ANGELES CITY- Officials of the strike-plagued Holy Angel University (HAU) here said yesterday that operation of their school has remained normal and that only 85 out of 676 teachers have remained in picket lines since Aug. 15.
“We would like to assure our students and their parents that classes are held as usual inside the university. Only 85 out of 676 faculty members are on strike, which means there are 591 non-striking faculty members who continue delivering instruction, plus qualified substitutes who come from the same faculty staff,” the HAU said in an advisory.
The protesting teachers from the HAU Teachers and Employees Union (HAU-TEU) complained of low pay and the collapse of collective bargaining talks with the school administration. They reportedly receive P10,000 lower than the average pay of their counterparts in public schools.
The university also urged “our striking faculty not to exert pressure on their students to abandon their classes as a show of support for their cause.”
“Students should never be asked to take sides in a labor dispute. It is our duty, as faculty and administrators, to deliver to them without interruption the instruction and services that they have already paid for,” the HAU statement said.
The officials lamented that “our students have also been made to believe that our striking employees and faculty are underpaid and even cheated.”
“We are deeply offended by this accusation because we have always complied with the requirements of the law, and all the benefits have been successfully negotiated with past union officers. We take pride in our competitive salaries and benefits which is the reason our faculty applied to us in the first place,” the university said.
The HAU noted that its teachers have been receiving significant benefits, including 95 percent tuition discount in college and graduate school for faculty members and employees, their spouses and a 90 percent tuition discount for a maximum of four of their children; P100,000 health and hospitalization insurance that also covers two dependents; and full-month Christmas bonus on top of 13th month pay, among other benefits.
The university also cited life insurance worth P100,000, death benefits worth P40,000, uniform allowance worth P4,000, “welcome gift” for their newborn baby worth P10,000 for ceasarian delivery and P5,000 for normal birth, birthday gift of P500, among other benefits.
“We take pride in the salaries and benefits of our faculty and non-teaching personnel which are the result of years of successfully negotiated Collective Bargaining Agreements with previous HAUTEU officers.
We reiterate our call to the striking union members to let the on-going government mediation process take its course. Let us teach our students that all differences and conflicts can be resolved peacefully on the negotiation table,” the university statement also said.