Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday said the Department is steadfast in its commitment in maintaining the favorable labor relations climate in the country, citing as example the recent settlement by the National Conciliation and Mediation Board of the labor dispute involving the management of St. Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City and its union, St. Luke’s Medical Center Employees Association.

 

A report of NCMB OIC-Executive Director Shirley Pascual to Secretary Baldoz show that the union, on 11 August, filed a notice of strike at the Regional Conciliation and Mediation Branch – National Capital Region (RCMB-NCR) on grounds of deadlock in their collective bargaining negotiations, specifically on the economic and non-economic provisions of their collective bargaining agreement (CBA).

 

On 2 September, the union conducted a strike vote referendum which showed that majority of the union members were in favor of conducting a strike.

 

A series of conferences, led by NCMB OIC Deputy Executive Director Maria Teresa Cancio and Conciliator-Mediator Amorsolo Aglibut, were held thereafter to explore possible options so as the parties could arrive at a mutually acceptable solution to their labor dispute.

 

On 23 September, the parties concluded their three-year CBA, and finally agreed on new terms and conditions concerning wage increase, dependents, union leave, and signing bonus.

 

As to wage increase, the parties agreed on an increase of seven percent of the latest monthly basic pay, annually, for three years.

 

As to dependents, the term was specifically stated as parents, who, regardless of age, have no work; or have source of livelihood falling under the informal sector and whose income is equivalent to the existing minimum wage in Metro Manila. This particular item will be covered by a side agreement, union and management agreed.

 

The parties also agreed on a union leave of 220 days and a signing bonus of 75 percent of the current basic pay.

 

The parties further agreed not to take any retaliatory action against each other relative to the labor dispute.

 

All other issues resolved in the conciliation-mediation proceedings, including previously agreed items in the collective bargaining plant-level negotiations, were deemed incorporated in the agreement and in the new CBA.

 

Furthermore, other provisions of the existing CBA which were not modified, altered, or changed were deemed retained in the agreement.

 

“I commend the efforts of OIC Deputy Executive Director Cancio and Conciliator-Mediator Aglibut, as well as the openness both of the management and the union of St. Luke’s Medical Center. The marathon conferences held proved to be fruitful as the parties were able to resolve their differences,” Baldoz said.

 

St. Luke’s Medical Center, located in E. Rodriguez Sr. Avenue, Quezon City, is engaged in hospital and medical health services, and employs more or less 3,000 employees.

 

Its union, the St. Luke’s Medical Center Employees Association, an affiliate of Alliance of Filipino Workers (AFW), represents for collective bargaining purposes the 2,065 workers in the bargaining unit, all of which are union members.

 

END/aldm

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