Labor strike hits big university in C. LuzonBy Tonette T. Orejas |Inquirer Central Luzon
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO—The Holy Angel University Teachers and Employees Union (Hauteu) in Angeles City went on strike at 6 a.m. on Thursday to demand increases in salaries and benefits from tuition increases in the last three years.
“It is our ultimate remedy allowed by law. We have no other recourse. Our unity is what the management cannot match,” Edmond Maniago, Hauteu president told the INQUIRER by phone.
The Holy Angel University (HAU), chaired by businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan, is one of the biggest universities in Central Luzon. The last strike the Hauteu held was in the 1980s.
The labor union mounted the strike a day before the Holy Angel University confers an honoris causa on Antonio Cardinal Tagle.
Hauteu said its members, counting some 400, as well as non-members were entitled to 70 percent of tuition proceeds since 2010 as set by Memorandum No. 3 Series of 2012 of the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd).
In a statement, the management said it was “saddened by the decision of its 380-member Union to stage a strike despite the ongoing mediation efforts being assisted by the government’s labor department.”
It asked the students, parents and the communities to “bear with us as we explore other ways to resolve this conflict and ensure that our services are not disrupted.”
The management asked the 500 non-Hauteu members to “stand behind the University and not risk the stature and reputation it has achieved in the last few years.”
“We reiterate that the University has always complied with the provisions of the law regarding salary and benefits, as evidenced by successful CBA negotiations in the past, issuance of certificates of compliance by the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd), and the undeniable fact that our employees and faculty enjoy competitive salaries and a package of benefits,” the statement read.
Hauteu lost in at least two cases under the Department of Labor and Employment. It was not known yet how the strike affected the classes of nearly 10,000 students but the main gate was fully opened to accept them.
Maniago said the Hauteu sought a new collective bargaining agreement as HAU went on a frenzy of constructing new buildings.