Monday, January 28, 2008

Consultation Hours in the CICS

The CICS is due for a reevaluation for Level 1 accreditation. CHED saw that the faculty do not practice posting or announcing a consultation period for students, parents or anyone who wants to confer with the faculty member outside classes. This is true for the simple reason that SLU faculty do not render consultation periods as indicated in the Faculty Handbook. So CHED recommended that each faculty of the college should render at least 3 hours consultation period per week.

During the regular faculty meetings the department heads informed the faculty of the recommendation of CHED and asked each one if we are willing to render 3 hours of our free time for consultation hours just so we can comply. Most, if not all, faculty members were against the idea even when the department heads appealed for a small sacrifice on our part for the good of the college. The faculty members were adamant at the idea especially because of the issue of precedence. So the meetings concluded with the faculty members not in agreement with the request for consultation hours.

The issue came out again during the college meeting last December with the dean asking everyone to submit consultation hours for the upcoming reevaluation. She stated that "3 hours a week is not much" while talking about the CHED recommendation. But before anyone could question her, she changed the topic very swiftly.

Everyone was surprised this January when a memo-like form asking everyone to write their consultation period schedule with a checklist of whether the schedule was posted and/or announced to the class. Attached to it was a questionnaire regarding the agreement/awareness/approval of some activities of the University. There was even a deadline for submission so everyone deemed that it was a compulsory document. Each faculty were consulting each other about what to put in the form and one even said that we should not write any schedule as a sign of protest. Some faculty members consulted lawyers and was told that it is illegal for the administration to require faculty members to render productive time without pay. Some faculty went to the Union president and asked for advice and were told that they should not sign yet until she has conferred with the VP for Academics. She talked to the VP and was told that he has no idea about the consultation hours being asked by the dean. In the end, we were told that the dean denied that she was requiring for the consultation hours. She said it was voluntary.

What does she think we are? Idiots? If it was voluntary why then would she say that she only asked for it so that "the evaluators will know where to find them"? Then we are obliged to submit so that the evaluators can find us.

Because of this, we were able to discern which faculty members are kissing up to the dean. We understand that the contractuals would submit their consultation hours immediately because we know that they are at the mercy of the dean. But what we can not understand are regular faculty members who would volunteer and lie about their consultation hours. The person who said we should not submit as a sign of protest was the first one to submit a schedule for consultation. When questionned he even said he was able to talk to the VP for Academics and according to him the VP said it is for our own good and that it is just on paper. If this was true, you mean he will agree into submitting a schedule just for the sake of the accreditation? You will give a schedule kunwa-kunwari?But that's deceitful. You would be lying so that the college can be accredited? This is putting a flavor of dishonesty into something that should be noble.

Renato Dekartos

Monday, January 21, 2008

Napanan na ngay jay kwarta mi: A WARNING!!!

It has come to our attention that a number of our co-employees do not have their Philhealth number and thus are not members of this insurance company and are thus not entitled to the benefits of the said company.
Unfortunately those who were affected only found out about it now after they have suffered from an illness. One of them in fact is suffering from a serious illness which requires her to be under constant medical care. She needs the benefits NOW! What happened to the monthly payments religiously deducted from them? Why are they deducting from them when in fact they are not actually members? It seems that the accounting office is not doing their job! Shouldn't there be a commensurate punishment?
To the employees of SLU: Please go to the Philhealth office and check the status of your membership or if indeed you are a member. Who knows when we might need it. It would be a big hassle emotionally and financially if we are sick and to find out we are not entitled to these benefits.
To those who are affected: do not sign the forms the offices are asking you to sign because it might weaken the case tha might be filed against SLU in the near future. We shoud make them answerable for the money they deducted but have not remitted.
We will keep you posted....
Luis Gonzaga

A labor strike at the UC!

Maria Elena Catajan of the ZigZag Weekly reports that after two decades of industrial peace at the University of the Cordilleras (formerly the Baguio Colleges Foundation), employees are again restive, with the UC union Kapatiran all set to stage the first labor strike in the educational sector since the Union of Faculty and Employees of Saint Louis University (UFESLU) strikes in 1988 and 1989. Kinda makes the Louisian unyunista nostalgic for the times when Luisito(a) was a social being and mindful of his/her rights as an educational sector worker, right? Those were times when a grievance was felt by union officers and all members alike, when the "sakit ng kalingkingan ay sa buong katawan nararamdaman," and the UFESLU leadership stood kapitbisig with the rank and file instead of signing sweetheart deals with the administration (waiving away a whole year of CBA benefits we may add with justifications of typographical errors).

And it is not that job satisfaction has reached penultimate highs in SLU these days. The only reason for industrial peace hereabouts is that employees appear to have no leaders willing to stake out their necks for them should they want to - as they say, "get loud!" Strikeable issues about, not least of all the still unresolved issues on the "lost" first CBA year (2006-2007), the summer loading, contractualization of the faculty... hey wait! Why are the members of the UC union going on strike? Here's Catajan's account: Unfair labor practices (are) the reasons for the planned strike, namely: interference, restraint and coercion in the employees' right to self-organization, discrimination in assigning teaching loads, selective appointment of contractual employees, differences in salary scales, and violation of the duty to bargain. Sounds family!

A strong union depends on the level of awareness by its members of the various natural, constitutional, and statutory rights to which they are entitled and to their capability to fight for them over the negotiating table and at the picket line if need be. Towards this end, the unflagging dedication of the union leadership to the ideals of the union - the betterment of working and living conditions of the working class - is of vital importance. We need leaders who will educate us on what our rights are, who will speak for us with our own voices and not with the tongue of management, and who will strengthen us with their own zeal rather than frighten us with their lack of courage. Shall we see them this year or do we also fall without seeing the dawn?


Sunday, January 20, 2008

Human Security Seminar

Announcement: The Department of Social Sciences and the Department of Political Science, SLU, will be hosting a forum on "Peace and Order and the Human Security Act" on January 25, 2008 at the SLU Center for Culture and the Arts from 2:00 - 5:00pm. Professor Milo N. Distor will deliver the opening lecture entitled "Human Security and the Response of Critical Pedagogy." Please come!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Tips to prevent global warming

The holidays did not dampen our enthusiasm about the issue regarding the overtaxation on the employees of SLU. In fact when we entered our faculty rooms after the holidays, the officers of the UFESLU distributed papers containing their suggestion or solutions to our tax problems. I really admire their dedication to their job as representatives of the SLU employees (wink, wink!). They must have spent the entire holidays thinking of these suggestions (wink, wink!).
The cynic in me unfortunately reacted to this practice:It is a waste of paper. Imagine the number of trees sacrificed just so that they can convey their message across. If Al Gore would find out he would surely be sore! This practice can contribute to global warming!
I hope the UFESLU officers or anyone who will read this will not begrudge me for writing this blog. I am doing this for the greater good. To save our planet from the ravages of global warming. Let me therefore give unsolicited tips for the UFESLU or anybody who will do what they did. Believe me, this is to prevent global warming (wink, wink!):
1. it would be better if instead of writing them on paper the officers should talk with the admin about these suggestion first. This will also be good for their reputation since they would not be accused by cynics like me of using the issue to improve their image. It would give the members the idea that they are really working. It might also be thought of as giving false hopes to the employees.
2. after talking with the admin they should make sure that such suggestions have been approved and will be implemented. That way they would save paper since they would not have to the suggestions that were disapproved. Because our "honest" admin may not agree to some suggestions because it would destroy their reputation in the eyes of BIR.
3. Instead of writing them on paper why don't they just hold another assembly. there's nothing like a good assembly to strengthen the communication lines between the members and the officers. The flow of communication would not be one way. There would be free flow of ideas. We can learn from you and you can learn from us. It would even be a reason to suspend classes and enjoy a free merienda...
4. Better enlist the help of our colleagues from the CICS and create your own website or blogsite so that you do not have to use paper. Let's have a paperless communication. It would even enhance our skills in the use of computers. Let's also take advantage of the internet connections we have in our office as well as the brand new pentium 3 computers they gave us (wink, wink!).
Hopefully this tips would be followed so that our children's children's children's children would still have a planet to live in. Hopefully by then they wouldn't hve problems on taxes....

Luis Gonzaga

Friday, January 18, 2008

At it again?!

Remember how the old set of officers managed to loan out nearly P400,000.00 of Union funds that are still uncollected to date? It seems the dirty tricks department of our beloved union is at it again, disbursing an "initial release" (will there be a second, third, or more releases?) of PhP 135,000.00 for 1,200 blankets distributed as Christmas gifts last December. This amounts to a unit price of PhP112.50 for every blanket worth no more than PhP100.00 in the hangar market - maybe much less if purchased in bulk. Who raked in profits with the deal? More than that, it appears that even the UFESLU Treasurer did not know who the dealer was, the check was made out to cash (and, therefore, NOT paid directly to the seller), and the decision on blankets was made in contravention of an earlier decision made by the Board of Sectoral Representatives. But what do you expect with a Business Manager who has distinguished her stint in the Executive Board with an exemplary performance of perfect absences!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The hypocrisy of SLU admin

To all of you who had been waiting for my reaction and what i can say on the ruthless, unchristian and totally destructive termination of SLU on my employment, Below are some painful facts i need to say. The gossips, speculations and utterly disregard of some on my " presumption of innocence" on the case against me be once and for all be dispelled. Thanks for this site to air my side of the issue.

I was illegally dismissed from a fabricated harassment case of a Mongolian student who failed in my class a year ago. The case is now with the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC). I am very confident that the court will vindicate me from the harsh and arbitrary termination of my services with SLU. LU several times to resign in order that they will not put in file the alledged complaint in my certificate of employment from them. But I did not resign because all the allegations against me were perpetuated by a nemesis co-faculty who colluded with the foreign student to file a complaint against me. As with the merits of the case, the truth will come out eventually and let court be the judged on my innocence or guilt in the administrative complaint against me.

It is important to note that I have received numerous scholarships (both in and out of the country) and opportunities that I had during my stay in the University. Such fast professional development created some envious colleagues of mine who became instrumental in my monumental illegal dismissal.

Jason Peter Moldero

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Welcome to a gateway for critique

With this new gateway, created by our friends in the CompApp Department of the CICS, we hope that we can reach out to more of our colleagues within Saint Louis University as well as to others who are also in the quest for substantive changes within our workplace. Indeed, this perspective of a university - as workplace - needs to be highlighted in as much as its more visible image as a center of christian value formation and academic excellence has been used more than often as a facade to the grimmer realities of the life of salaried workers, both faculty and non-academic personnel. We live in critical times, after all, and have to contend with harsh economic realities as well as face up to the challenges of emergent socio-political imperatives. So on with our crusade.

For starters, let us aim our sights at our own organization and have ourselves a contemplative TRUE or FALSE quiz:

1. An officer of the Executive Board, pressed to run during the last elections only as a foil to a committed and dedicated candidate, has distinguished her stint at the board with an unblemished record of CHRONIC ABSENTEEISM (True or False?)

2. There was no bidding conducted for the purchase of the UFESLU Christmas Gift (True or False?)

3. The Executive Board DISREGARDED AND OVERTURNED without consultations the decision of the Board of Sectoral Representatives on what gifts to purchase (True or False?)

4. The blankets were overpriced at PhP112.00 per blanket (True or False?)

5. The Treasurer was not involved and was even pressured by other officers to release the check for the gifts which was also made out "to cash" (True or False?)

6. The expenditures for the last UFESLU general assembly are still unliquidated to date (True or False?)

Back to the future??!!

I fancy myself as a catholic but i am never a religious person. You have to blame my parents for that. Of course, you have to factor in the school I went to when i was younger. It was a non-sectarian school although it allowed some religious instruction. I attend mass occasionally but never took it to heart. My experiences never instilled in me the need to be close to the religion i was born with. That's the reason i shouldn't be shocked about how priests act today. But i still have the traditional views of an ordinary catholic. I still believe that priests have to show certain acceptable acts and deeds:Think of the people first before their own welfare like the kinds of priests shown in the movies. But things have surely changed. The whole world is changing and so are they.

This reminds me of the priest we have in our town. The new administrator of our parish. I have been hearing comments about him. Most of which are bad. It seems that aside from having no manners (having the gall to stop a tribute to a former member of the church choir, who just passed away recently, using the mic for everyone to hear) he is quite obsessed with money. Last November, All saint's day to be exact, He did not start blessing the tombs until we had paid his assistant and had a receipt to show him. From what I have heard from those who attended the holiday mass/es he announced that the parishioners should give more. Shouldn't he have waited for another chance or couldn't he have done it in a more tasteful way? Another encounter with him proved without a doubt his greed for money: We were asking for a special schedule for baptism. When the church worker asked him about it I overheard him say "basta agbayad da."

A few weeks after the funeral my grand aunt called to admonish me about my supposed behavior that time. I supposedly disrespected the priest because I stood up even after he has stopped speaking. She told me I shouldn't do that because it's bad karma. She even added that quarelling with a priest is just like quarelling with God. That's a lot of bovine residue! Comparing God to the priests that i know is blasphemous to say the least. Their acts do not seem Godly. It was Rizal who told women, in his essay "To the Young Women of Malolos," to raise their children according to the image of the true God. Unfortunately some of the priests i know do not represent the true image of God.

These kinds of priests make my skin crawl. They reminded me of the Spanish friars of old. Whose abuse of their power gave them notoriety. It only proves that things have not changed since the time of the Spaniards: the perception of corruption, divide and rule tactics, closed mindedness on suggestions from their "vassals;" autocratic rule, getting rid of their critics a la Jose Rizal, denial of human rights especially the denial of due process and other inhuman acts and policies.

Nothing is truer to what i described above than in our dear alma mater. Nothing has changed at all. It might have even gotten worse. The only indication of modernity is the electronic billboard found in the main gate. We have been hoodwinked by the claim of transformation. They were transformers alright but they are of the decepticon variety. How can people who represent the ideals of a catholic university do such things?

First of all; they are sacrificing a stable and established course and department. A department that has served countless numbers of students and became instrumental in the development of the careers of these students. Most of whom are lawyers, government employees, and not to mention the majority of instructors in the same department. Why do they favor one over the other? Why do they listen to one and not the other? Or is this a classic example of divide and rule? Pitting one against another in order to consolidate their power?

Secondly; why are they afraid of true change? Are they afraid that by implementing true and genuine change their positions are imperiled? A lot of employees have suggested a few changes but to their disappointment they were met with either indifference or hostility. Actually, these suggestions can make all our, administration's and employees', jobs a little bit easier and even increase the morale of our employees.

Thirdly; the way they treat their critics. Not a few of the employees have suffered the "wrath" of these people because of the statements they have uttered against the policies of these people. Recently an employee was dismissed because of a case filed against him. His case: sexual harassment. It could have been left at that but a deeper analysis of the situation would make us think twice about his dismissal. The employee was a critic of these people. It would seem therefore that their intention in dismissing him would be to get back at him for what he said against these people. If indeed he is guilty and their intention is to get rid of some "bad apples" in SLU how come some who did much worse acts are still among the employees of the school. Is the dispensation of justice in SLU selective? I think there is a double standard in punishing erring faculty members. You will be punished if you are a critic of these people. So if you want them to be blind to your misdeeds you better not speak against these people. Manila mayor Fred Lim's favorite quote: "the law applies to all otherwise none at all," applies to this situation. But It seems they believe more in Hannibal Lecter's famous quote: "quid pro quo Clarice, quid pro quo..."

Lastly; these people seem to act only when there are complaints. Especially if these complaints arise from their actions. Until now they haven't acted yet on our claim for compensation when we entered our classes last year arising from the confusion regarding the start of the implementation of the CBA. Those who did not attend their classes were not penalized. It therefore means they should pay us for entering our classes that time. But since nobody complained or filed a case against them they did not act about it. Isn't it that Christians should admit their mistakes if they claim to be honest? Or they are only honest if it would mean money would come out of our own pockets but dishonest when the money comes out of the school's money and goes to our pockets? Does that mean they are happy if we are suffering?

I hope that there won't come a time that our reputation will be sullied by the acts of these people. Because it seems that the university is relying only on its reputation right now. But let us not rely on this because it might not last. Let us instead work to prove our excellence as the light of the north...If they won't stand in our way.
Luis Perfecto

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Our Own Blogspot

Welcome to the Kris and Kalasag blogspot! It has come to our attention that our newletter never reach a lot of our employees. Therefore, they never get to read about issues concerning our co-workers. This may be due to the limited number of copies that are printed each issue. With our new blogspot our friends and co-workers may now read our articles through the internet and could give comments on the issues concerning our rights and privileges as employees of Saint Louis University. Happy blogging!