UP Diliman vows to fix science researchers’ complaints
MANILA, Philippines — The University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman administration promised to resolve the issues faced by contractual science workers in the university, who have complained of poor working conditions and extreme delays in the payment of their salaries.
Fidel Nemenzo, chancellor of UP Diliman, told the Inquirer on Friday night that the administration welcomed the complaints of the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) researchers’ and pledged that “we’ll attend to these soon.”
“I can understand their concerns as well as the difficulties our offices are going through, but I don’t want to give justifications. Our immediate concern is to get those salaries out,” said Nemenzo, a math professor and former vice chancellor for research and development in UP.
Nemenzo said he met with other UP officials on Thursday to solve the problems of researchers and contractual faculty, who were legally not considered regular university employees eligible for benefits, such as leaves and hazard pay.
Angelo Victoria, a senior lecturer at the UP Institute of Biology, received only half of his salaries for March up to May last semester but continues to struggle with remote teaching.
“I think I can speak for researchers and teachers alike that we really love what we do. Before, we could deal with the challenges of the work and delays in pay, but now we really feel that we are being ignored by UP in these challenging times,” Victoria said.
“Hopefully the delays will be resolved before Christmas. But we hope it would be for long-term planning, for changes and assurances that this won’t happen again, and that they [will] hear us workers out,” said Patrick Cadeliña of the Alliance of STEM Graduate Students & Workers–UPD.
Among their demands are a dialogue with university officials, recognition of their labor rights and assurances that their workplaces are safe. INQ
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