cited as best practice showcasing harmonious labor-management relations in the banking industry,” Baldoz said in her message to the BPI management and its unions during the CBA signing ceremony held at the Rockwell Center in Makati City.

BPI management officials led by President Cesar Consing, Senior Vice Presidents Fidelina Corcuera and Michael Calleja, Vice Presidents Jose Raul Jereza and Danilo Kimseng, and Assistant Vice President Art Gerard Gonzales signed the CBA.

The unions, on the other hand, were represented by Federation of Unions in BPI Unibank (FUBU) President Alex Cassion; BPI Employees Union-Cebu and Bohol (BPIEU-CeBo) President Octavio Alerta; Bicol Employees Union (BEU) President Lex Tapales; and BPI Employees Union-Davao City (BPIEU-DC) President Felix Lasam.

In her message, Baldoz said the CBA signing dispels the impression that unionism in the country is diminishing.

“There are still employers and unions today that believe in and live up to the vision and causes of unionism. Your organization is one of them. You have proven that union and management can be development partners and that unionism can be an effective management tool towards attaining company goals and objectives,” said Baldoz.

The BPI’s Federation of Unions reaches over 1,500 members across 20 chapters in Caraga, Bacolod, Central Luzon, Cotabato, Digos, Dumaguete, Eastern Visayas, General Santos, Iligan, Iloilo-Antique-Roxas, Kalibo, Marbel, Northern Luzon, Northern Mindanao, Ozamis-Dipolog-Pagadian, San Carlos Southern Tagalog, Tacloban, Tagum, and Zamboanga, and count as members the BPI Employees Union-Cebu and Bohol with over 250 members; Bicol Employees Union with more than 50 members; and the BPI Employees Union-Davao City with more than 100 members.

Baldoz noted that this year’s CBA negotiations was the fastest and most peaceful, with the negotiation with FUBU concluded in one session for four days; the BPIEU-CeBo negotiation concluded in just one session for three days; the BEU negotiation finished in one session in one day; and the BPIEU-DC negotiation concluded in just one session for two days.

The new CBA, which will be effective from 1 April 2014 to 31 March 2016, covers the following benefits:

• Basic monthly salary increase of P1,725 effective 1 April 2014, and increase of P1,400 effective 1 April 2015;
• Increase in financial assistance for the first year by P50 and by P125 on the second year;
• Uniform allowance–additional cash subsidy of P1,000 for “good grooming allowance”;
• Teller’s functional allowance from P350 to P600 (additional of P250) effective 1 April 2014;
• Employee loans–Multipurpose Loan of P100,000 at 8 percent interest; Auto Loan of P100,000 at 7 percent interest (down from the previous 8 percent); and Emergency Loan of P80,000 at 7 percent interest (principal is up from P25,000 and interest is down from 8 percent);
• Burial assistance–For employees, from P25,000 to P35,000; and for the spouse, P30,000 from PP25,000;
• Additional five (5) days’ vacation leave for employees with 20 years of service;
• Third quarter bonus pay out to be moved from September to August;
• Signing bonus for regular employees as of date of formal CBA signing, P11,000;
• Goodwill–Very early and peaceful signing for regular employees as of date of formal CBA signing, P4,000;
• Performance appreciation grant for all regular employees as of date of formal CBA signing, P15,000; and
• Extra signing bonus for all regular employees as of date of formal CBA signing, P10,000.

In congratulating the BPI and the unions, the labor and employment chief said the DOLE is always guided by the principle of social dialogue as a matter of policy, be it at the national, regional, or plant level.

“We always encourage workers and employers to engage in social dialogue in pursuit of the interest of both parties. This is where enterprise-based or industry-wide unions can make a difference. We believe that respect for the right to self-organization and collective bargaining is a key factor towards sustaining industrial peace, productivity, and competitiveness,” said Baldoz.

“I believe that this is one of the secrets to success of the BPI as one of the leaders in the banking industry. BPI is recognized for its good practices in promoting industrial peace,” she finally said.

END/ Stella P. Bañares

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