Teachers rebel vs union, form new group

Published by rudy Date posted on May 2, 2018

by Philippine Daily Inquirer, May 02, 2018

The militant teachers’ union Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) faced a rebellion as some 3,000 public school teachers in the National Capital Region (NCR) bolted the group and formed their own union that its founders called DepEd Teachers Union-National Capital Region-National Labor Union (DTU-NCR-NLU).

Members of the new group claimed that ACT, particularly its unit in NCR, failed to ably represent and fight for the rights of public school teachers.

ACT is the sole and exclusive collective bargaining agent of teachers and other academic personnel of the Department of Education (DepEd) in NCR.

“A teachers’ union should look after teachers’ concerns and welfare first and foremost,” said Cynthia Ibale Villarin, DTU-NCR-NLU president, at the launch of the group.

“This is what our union stands for,” Villarin said.

Teachers’ woes

“We want to enhance the social and economic well-being of public school teachers in the interest not only of the teaching profession, but also good education,” she added.

Villarin said the DTU-NCR-NLU would get results for public school teachers instead of being militant and aggressive without getting anything done.

The new union would hold a series of dialogues with different government agencies to deal with teachers’ problems like the long-delayed increase in their salaries, which had been promised by the government.

DTU-NCR-NLU, according to Villarin, would also work on the release of teachers’ performance bonuses, which had been delayed since 2016.

Freedom period

The other issues that the new union would tackle, Villarin said, included lack of medical assistance for teachers mandated by the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers, or Republic Act No. 4670.

ACT had entered into a collective bargaining agreement with the DepEd on May 26, 2015, that would expire on May 26, 2018.

Villarin said there was now a “freedom period” of 60 days before the current agreement expired and during which another union could challenge ACT for the right to represent teachers and DepEd workers.

The DTU-NCR-NLU is filing a petition for certification election to dislodge ACT as the sole bargaining agent of teachers, Villarin said.

The new union needs to have the support of at least 10 percent, or 6,600, of 66,000 public school teachers in NCR for the bid to replace ACT.

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