Workers’ group renews call to regularize contractuals in UP
■ Karen Ann Macalalad
A labor group in UP intensified their calls anew to demand for regularization of contractual workers under the new administration of President Danilo Concepcion.
The Alliance of Contractual Workers in UP (ACE-UP) spearheaded last month its campaign Tiempo Endo, when contracts of workers in UP were teminated. As part of the campaign, the group engaged in a dialogue with the UP president on June 20 to forward their call for security of tenure, livable wages and other benefits.
“Kinikilala niya [Concepcion] na dapat yung workers na regular na nagtatrabaho at nagfu-function sa opisina ay mabigyan ng makatarungang benepisyo,” ACE-UP Secretary-General Steph Andaya said. The president expressed his plans to improve the conditions of workers in UP during the said meeting, which involved the promotion of non-UP contractuals to UP contractuals, regularization of long-time UP contractuals, and creation of more plantilla items.
Unlike UP contractuals, non-UP contractuals do not receive additional benefits such as rice allowance and leave privileges due to lack of employee-employer relationship with the UP administration. The functions of UP contractuals and non-UP contractuals are almost similar and both important in the university’s operations, the first mostly found in the Special Services Brigade and Community Maintenance Office, Andaya said.
“Ang nakikita nating dahilan [kung] bakit may non-UP contractual ay freeze hiring at pagtitipid ng UP sa kanilang workers na bigyan [sila] ng benepisyo,” she added. ACE-UP called for a creation of a technical working group which would look into the benefits received by contractuals in UP.
While the labor group recognized the dialogue with the president as a step forward, the plans of the administration have yet to be realized. “Patuloy pa rin ang pagdidikit natin ng mga panawagan sa bulleting boards, pagsama sa mga alliances tungkol sa kampanya ng kawai at national isyu sa minimum wage. Hindi magiging matamlay ang kampanya ng ACE-UP sa pag-expose sa umaabuso sa karapatan nito,” Andaya concluded. ■
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