PCSO union goes to court over ‘uncharitable’ layoffs
The labor union of the state-run Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) has asked a Pasay City court to stop the agency’s job rationalization scheme that recently led to the layoff of around 190 employees.
In a petition filed Tuesday, the Sweepstakes Employees Union (SEU) accused the PCSO management of grave abuse of discretion and of disregarding due process and the implementing rules of the government’s rationalization program.
SEU president Christopher Bautista said the lottery agency’s plan reduces PCSO’s existing plantilla by 20 percent (or 497 positions) from 2,223 to 1,726.
But despite the fact that its present workforce stands at only 1,550, an Aug. 27 resolution still approved the layoff of 44 permanent employees and 146 casual and temporary employees, he noted.
“The staffing pattern as stated in the rationalization plan did not conform to the needs of the PCSO and the objectives of the rationalization,” Bautista pointed out. “There are now more bosses but very few staff (members).”
This was because “the SEU was never invited in any meeting or deliberation concerning the review of the PCSO structure and the proposed staffing pattern in the rationalization plan” from 2008 to 2011, Bautista said, adding that the only time the SEU was invited was in the last meeting in 2012.
“The institution which the [employees] have considered their second home has been ‘uncharitable’ to their needs and plight, when it prepared, finalized and implemented a rationalization plan without any consultation, participation and coordination with the [SEU],” the petition read.
The PCSO’s main office is at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City.
In a statement on Wednesday, PCSO Chair Margarita Juico said “the SEU participated in all phases so far of the PCSO’s rationalization plan” and “PCSO’s actions are supported by records of deliberations and documents.”
PCSO General Manager Jose Ferdinand M. Rojas II added that when a new administration took over the agency, a “Change Management Team” was formed with SEU representatives as members to prepare the plan.
The plan was “collectively developed” and approved for implementation by the national government on April 2013.
He admitted that the initial implementation largely drew resistance, but said an Organizational Appointments Committee (OAC) was created, again with SEU officers as members, to assess employee qualifications to the positions they had applied for. The results of that assessment led to the Aug. 27 resolution.